It’s time to revisit our rankings of the top five unrestricted free agents this summer.
Here are our top five free agents in each category: First-round picks: The Philadelphia Flyers have been one of the most vocal opponents of the salary cap, especially when it comes to free agency.
The Flyers are set to take a total of nine first-rounders this year, including two picks in the first round (four first overall) and four second-round (three first overall and three second overall).
With the Flyers’ first- and second-rounder selections this year already guaranteed, they will only need to pick up two more first- or second-overall picks (sixth and eighth overall) to fill out their roster for next season.
In addition to the three first-overalls they received this year in the Andrew MacDonald trade, the Flyers will receive another pick in 2018 in the trade with the Arizona Coyotes.
The next-most important first-rounder in 2018, however, is the Philadelphia Flyers’ fourth, which they receive as part of the trade.
That means they will need to find a way to get a first-team defenseman or an offensive-minded winger in return for the Flyers first-and-third-round selections, and the team is unlikely to be able to get the top of the first-line defense, as many believe.
Second-round pick: If there’s one player the Flyers really can’t afford to lose, it’s center Mike Richards.
The 22-year-old defenseman will be an unrestricted free agent next summer and he could be the most expensive unrestricted free-agent signing in franchise history.
The Philadelphia Eagles signed Richards to a five-year, $44 million deal before the start of the 2019-20 season, which was the longest contract in team history.
Richards had eight goals and 15 points in 82 games this season.
He played well in the playoffs, leading the Flyers in scoring with three goals and eight points.
However, the team could use a left wing to fill in for injured Nick Cousins.
The team is also set to acquire forward Jordan Weal in a trade with Philadelphia, and it seems unlikely that the team will be able get the first overall pick (if they have it) in return.
Third-round draft pick: There are plenty of teams who have the cap space to sign a player to an extension and that could be a concern for the Los Angeles Kings.
The Kings will have about $7 million in cap space for next year, and they have the right to match any offer sheet that comes in from an opponent.
The league has yet to decide on a rule that will force teams to match offer sheets, but if the league allows the Kings to match offers, it could limit teams from signing free agents.
Fourth-rounder: The Edmonton Oilers have a cap-friendly salary cap of $71 million for next seasons three-year contracts.
They can sign a first or second rounder in the deal that will bring in a fourth-rounder.
However the deal would need to be for a long-term deal, and there’s no guarantee that the Oilers will get their fourth-overALL pick in the draft (which is likely to be a pick at the top or at the bottom of the second round).
That means that they could end up signing another first-liner to an offer sheet and have to re-sign one of their own.
The second-most valuable first-lineman in the NHL is Sidney Crosby.
The 30-year old winger has been a rock in Pittsburgh for the past five seasons, averaging nearly 30 goals a season.
However he has been limited by injury this year and it’s hard to see him continuing to play at that level.
The Oilers are set on a two-year extension with Crosby and he’s likely to take the team to the Stanley Cup Final.
Fifth-round selection: The Toronto Maple Leafs have $65 million in space for 2021-22, which is a large amount for a team that has no cap room in 2021-23.
They have to add a player at some point to fill that void.
That would mean signing a defenseman, as well as a winger, and possibly an offensive player.
It could be tough for the Maple Leafs to get their first-year free agent in a player like Ryan Getzlaf.
The Anaheim Ducks will have the most cap space of any team in the league, so the decision could come down to getting a player that can help the Ducks win more games.
If the Ducks do manage to sign one of those players, it would be likely to come in the form of a player with some upside.
The Edmonton Flames could also target the third- and fourth-round choices in free agencies and could use them as part to fill a roster void.
Fifth rounder: There is plenty of cap space available for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Lightning will have roughly $64 million in available cap space.
The Bolts are set for a two year