NHL Free Agency: Top 5 Free Agents still on the board after Day One

Brandon Saad #20 of the Colorado Avalanche. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Brandon Saad #20 of the Colorado Avalanche. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /
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Brandon Saad (20)
Brandon Saad #20 of the Colorado Avalanche. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

We took a look at five of the best Free Agents still on the board heading into Day 2 of NHL Free Agency.

It was a wild, wild start to NHL Free Agency on Wednesday as over $750 million was spent on around 161 signings across the league, and we saw some big names get signed to blockbuster contracts by new teams.

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Elite defenseman Dougie Hamilton – arguably the biggest prize available in Free Agency – signed a seven-year, $63 million contract with the New Jersey Devils, the Seattle Kraken made a significant and stunning splash by handing a six-year, $35,400,00 deal to goaltender Philipp Grubauer, and two-time Stanley Cup Champion Blake Coleman agreed to terms on a six-year, $29,400,000 contract.

There were a plethora of other big money, attention-grabbing deals dished out as teams showed they were not content with being conservative despite the flat cap in 2021-22 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, and there is no doubt that the National Hockey League looks a lot different today.

However, there are still some big names left on the open market as we head into Day 2 of Free Agency and we are going to rank the best players available…

Top 5 Free Agents still available on Day 2 of NHL Free Agency

Zach Parise (11)
Zach Parise #11 of the Minnesota Wild. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

5. Zach Parise, LW

We’ve listed Zach Parise at No. 5 just because of the fact that he is expected to sign with the New York Islanders, although that hasn’t been confirmed yet so we will include him anyway. But just don’t be surprised if he comes off the board soon.

Having been bought out by the Minnesota Wild earlier this month, Parise had the opportunity to start working out the best fit for him at this stage of his career, and the Islanders seemed the perfect fit for a number of reasons.

Firstly, Isles General Manager Lou Lamoriello drafted Parise for the New Jersey Devils and it is believed that the two both share an interest in working together again, with Parise willing to waive his no-move clause in both 2019 and 2020 in order to speak to the Isles.

Secondly, Parise’s late Father, J.P. Parise, played 240 games for the Islanders in the late 70’s, so the opportunity to play for the same team as his Dad could be too tempting to turn down.

While he isn’t the player he was, the left-wing could still offer the Islanders some value in either a bottom-six role or he could see even benefit from playing on a top-line with Mathew Barzal, while Parise’s leadership and wealth of experience will be a good fit in that locker room.