NHL Rumors: Top 5 Defensemen Expected to Hit Free Agency in 2023

The NHL offseason has slowed down tremendously after a crazy few weeks between the end of June and early July. There's still a number of talented free agents left to sign contracts, however today we aren't worried about them. Our focus is on next summer and the long list of talent available is impressive and should make for a very entertaining offseason. We recently focused on the best forwards available in 2023, let's now dive into the blue line and showcase the top five defensemen expected to hit the open market next summer:

Damon Severson, New Jersey Devils

One of the most underrated defensemen in the game, Damon Severson is entering the final season of his contract with the Devils. The 28-year-old had himself a fine season in 2021-22, recording 46 points in 80 games and his numbers should jump this upcoming season as New Jersey has done a fine job of improving their roster this offseason. Even with John Marino on board and the Devils selecting a right-handed defenseman with the #2 overall pick, Severson should still be in the plans long term. If he hits the open market, expect to see some big offers headed his way.

John Klingberg, Anaheim Ducks

John Klingberg wanted to sign a long-term contract this summer, unfortunately his now fired agent priced himself out of the market. The towering right-handed defenseman ended up coming to terms on a one-year deal with the Ducks for $7 million and is now betting on himself. 
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He's coming off a fine season in Dallas where he put up 47 points in 74 games and if the Ducks are able to take a leap forward like expected this season, his numbers could improve with the bigger role in Anaheim. If the Ducks don't get an extension done, look for Klingberg to sign opening day next summer and not wait around too long next time.

Shayne Gostisbehere, Arizona Coyotes

Of the expected free-agent defenseman for next summer, nobody had more points in 2021-22 than Shayne Gostisbehere. His 51 points in 82 games was an impressive mark on a struggling Coyotes team. The 30-year-old doesn't give you much defensively, however his creativeness with the puck and power-play abilities make him an attractive piece for teams desperate for more offense. 

MacKenzie Weegar, Calgary Flames

It's going to be an interesting year for MacKenzie Weegar in Calgary as the new look Flames will have  giant spotlight on them to open next season. Weegar was the Panthers best defenseman in 2021-22, finishing with 44 points in 80 games. If he can build off his career season expect to see him get paid at some point next season. If Calgary can't re-sign him and he hits the open market, the market will be red hot to sign Weegar who can do it all on the ice. 

Matt Dumba, Minnesota Wild

With the salary cap constraints in Minnesota, the Wild will be in tough to re-sign Matt Dumba. If things go south to start next season, he's likely shipped out for some younger assets. Dumba has battled the injury bug of late and only appeared in 57 games last season, racking up 27 points. 
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He's right-handed and can play in all situations so there will be a long list of interested suitors. At 28 years old he'll also be one of the younger options available on the open market, which should bode well for contract offers.

Photo credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports