One Oilers player appears on the Daily Faceoff top free agents list

Photo credit:© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
6 hours ago
The Edmonton Oilers may still be in the playoffs and off to round two, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start looking ahead to the off-season.
On Thursday afternoon, Frank Seravalli released his Top 50 unrestricted free agent list for this off-season for Daily Faceoff.
Surprisingly, only one Oiler ranks on the list: right-shot defenceman Vincent Desharnais, who ranks 50th. The projection has him making $1.4 million over the next two seasons, which is fair territory for the shutdown blueliner. The Oilers had reportedly been talking with him about a contract extension ahead of the playoffs, but the talks were paused in the final week of the regular season.
One pending free agent who didn’t rank on the list is Warren Foegele. Contract year McLovin’ scored a career-high 20 goals and 41 points this season and will likely price himself out of Edmonton’s cap situation. It’s quite a shame, as the team has always controlled possession with him on the ice.
Interestingly, the list also excludes Adam Henrique, whom the Oilers acquired with a first-round pick and another pick later in the draft. This is quite a shock, as he scored 24 goals and 51 points this season between the Anaheim Ducks and the Oilers and has been playing top-line minutes alongside Connor McDavid in Edmonton’s five playoff games.
Other Oiler free agents include Mattias Janmark, Sam Carrick, Connor Brown, Sam Gagner, and Correy Perry for forwards, and rental defenceman Troy Stecher. Goaltender Calvin Pickard will also be an unrestricted free agent, but he’ll likely sign elsewhere after a strong 2023-24. I’d be interested in bringing back pretty much all those forwards, especially Perry.
With Foegele, Henrique, Perry, Janmark, and maybe Sam Carrick all needing to be signed, it begs the question how much cap space the Oilers have heading into next season. The answer: not a lot, as Puckpedia predicts the Oilers to have just shy of $11 million to sign quite a few holes. That doesn’t even mention extensions for Evan Bouchard and Leon Draisaitl, the two of which should be the priority.
The Oilers could also save money by buying out Jack Campbell, adding nearly $4 million in cap space. Another option would be to trade Evander Kane, but he’s making it very hard to make that argument so far into these playoffs. If they go that route, Dylan Holloway (a restricted free agent) could easily fill in. The same case can be made for trading Brett Kulak, as Philip Broberg needs to play some National Hockey League games as soon as possible.
With all that being said, let’s take a look at some interesting names on this list:
Patrick Kane could be a good buy-low option, as he ranks fourth on the list. After having the notorious hip resurfacing surgery, the 35-year-old scored 20 goals and 47 points in 50 games for the Detroit Red Wings, nearly helping the team break their extended playoff drought. He’s projected to sign a two-year, $5.5 million deal.
Joe Pavelski is 39, but still really darn good, as he ranks fifth in Seravalli’s list. This past season, the right-shot centre scored 27 goals and 67 points, but has been held pointless through Dallas’ first five playoff games. Pavelski is projected to make $4 million on a one-year deal.
Jonathan Marchessault was undrafted, but that didn’t stop him from becoming a prolific goal-scorer. The 33-year-old scored a career-high 41 goals and 69 points in 82 games with the Vegas Golden Knights this season, on top of winning the Conn Smythe Trophy in the 2023 playoffs. There’ll only be a few “expensive” free agents on this list, he ranks seventh and is projected to make $6.25 million yearly over three seasons.
Brett Pesce would require a move, likely for Desharnais to move on or Cody Ceci (or someone with a significant cap hit) to be traded for the Oilers to attempt to sign him. Still, there’d be no better way to solidify their second pairing by landing the 29-year-old right-shot defenceman who ranks as Daily Faceoff’s 12th-best free agent. He’s projected to make $6.7 annually over six seasons.
Dakota Joshua is a physical presence for the Vancouver Canucks who is set for a significant raise. This past season, he scored 18 goals and 32 points in 63 games, finishing ninth with 245 hits. The 27-year-old is ranked as Daily Faceoff’s 22nd-best free agent, and is projected to make $3 million annually over three seasons.
Jake DeBrusk is one of the few “high-end” free agents, ranking as Daily Faceoff’s 25th-best free agent and he just sort of feels like an Oiler. Between his father doing colour commentary for the team, being from the city and rumours he’s been involved in, it feels like it’s a matter of time before he’s wearing blue and orange. It was a bit of an off-year for the 27-year-old, who scored 19 goals and 40 points in 80 games. He’s projected to make $6 million annually over five seasons.
Alexandre Carrier was linked to the Oilers around the trade deadline, and he’d potentially replace Ceci or another defenceman if the Oilers decided to re-tool their core. This season, the 27-year-old right-shot defenceman had four goals and 20 points, along with a goal and three points in five playoff games. Carrier is projected to make $2.7 million annually for three seasons. He’s ranked as the 26th-best draft prospect.
David Perron had a stint as an Oiler back in 2013-14 and 2014-15, before they traded him to the Pittsburgh Penguins. He scored 33 goals and 76 points while putting up a career-high 28 goals in 2013-14. The 35-year-old is on a bit of decline, scoring just 17 goals and 47 points in 76 games last season for Detroit, but his projection of two-years, $2.8 million annually is digestible if a guy like Perry leaves. Perron ranks as Daily Faceoff’s 32nd-best free agent.
Chris Tanev is another player the Oilers were linked to, and it’s not like he has a problem with signing with Canadian teams, as he signed with both Vancouver and Calgary. The right-shot defenceman would likely replace Cody Ceci, and has two goals and 19 points this past season with the Flames and Dallas Stars. He’s projected to make $4.7 million annually over three seasons, which may be a little bit too much for Edmonton. Tanev ranks as Daily Faceoff’s 42nd-best free agent.
Daniel Sprong is a player the Oilers should’ve signed last off-season, as he signed an affordable $2 million, one-year deal and scored 18 goals and 43 points with the Wings. That’s back-to-back 40 point seasons for the Dutch player, and he’s projected to get a significant raise, $3.8 million annually for three seasons. Sprong ranks as Daily Faceoff’s 44th-best free agent available.
Kaapo Kähkönen is the top goaltending free agent on the market, ranking as the 45th-best player on the market. The 27-year-old spent the first part of the season with the abysmal San Jose Sharks, posting an .895 save percentage and a 3.81 goals-against average. After being traded to a team with a defence core not made of traffic pylons, he posted a .923 save percentage and a 2.51 goals-against average in six games with New Jersey. He could be a good backup netminder to go after if the Oilers decide to buyout Campbell, and is projected to make $3 million annually for the next two seasons.
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