NHL Rumors: 4 Teams Linked to Free-Agent Forward Evan Rodrigues

The definition of a late bloomer, Pittsburgh Penguins pending free-agent forward Evan Rodrigues is expected to hit the open market on July 13. The Penguins have some serious decisions to make with the likes of Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin and to this point it appears E-Rod has become an after thought. Here's four teams who will have interest in the versatile forward:

New Jersey Devils

The Devils don't have much depth at right wing and could see Rodrigues fitting in nicely with their young core. He's a work horse who doesn't back down from many challenges and in 2021-22, showed his offensive game is further along than people think. Rodrigues finished the season with 43 points in 82 games and put up another five points in seven Stanley Cup Playoff games. The type of production the Devils could use more next season.

Washington Capitals

The Capitals are in the market for versatile forwards who can play down the middle at on the wing. They seem to have injury problems each and every year with some of their best players and losing Niklas Backstrom is certainly going to hurt their offensive prowess. Rodrigues could come in around $3 million per season and be a nice compliment to their group. Because of the small sample size, he's likely not going to receive anything more than a three-year contract offer.

Seattle Kraken

The Kraken are desperate for scoring as Jared McCann led their team in scoring last season with 50 points. They have money to spend and won't be shy this offseason as there's a number of free-agent forwards who can light up the score sheet. If the team misses on the likes of Johnny Gaudreau, Filip Forsberg or Nazem Kadri, look for the Kraken to net a player like Rodrigues.

Carolina Hurricanes

The Hurricanes would love to add another right-handed shot up front and someone who can help provide a spark offensively. Rodrigues showed his shot is miles ahead of what it used to be and his creativeness with and without the puck could align nicely with some of Carolina's stars. The team is familiar with his game and his work ethic matches up nicely with the 'Canes who are well coached and a structured group. The Penguins are going to be in tough to get Rodrigues back in their mix as Carolina, along with the other three teams mentioned will be hovering with interest come July 13.

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