Capped: Cheap Forwards Emerging Out of Training Camp

by Chris Pudsey on October 8, 2015
  • Capped
  • Capped: Cheap Forwards Emerging Out of Training Camp

Looking at some brand new cheap options to make NHL rosters out of camp for your cap league.

The new NHL season has begun and if you are a team struggling to get under the salary cap, this is the column for you!

I am about to lay out some cheap NHL options who made NHL rosters, to the surprise of many.  Not only did they surprise people by making their respective NHL rosters, these guys are the cheapest of the cheap and are probably flying under the radar in your league. 

Viktor Arvidsson – NSH – $631,666, two years remaining

The former fourth round pick in 2014 has really emerged as one of the Predators better prospects. He played well enough in the preseason to force the hand of the Preds to keep him and send down to the AHL fellow 2014 draft pick, Kevin Fiala as well as free agent signing Steve Moses

If Arvidsson can get regular ice time on the third line he could prove he is ready to stick around for the entire season. He led the Preds AHL team, the Milwaukee Admirals, in scoring last year and also led the AHL in shots on goal, so he was already pounding on the door. If he gets shoved to the fourth line, I doubt his time with the Preds will be long. He’s a young offensive player and the Preds won’t want him floundering on the fourth line for long. 

Brian O’Neill – NJ – $562,500, one year remaining

O’Neill was just acquired by the Devils from the Los Angeles Kings for a conditional seventh round draft pick. The diminutive forward (5-foot-9, 175 pounds) has spent the past four seasons in the Kings farm system and is coming off a stellar year that saw him win the AHL’s most valuable player award. 

His 80 points last year (22G, 58A) led the AHL in scoring so the kid obviously knows how to find the back of the net. He has a ton of skill and this move could be the breakthrough he finally deserves. The Devils are crying for someone to put the puck in the net and O’Neill could be a sneaky good player for them. 

Borna Rendulic – COL – $622,500, one year remaining

Rendulic was the final guy kept by the Avalanche this preseason. He did spend some time with the Av’s last year but a broken leg ended his season prematurely.

At 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, he’s still a bit raw but has a nice combination of speed and skill for a big man. Right now, he’s the 13th forward so while he will be a cheap roster addition for you don’t expect him to dress much early on and could easily be shipped down to the AHL at a moments notice.

Chris Wagner – ANA – $600,000, one year remaining

Thanks to Nate Thompson still off recovering from shoulder surgery, Wagner flat out forced his way on the team with an excellent preseason for the Ducks.

Wagner is a physical player who won’t give you much for offense but he certainly isn’t afraid hit people out there and if your league has FOW as a category, he won’t hurt you there either.

How long he stays remains to be seen but if he continues to go out and work hard, he will be hard to send down. Bruce Boudreau is a fan of his style of play.

Connor Brickley – FLA – $592,500, one year remaining

One of the bigger surprises of the preseason was the play of young forward Connor Brickley.  The former second round pick in 2010 earned his spot on the roster with some solid fore-checking and timely scoring. Everyone was raving that this kid was the best player in the Panthers camp, daily.

GM Dean Tallon had this to say about Brickley:

“Brickley had a great camp, was basically our last cut,” Tallon said. “[Brickley] earned a job. It started in rookie camp, continued on. He’s been terrific every day. He didn’t just have one day.’’

Expect him to play in the bottom six and continue to impress those around him. The kid is a little buzz saw and the puck seems to find him. He had 22 goals and 25 assists last year in the AHL so it will be interesting to see if his strong play continues through the regular season. Here’s hoping.

Sean Collins – WSH- $575,000, one year remaining

Collins came to Washington from Columbus and like many other inexpensive guys on this list, simply forced the hand of their coach (in this case, Barry Trotz) to keep him on the roster with their strong play. 

The 26-year-old has 19 NHL games over three seasons under his belt and came in and beat out guys like Derek Roy for the final roster spots, mainly because they were better at killing penalties and tough on the puck. 

Don’t expect much offense from Collins or much of anything from him really, but he if you need a cheap roster filler, he will fit the bill.

Tyler Randell – BOS – $600,000, one year remaining

The 2009 sixth-round pick, Randell, outlasted Max Talbot and earned a spot on the opening night Boston Bruins roster.

He isn’t an offensive player, but if you want energy and aggressive play, Randell fits the bill. He isn’t afraid to drop the mitts so if PIM are part of your setup, he could be worth a look.  Flat out, he’s a tough kid.

Mattias Janmark – DAL – $733,750, two years remaining

Janmark came to the Stars as part of the Erik Cole trade and wasn’t really expected to be a part of the team this early on. GM Jim Nill knows Janmark well, as he was part of the Detroit brain-trust that originally drafted Janmark in the third round of the 2013 draft. 

Janmark is a versatile, speedy player and can play all three forward positions and can also slot anywhere up and down the lineup. He’s shown some early chemistry on the third line with Cody Eakin but also has the speed and skill to be able to slot on the second line with Jason Spezza if needed.

The 22-year-old can be sent back to Sweden at any time so if he starts to falter, it won’t be a big issue to the Stars. If he keeps playing the way he has in the preseason, that won’t be a concern for the Stars at all.

Kyle Baun – CHI – $858,750, one year remaining

Baun signed with the Blackhawks in March after three successful seasons at Colgate University. He managed to sneak into three games last year but was held off the score sheet.

Baun came into camp a long-shot but after scoring three goals in five preseason games; he impressed the staff enough with his hustle and strong physical play. He’s an energy guy with good size down the wing, good speed and a strong shot.

There are plenty of guys beating down the door in the AHL, ready to take his spot should he falter so he will have to keep up his strong play to stick with the Blackhawks for the long haul.

Bobby Farnham – PIT – $575,000, one year remaining

Due to Pascal Dupuis’ injury, Farnham managed to stick around for opening night. It’s hard to say how long he will last.

Expect Farnham to suit up sparingly in a fourth line role at best. He did play in eleven regular season games last year for the Pens, which saw him go scoreless but did manage to rack up 24 PIM. He’s a decent fore-checker but that won’t help your fantasy team much.

If you are desperate and need a roster player, he’s your guy. If not, he won’t help you much.


So there are some of the cheaper, surprise players who made their NHL teams to start the year.  It’s really hard to say how long any of them stick around in the NHL but if you are desperate for roster players to help fill your needs to get either under the cap, or at least post a legal roster, these guys may very well be available in for you to snag. Hopefully you aren’t scrambling but if you are, I hope this helps a little bit.

For tons of hockey info, and other silly reasons, feel free to follow me on Twitter @chrispudsey.