THE 50-MAN LIST ENTERING FREE AGENCY

reinhart griffin

The Edmonton Oilers brought home some NHL players and prospects who may be NHL-ready from the 2015 draft. As we head toward free agency—RFA and UFA—it’s important to know who is on the 50-man list and how much room remains. Things get tight in a hurry!

CURRENT 50-MAN LIST

NHL teams don’t announce or display their lists, but it’s fairly easy to figure out (some Euro contracts, like Brad Ross, are a moving target). Here’s the 50-man list currently as I know it:

  1. G Cam Talbot (Perfect fit for the Oilers turn north)
  2. G Ben Scrivens (suspect
    he’ll return in a backup role)
  3. G Laurent Brossoit (AHL
    starter and plenty of opportunity to move up)
  4. G Eetu Laurikainen (new
    hire, AHL backup or ECHL starter)
  5. D Nikita Nikitin (No. 1
    candidate for buy out to my eye)
  6. D Mark Fayne (Looks like help is on the way)
  7. D Andrew Ference (5-6-7D
    likely role for coming season)
  8. D Eric Gryba (Another D-zone blue with NHL experience to help Fayne, Ference)
  9. D Oscar Klefbom (Does he play with Schultz, get heavy O-zone starts?)
  10. D Griffin Reinhart (Suspect he’s in the NHL to stay this fall)
  11. D Darnell Nurse (I think he’ll push the veterans this fall)
  12. D Brad Hunt (He’ll see NHL
    time)
  13. D David Musil (Could get some NHL time)
  14. D Jordan Oesterle (Fast and skilled, could surprise)
  15. D Dillon Simpson (Probably a full season in Bakersfield)
  16. D Martin Gernat (They may try to get him off the roster)
  17. D Ben Betker (May need to
    spend some time in the ECHL if it gets crowded)
  18. D Joey Laleggia (Can learn
    plenty from Hunt and Oesterle in Bakersfield)
  19. C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Don’t forget Nuge, he’s a big part of the future)
  20. C Anton Lander (Important
    player for 15-16)
  21. C Boyd Gordon (veteran could
    be trade bait by deadline if things break right)
  22. C Leon Draisaitl (Man
    amongst boys in Memorial Cup)
  23. C Bogdan Yakimov (Big C still developing, factor down the line)
  24. C Jujhar Khaira (Solid
    checker, offense may keep him from NHL career)
  25. C Kyle Platzer (New pro has two-way skills)
  26. L Taylor Hall (Rumor of a new C coming in may help spike numbers)
  27. L Benoit Pouliot (A rugged
    winger with skill)
  28. L Matt Hendricks (Had a
    wonderful year, can he do it again?)
  29. L Luke Gazdic (More toughness to help this coming season)
  30. L Ryan Hamilton (he’ll be
    the veteran hand in the  minors helping to guide the kids)
  31. L Anton Slepyshev (Can’t wait to see him in TC)
  32. L Mitch Moroz (Should see way more action in Bakersfield in 2015-16)
  33. L Kale Kessy (Lost season to injury, another chance in 2015-16)
  34. R Jordan Eberle (Top RW primed for a big year)
  35. R Nail Yakupov  (He’s still here, people!)
  36. R Teddy Purcell (Speed only real issue)
  37. R Rob Klinkhammer (4line RW, crash and bang)
  38. R Iiro Pakarinen (Has a chance to make the team)
  39. R Andrew Miller (A strong
    option for NHL time in 2015-16)
  40. R Greg Chase (His game should flourish in pro’s)

That’s the list as I see it, now here’s a list of players who will (or may) be added later in the year:

  1. C Connor McDavid: He’s been drafted and when he signs McDavid will go on the 50. There’s a slide rule but he won’t slide, this is an NHL player. Wanye told me!
  2. D Justin Schultz (RFA)
  3. D Brandon Davidson (RFA)
  4. D Keith Aulie (RFA)
  5. C Kellen Lain (RFA)
  6. L Matt Fraser (RFA)
  7. L Curtis Hamilton (RFA)
  8. R Tyler Pitlick (RFA)
  9. G Tyler Bunz (RFA)
  10. L Josh Winquist (no contract)
  11. R John McCarron (college draft selection)

Many of these players will probably be cast away, but players in bold are the most likely to return. Keith Aulie might have been a candidate but Gryba’s addition may block him. Matt Fraser could also be back, depending on what Edmonton does in free agency. 

HOW MUCH ROOM?

If we guess that McDavid, Schultz, Davidson and Pitlick are added, that puts Edmonton at 44 before free agency. There’s plenty of room on the 50-man list for a top defenseman and more. Peter Chiarelli’s summer is just getting started but clearing the way as he’s done suggests we can expect a few additions via trade and free agency before training camp.

Note: Brad Ross, part of the Marincin package, appears on NHLNumbers.com under the Oilers RFA’s and I suspect they’ll walk him. Ross is already signed for next season in Europe. Source

  • toprightcorner

    You let Fasth walk and go Talbot – Scrivens in net. saves money this year. play with the current defense while nabbing an up-playing ufa. Nurse or Gr first call up.
    Oduya – Faye
    Klef – Jultz
    Ference – Nikita
    Nurse/GR

    You wait until next season to drop Nikita,Gordon, and Klink (internal replacement) saving ballpark 8-9 million to sign either Seabrook or Byfuglien or both. We’ll be fine. let’s allow a real coaching staff coach these players. many for the first time in years.

    • Be honestly shocked if either Seabrook or Byfuglien hit the UFA market. Best bet is if either is unsigned by their own team in a few months that Chiarelli could make a trade and then sign them to an extension, but I don’t know if there’s a good chance of that happening, and the cost will be dear.

  • Jaxon

    I could see Edmonton very busy between now and the next trade deadline when they could unload Gordon, Purcell, Nikitin, Hendricks and maybe Schultz. I’d like to see Cody Franson (5x$5.5M), Christian Ehrhoff (2x$3.5M), Blake Comeau (3x$1.25M), Kyle Brodziak (3x$1.5M). I’m not sure if those numbers are realistic for these players. Thoughts? Can Ehrhoff get a $1M bonus in his contract for games played?

    I love Comeau as he has size, can score, has good fancy stats, hits a ton and is from NW Sask and should come cheap. I also like the idea of playing Brodziak on RW. He is someone that could always slide into C and he shouldn’t be very expensive and would be coming home too. Ehrhoff makes sense because he may be cheap after coming off a rough year, he can play a lot of minutes, he has good offense, and he should be willing to sign a shorter contract, which would have him move out of the way as Klefbom, Nurse, Reinhart and LaLeggia move up the depth chart.

    Opening Night:
    LW/C/RW:
    Pouliot/Nugent-Hopkins/Eberle.
    Hall/McDavid/Purcell.
    Comeau/Lander/Yakupov.
    Hendricks/Gordon/Brodziak.
    LD/RD:
    Ehrhoff/Fayne.
    Klefbom/Franson.
    Nikitin/Schultz.
    Ference/Gryba.
    G:
    Talbot.
    Scrivens.

    Post Deadline:
    LW/C/RW:
    Hall/McDavid/Yakupov.
    Pouliot/Nugent-Hopkins/Eberle.
    Slepyshev/Draisaitl/Pakarinen.
    Comeau/Lander/Brodziak.
    LD/RD:
    Ehrhoff/Fayne.
    Klefbom/Franson.
    Reinhart/?Schultz or Gryba.
    Nurse/?
    Laleggia.
    G:
    Talbot.
    Scrivens.

    • Franson or Sekera would be nice. Ehrhoff is going to want either more term or money but would be a nice addition. I can’t see there being room for Comeau or Brodziak unless a trade happens before the season.

      • Jaxon

        I like Sekera, but I think he will get longer term elsewhere and I don’t think their #1LD should be there too long so Klefbom, Nurse & Reinhart can move into that position after 2 years. Comeau and Brodziak allow Slepyshev, Draisaitl and Pakarinen to start in Bakersfield and move up for injuries and full time post-deadline. The cap for the salaries I’ve listed still leaves over $4M in cap space (which would allow for McDavid’s bonuses) and when Gordon, Hendricks, Purcell, Nikitin & Schultz come off the books they’ll have $21.5M in cap space.

        • I’ve heard that Reinhart actually plays on the right side and I know Klefbom does internationally. It’s not an ideal situation but teams use guys on their off side often enough. I’d like to add a Brodziak because he can play centre but I’d rather have an internal candidate playing over Comeau unless he takes a short deal.

      • Jaxon

        “It is past your bed time junior. Should ease off on the caffeine.” Wow, again with the witty retort. Is that the only line you have? My ideas aren’t far off the consensus. Adding Franson and Ehrhoff is a pretty common wish in the Oilogosphere. Many people also like the idea of adding a responsible two-way veteran forward or two as well. They may be cheap too and these signings would stay under cap. Also this allows Nurse, Draisaitl, Reinhart, Slepyshev and Pakarinen to begin the year in the AHL, something fans have been screaming about for years. Not sure what your criticism is because you can’t get past TRYING to be cool with your cut & paste response. Congrats, again. You nailed it. Add something to the conversation or shut the hell up.

        • bradleypi

          Hate to say it but he’s right. Your idea’s come straight from NHL 15. I like your heart though kid. Someday it might dawn on you that 29 other teams are in the mix too and they are smarter then any X-box. Now go brush your teeth and get ready for bed.

          • Jaxon

            Oilers Dynasty: “Hate to say it but he’s right. Your idea’s come straight from NHL 15. I like your heart though kid. Someday it might dawn on you that 29 other teams are in the mix too and they are smarter then any X-box. Now go brush your teeth and get ready for bed.”

            Wow, again with the Xbox line. All I’ve suggested is signing Franson, Ehrhoff, Comeau and Brodziak. Are other teams going to be interested? Yes. But these are 4 very possible gets. 5.5×5 for Western Canadian Franson is going to be in his range and the Oilers are looking pretty exciting for a lot of players right now. A lot of teams will be scared of Ehrhoff’s injuries from last season so he may not have as much interest. Comeau and Brodziak are both hometown guys that would be coming home and they aren’t exactly at the top of everyone’s list. Comeau contract was only 700K last season so it’s a pretty safe bet that he’d consider coming back to his hometown team for maybe $1.25M.

            This is from Lowetide (the author of this article): “My guess is the Oilers kick some tires (Sekera, 29; Franson, 27; Green, 29) on younger players before trying to sign a shorter deal with Paul Martin or Christian Ehrhoff.” and, “(bringing in that two-way winger I’ve talked about since Pisani left)”, which is what Comeau and Brodziak bring. And Brodziak has the added advantage of being able to play wing and centre. And those are the only 4 seemingly impossible “Xbox” moves I’ve suggested.

            The average number of free agent signings last summer was 4.6/team. For example, Pittsburgh signed Ehrhoff, Comeau, Greiss, Downie (looks familiar), NYI signed Grabovski, Kulemin, TJ Brennan, Chad Johnson, Jack Skille. CGY signed Diaz, Engelland, Raymond, Setoguchi and Hiller. BUF signed Meszaros, Benoit, Strachan, Dalpe, Gionta, Moulson and McCormick. FLO signed Mitchell, Thornton, MacKenzie, J Jokinen, Bolland and Montoya. TBL signed Boyle, Nabakov, Stralman and Morrow. WSH signed Niskanen, Orpik, Kennedy, Peters. Hell, Edmonton signed Fayne, Pouliot, Nikitin & Aulie last year. My suggested targets aren’t much different than these. Do I think they’ll get them all? Probably not. But they are realistic targets and it is possible they could get them all.

            But you’re right. You haven’t actually said anything, but I’m sure it felt right-ish to pile on with the same lame joke without any real discussion. BTW, I was born before the WHA Oilers existed so screw off with the junior & Xbox jokes. They’re not funny and they’re disrespectful. Goodnight, I have to go brush my teeth and go to bed.

          • Axiv

            What are you doing up old timer! Lol

            Beauchiman and Stewart are all we need….

            Offload Nikitin and Purse’elle oops Purcell to cap floor teams for ANYTHING …

    • radicator

      I don’t know why this was trashed so much. I like the ideas. They seem reasonable, but maybe it would be difficult to pull them all off.
      I’d call this creative, but not far-fetched.

      • Joy S. Lee

        The problem with those is that my eyes glaze over every time I see not only a newly projected lineup with the guys this or that commentor wants, and every commentor has their ideas. It’s not that they’re all bad, but some of them are downright awful, and others are wishful thinking that is so over the top that they are beyond reason. (“Hey, I’ve got it! Let’s trade Klinkhammer for Crosby, and then the lineup will look like this…” well, gimme an effin break.) Read five or ten of those, and then get back to me on the sensible ones. I just see most of them as a waste of my time, now, and besides, I was concerned for my safety. It occurred to me that, as I read these lineup alterations, my eyes began to cross… and what if they lock that way?

  • hagar

    I need a mental break from this site for a few days until the free agent frenzy..

    Two days removed from the draft, and it’s back to the exact same crap as before the draft.

    • Double Dees

      Mazel tov!

      Couldn’t agree with u more my friend…

      Some of these guys have no idea how the NHL actually is.

      It is a BUSINESS. Not a fantasy team or a popularity contest. I can’t jus get sign all these FA.

      This is year ONE ppl!!!! Let’s just get thru this year and get nikitin/Gordon/ Purcell of the books and start shopping next yrr.

  • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

    Everyone on this site loves/misses GATOR then …..Francois. Beauchiman is The UFA Dman we need to be targeting on a Two year deal!!! Pair him with Fayne vs other teams top forward pairings , he’s Mean, hits, fights, scores, block shots, won a Cup etc.

    And the forward we need ion Hall and McDavids line is Chris Stewart!

    Playing with McDavid he will put up 20-30 goals .. And pound anybody who targets THE FRANCHISE (McDavid)

    Two UFA’s who can be had without breaking the bank!!!!!

    Anybody who doesn’t agree is clueless

    • Joy S. Lee

      We should make a designation. “Anybody who doesn’t agree (with me) is clueless.”

      With everything you said in that last comment, or just in general?

      • Joy S. Lee

        Lol dink!

        Puh Puh puhleeeze peter just sign Chris Stewart to play with Hall and McDavid then target Francois…

        If Beauchemin don’t sign then go after any of Sekera, Erhoff, Franson or Green!

        GoodNite Oil Country

    • Spurzey

      Hey dude I agree on Stewart! He would look good in Oiler colours but unless we get rid of Percell or Nikitin contracts it’s probably not gunna happen coz he wants some money…probably the same range as Percell but I’m totally with you on Stewart man! But hey you never know…he might take less just to play with Hall and McDavid. We need to sign a decent D-man to so not a lot of room to play with unless we dump those two guys I mentioned. Cheers dude and hope PC at least kicks the tires on Stewart. Go Oil

  • The Last Of Barrett's Privateers

    I don’t think they walk away from Jultz or buy N.N out and here’s why.

    giving a bridge contract to Jultz give the Oilers a couple options

    a) see if he can play out of his chaos and keep developing

    b) If he does crap the bed all season, the Oilers can walk away after a year or trade him at the deadline.

    First, If N.N shows up out of shape I think they waive him most Rikki Tikki.

    However, I think they let N.N try and play out the final year of his contract and trade him to a team at the deadline who will most likely overpay for his services for the playoffs.

    In a deep draft next year that’s never a bad option.

    Hate to say this but Mac-T and his incremental growth might not been fun to hear but it’s most likely whats going to play out, at least on the defensive side.

    looks to be another development year.

  • Joy S. Lee

    Hey, I would like to point out something on the placard of Reinhart at the top of the article. Under his goals and assists, etc., and as he was taken in the draft, let’s see what they say about his projected place in the NHL… “PROJECTED #1 COMPLETE D.”

    Hmm. Interesting… because many, including the experts, are now pegging him as a stay-at-home #4 or something. Few are pegging him for reaching that #1 potential, and yet he’s barely had a chance to get his feet wet. His comparable was Ryan freaking Suter – I’ll take THAT, please!

    Not that it matters, but I’d be interested to see what Nurse’s and Klefbom’s draft cards said when they were drafted, too, just for the fun of it.

  • The best thing for Schultz would be for EDM to walk away. He would have some interest as a UFA and would go on to earn 2 million for a team deep at defence where he will be properly slotted on the third pairing. He will regain his confidence.

    The best thing for EDM would be to walk away from Schultz and use that 3.5+ million and other cap space to sign a vet d-man who can make a pass and isn’t afraid of getting hit in his own zone.

    Schultz will be an NHL d-man, but not in EDM. Let both sides reboot and regain respectability.

    Trade him. Make the call. If not then cut the cord. He came from nothing and to nothing he shall return.

  • My Dream F.A. list:
    a)Michael Frolik-27 yrs. Reasonable Cap $. Tough as nails, has some offensive game.
    b)Mike Green-29 yrs. Cost $$$, be a heck of mentor for the young kids.
    c)Cody Franson-27
    d)Matt Donovan of the Islanders: 25 yrs. Crazy, I know, but he is a Fellow Oklahoman and it’s not like there’s a bunch of Sooners playing in the NHL. Football, yes. Hockey, not so much. 🙂
    ===
    I can see it now, “Matt Donovan? Are you serious? Go to bed and brush your teeth, boy.”
    🙂