Capped: Top-200 free agent salary projections

Alexander MacLean

2020-09-24

In Michael Clifford's Ramblings on Wednesday he started to cover some teams and their cap outlooks for the coming seasons. It's a good practice to get into for all cap league managers, and I'm looking forward to seeing what he digs up as that train of thought continues for the next few days. It can be especially useful for RFAs, as the teams with more cap space for their RFAs are less likely to pinch every penny and pull the average annual value (AAV) down. That means that with Sam Reinhart and Ryan Pulock both being projected for a $6.7 million AAV next year, odds are that Pulock's number will come in lower due to being pressured by the Islanders' cap situation.

Below we have Pulock, Reinhart, and 198 other free agents projected for their next salaries. After two iterations of the skater salary projections I have made all the updates necessary, fully reviewed all of the inputs, projections and formulas for the projection output, and now there is just the final list to publish. There have been a few signings thus far such as Jared McCann, Joel Edmundson, and Sean Walker that have been exceptionally close to my numbers. It's great to see, and hopefully the rest of the summer plays out that way as well. Unfortunately, that is never the case, but with every deviation from expected, we can learn from it and adapt for the future. That's my plan anyways.

 

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My overall thoughts on the projections:

Most importantly, these projections aren't perfect – keep that in mind. These projections try to take all of the player biases out of the equation, and it's all based off of numbers. As a result, if you don't agree with something, then it could mean you have some existing biases that are showing through (or that there is something I haven't considered in my work – so please let me know). On the flip side, this also means that a lot of the NHL GM biases can't be taken into account, and what we end up with is partially a projection of a player's value instead of exactly what they will sign for. This means that it can be a useful tool to ballpark a player's value before they sign and to give an approximation on their potential cost. It can then also be used after a contract is signed to compare their value to the contract versus the expectation, easily signaling whether the initial reaction to the contract should be positive or negative.

The list that I put out in February had a few major bugs that were fixed for the July edition. Since then, there have been some further tweaks to accommodate for the flat cap numbers among other minor tweaks. I am very happy with the results now, but as a writer and publisher of numbers I love to hear criticism and comments as they point out the areas for improvement. You can find me on Twitter @alexdmaclean for any of these comments.

From CapFriendly, there are currently 203 slots open on NHL rosters for next year, with a total of $420 million in cap space. The total of the top 200 free agents I have projected is about $440 million – add in the goalies and it is $490 million for the top 220 free agents. Taking into account the cap space available around the league increasing due to some buyouts, retirements, players getting buried in the minors, and teams not running with the fully available 23 roster slots, and the cap numbers start to add up. The cap crunch for free agents is going to be noticeable on 50th to 25th percentile players (third liners and fourth/fifth defencemen), who might have gotten a salary of a couple million, but now will be forced to take half or even a third of that. That's where I expect my numbers to be off the most – and it will be directly correlated to how many teams don't spend to the salary cap next year.

 

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Some quick hits regarding the list:

-The Islanders and Lightning are in real trouble with the projected cap hits of their key RFAs. Anthony Cirelli just keeps padding his wallet with clutch goals too.

-Who is going to need an offensive defenceman badly enough to pay Tyson Barrie $7 million or Torey Krug $8 million?

Max Domi deserves $6 million, but it doesn't sound as though he is going to get it in Montreal. After the Canadiens tried to sign away Sebastian Aho via an offersheet last year, does someone (Minnesota?) try to get Domi for a first and a third-round pick? Montreal may have to let him go for that.

-Andrew Mangiapane is going to be a bargain if he gets his projected $2.7 million.

-Which sub-$3 million defenceman would you rather have? Kevin Shattenkirk, Phil Myers, Travis Dermott, Nikita Zadorov, or Vince Dunn?

Josh Anderson's past few seasons have really killed his projected value. He may need a short-term deal for a season where he stays healthy before he can really cash in. He might be a good buy-low in bangers leagues.

-The minimum salary for next year as per the new CBA is $700,000, going up to $750,000 for the 2021-2022 season. Anyone not showing is also projected to earn the league minimum of $700,000, though most rookies will probably be closer to $900,000.

-If any players are bought out then I'll post their projected new salaries on Twitter. For example, if Kyle Turris gets bought out by the Predators, then his projected salary for next season would be $3.2 million.

 

 

Rank Name Age Pos Projected Cap Hit
1 Taylor Hall 28 F $9,215,498
2 Alex Pietrangelo 30 D $8,647,661
3 Mathew Barzal 23 F $8,119,226
4 Torey Krug 29 D $7,908,774
5 Mike Hoffman 30 F $7,140,559
6 Tyson Barrie 29 D $7,024,068
7 Sam Reinhart 24 F $6,771,467
8 Ryan Pulock 25 D $6,719,811
9 Pierre-Luc Dubois 22 F $6,709,205
10 Max Domi 25 F $6,228,280
11 Tyler Toffoli 28 F $5,858,878
12 Anthony Cirelli 23 F $5,805,380
13 Anthony DeAngelo 24 D $5,729,143
14 Evgenii Dadonov 31 F $5,687,668
15 Anthony Mantha 26 F $5,647,726
16 Andre Burakovsky 25 F $5,474,486
17 Devon Toews 26 D $4,903,906
18 Ryan Graves 25 D $4,878,873
19 Ryan Strome 27 F $4,775,928
20 Dylan Strome 23 F $4,736,037
21 Kevin Labanc 24 F $4,466,463
22 Jake DeBrusk 23 F $4,363,252
23 Mikhail Sergachev 22 D $4,164,167
24 Roope Hintz 23 F $4,149,461
25 Matt Grzelcyk 26 D $4,079,016
26 Mikael Granlund 28 F $4,055,741
27 Tyler Bertuzzi 25 F $4,053,558
28 Luke Kunin 22 F $4,008,308
29 Dominik Kubalík 25 F $3,996,015
30 Jesper Bratt 22 F $3,943,560
31 Jordan Greenway 23 F $3,860,816
32 Dominik Kahun 25 F $3,636,743
33 Valeri Nichushkin 25 F $3,597,986
34 Erik Gustafsson 28 D $3,551,772
35 Vladislav Gavrikov 24 D $3,513,276
36 Craig Smith 31 F $3,501,009
37 Brandon Montour 26 D $3,455,243
38 Connor Brown 26 F $3,440,386
39 Jesper Fast 28 F $3,417,353
40 Ilya Mikheyev 25 F $3,415,183
41 Victor Olofsson 25 F $3,397,585
42 T.J. Brodie 30 D $3,357,553
43 Sami Vatanen 29 D $3,347,992
44 Chris Tanev 30 D $3,259,146
45 Andreas Athanasiou 26 F $3,180,210
46 Troy Stecher 26 D $3,170,985
47 Carl Soderberg 34 F $3,072,167
48 Anthony Duclair 25 F $3,038,763
49 Chandler Stephenson 26 F $3,014,938
50 Kevin Shattenkirk 31 D $2,989,705
51 Chris Tierney 26 F $2,948,791
52 Philippe Myers 23 D $2,946,927
53 Nikita Zadorov 25 D $2,848,209
54 Mattias Janmark 27 F $2,808,234
55 Vince Dunn 23 D $2,796,791
56 Radek Faksa 26 F $2,772,765
57 Jake Virtanen 24 F $2,746,979
58 Ethan Bear 23 D $2,746,158
59 Erik Cernak 22 D $2,735,768
60 Justin Schultz 30 D $2,729,516
61 Andrew Mangiapane 24 F $2,717,929
62 Travis Dermott 23 D $2,611,717
63 Tyler Ennis 30 F $2,602,720
64 Jack Roslovic 23 F $2,564,543
65 Matthew Nieto 27 F $2,542,848
66 Haydn Fleury 24 D $2,542,664
67 Adam Gaudette 23 F $2,536,777
68 Denis Gurianov 23 F $2,535,322
69 Radko Gudas 30 D $2,407,297
70 Victor Mete 22 D $2,393,796
71 Justin Braun 33 D $2,329,518
72 Vladislav Namestnikov 27 F $2,296,118
73 Cody Ceci 26 D $2,294,940
74 Warren Foegele 24 F $2,268,351
75 Erik Haula 29 F $2,236,746
76 Christian Fischer 23 F $2,129,227
77 Dylan DeMelo 27 D $2,117,277
78 Tyson Jost 22 F $2,080,440
79 Lucas Wallmark 25 F $2,053,969
80 Vinnie Hinostroza 26 F $1,981,709
81 Nick Cousins 27 F $1,958,760
82 Michael Del Zotto 30 D $1,950,060
83 Mark Jankowski 26 F $1,949,232
84 Jimmy Vesey 27 F $1,866,745
85 Nick Holden 33 D $1,859,530
86 Carson Soucy 26 D $1,846,716
87 Alex Galchenyuk 26 F $1,834,333
88 Derick Brassard 32 F $1,827,824
89 Cody Eakin 29 F $1,818,161
90 Dominik Simon 26 F $1,811,615
91 Johan Larsson 28 F $1,755,810
92 Travis Hamonic 30 D $1,747,364
93 Conor Sheary 28 F $1,700,331
94 Sam Lafferty 25 F $1,670,501
95 Madison Bowey 25 D $1,663,873
96 Drake Caggiula 26 F $1,650,444
97 MacKenzie Weegar 26 D $1,621,245
98 Mark Pysyk 28 D $1,613,563
99 Josh Anderson 26 F $1,583,734
100 Casey Mittelstadt 21 F $1,525,969
101 Nathan Beaulieu 27 D $1,524,144
102 Wayne Simmonds 32 F $1,518,746
103 Oliver Kylington 23 D $1,505,117
104 Ilya Kovalchuk 37 F $1,502,413
105 Corey Perry 35 F $1,467,650
106 Brendan Lemieux 24 F $1,461,438
107 Derek Grant 30 F $1,455,077
108 Zemgus Girgensons 26 F $1,422,268
109 Andy Greene 37 D $1,404,011
110 Zdeno Chara 43 D $1,403,507
111 Joe Thornton 41 F $1,396,861
112 Tyler Pitlick 28 F $1,338,778
113 Dmytro Timashov 23 F $1,330,831
114 Sami Niku 23 F $1,320,332
115 Brenden Dillon 29 D $1,314,027
116 Kyle Clifford 29 F $1,307,490
117 Mikko Koivu 37 F $1,297,486
118 Trevor van Riemsdyk 29 D $1,279,879
119 Melker Karlsson 30 F $1,267,300
120 Mark Borowiecki 31 D $1,266,901
121 Michael Frolik 32 F $1,261,126
122 Filip Chlapik 23 F $1,237,167
123 Mirco Mueller 25 D $1,231,871
124 Tomas Nosek 28 F $1,206,826
125 Carter Verhaeghe 25 F $1,200,508
126 Dmitry Kulikov 29 D $1,193,415
127 Pat Maroon 32 F $1,130,007
128 Sam Gagner 31 F $1,129,999
129 Taro Hirose 24 F $1,101,027
130 Tim Heed 29 D $1,097,238
131 Jayce Hawryluk 24 F $1,093,412
132 Riley Sheahan 28 F $1,092,284
133 Robert Hagg 25 D $1,059,794
134 Mason Appleton 24 F $1,011,147
135 Travis Boyd 27 F $1,009,424
136 Trevor Lewis 33 F $1,005,066
137 Derek Forbort 28 D $967,502
138 Josh Leivo 27 F $956,076
139 Luca Sbisa 30 D $951,314
140 Matt Martin 31 F $942,064
141 Adam Erne 25 F $934,233
142 Anthony Bitetto 30 D $927,541
143 Josh Brown 26 D $911,474
144 Jason Spezza 37 F $910,292
145 Nate Thompson 35 F $907,000
146 Carl Grundstrom 22 F $862,422
147 Rudolfs Balcers 23 F $849,367
148 Kevin Rooney 27 F $846,383
149 Ron Hainsey 39 D $838,616
150 Austin Czarnik 27 F $812,343
151 Austin Wagner 23 F $810,880
152 Brendan Guhle 23 F $804,865
153 Oscar Fantenberg 28 D $801,574
154 Brendan Perlini 24 F $788,287
155 Karson Kuhlman 24 F $771,084
156 Lawrence Pilut 24 D $766,042
157 Brian Boyle 35 F $764,631
158 Mathieu Joseph 23 F $759,589
159 Colin Wilson 30 F $756,265
160 Brad Richardson 35 F $752,768
161 Trevor Daley 36 D $752,319
162 Patrick Marleau 41 F $752,298
163 Nolan Patrick 22 F $750,223
164 Zach Bogosian 30 D $750,001
165 Brett Ritchie 27 F $749,543
166 Slater Koekkoek 26 D $737,180
167 Devin Shore 26 F $736,758
168 Curtis Lazar 25 F $736,451
169 Henrik Borgstrom 23 F $727,287
170 Tage Thompson 22 F $719,897
171 Frederik Gauthier 25 F $718,523
172 Stefan Noesen 27 F $713,969
173 Nick Merkley 23 F $705,783
174 Kevin Stenlund 23 F $700,000
175 Denis Malgin 23 F $700,000
176 Matt Luff 23 F $700,000
177 Joshua Ho-Sang 24 F $700,000
178 Tyler Motte 25 F $700,000
179 Louie Belpedio 24 D $700,000
180 Oliwer Kaski 25 D $700,000
181 Zach Senyshyn 23 F $700,000
182 Kyle Capobianco 23 F $700,000
183 Max Veronneau 24 F $700,000
184 Nico Sturm 25 F $700,000
185 Peter Cehlarik 25 F $700,000
186 Kevin Roy 27 F $700,000
187 Sebastian Aho (d) 24 F $700,000
188 Derrick Pouliot 26 D $700,000
189 Aleksi Saarela 23 F $700,000
190 Sheldon Dries 26 F $700,000
191 Nikolay Goldobin 24 F $700,000
192 Sheldon Rempal 25 F $700,000
193 Deryk Engelland 38 D $700,000
194 Andrej Sekera 34 D $700,000
195 John Hayden 25 F $700,000
196 Jimmy Schuldt 25 D $700,000
197 Joel L’Esperance 25 F $700,000
198 Valentin Zykov 25 F $700,000
199 Tom Kuhnhackl 28 F $700,000
200 Ryan Kuffner 24 F $700,000

 

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Previous Capped Articles:

Projecting Salaries for Free Agent Goalies

Salary Increases from Soon to be Free Agents

 

 

UPCOMING GAMES

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HOT PLAYERS

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LINE COMBOS

  Frequency STL Players
13.7% RYAN O'REILLY DAVID PERRON JADEN SCHWARTZ
13.4% IVAN BARBASHEV SAMMY BLAIS OSKAR SUNDQVIST
11.8% ZACH SANFORD BRAYDEN SCHENN ROBERT THOMAS

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