Top 5 RFAs That Are Still Unsigned

It is now mid-August which means the 2022-23 NHL season and training camp are getting closer to starting. Typically, it isn't a recipe for success to have young players miss training camp because of contract disagreements. Some teams are able to lock up all of their restricted free agents, but other teams struggle. Let's look at the top five remaining RFAs based on their role and what they could get paid.

1. Jake Oettinger

Not only has Jake Oettinger made the case for being the top RFA remaining and one of the league's brightest young stars, he has shown with the playoff performance he put on last season against the Calgary Flames that the Dallas Stars' goaltender is one of the NHL's best goaltenders.

Oettinger took over full-time duties in the Stars' net by about halfway through the 2021-22 season and finished with a 30-15-1 record with a .914 save percentage and 2.53 goals against average. For just a second year goalie who had 29 games of NHL experience, that is impressive considering the sample size. But it wasn't until the playoffs where he proved to the hockey world why he is one of the rare cases of a goaltender being taken in the first round of the draft.

Though he went 3-4-0, he finished the first round with 11.9 goals saved above expected, which is incredible, while posting a .954 SV% and 1.81 GAA. He is going to earn a massive payday and be a force in this league for years to come.

2. Jason Robertson

Jason Robertson happens to be the second Stars player on this list this early, showing how much of a jam the team is in to lock up their two most impactful players age 23 and younger. He scored 41 goals last season in just his second season in the league while finishing second on the team in points (79 in 74 games played). He was one of the members of the Stars' most productive line and one of the best lines in the NHL last season.

Robertson has a very bright future and has already shown the strides he can make through each of his first two seasons.

3. Noah Dobson

It is believed that a number of the New York Islanders players have contracts already and Lou Lamoriello is just up to his games. As nothing is confirmed yet, Noah Dobson is a big RFA that should be in line for a big payday as the Islanders have some cap to work with in signing their young guys.

Dobson stepped up in the absence of Ryan Pulock for a good chunk of the season and Dobson ended his sophomore season with 13 goals and 51 points as a defenceman on a defensively-minded team. With Barry Trotz out as head coach, there should be a little more freedom offensively for the players to produce even more. The young defender should have no problem building on his success and live up to whatever big contract is coming his way.

4. Kirby Dach

The Montreal Canadiens brought in Kirby Dach at the 2022 draft and made a huge splash. The one key area that they are lacking is at center, and the hope is that Dach can be the answer and fit right into the top-six.

Dach lost over half a season in his key development years in 2020-21 with a serious injury. He struggled last season on a Chicago Blackhawks team that had almost nothing going for them. He finished the season with nine goals and 26 points in 70 games playing in the top-six. With a head coach like Martin St. Louis next season and in and with time to get back up to speed, don't expect a huge contract right away, but expect a much better season.

5. Alexander Romanov

Another member of the Islanders that is without a contract supposedly is Alexander Romanov. He was acquired at the draft from the Canadiens and will fill a top-four need beside Dobson on the second pairing. Romanov is very defensively minded and very physical.

Last season he had 144 blocked shots and 227 hits as his ice time increased by over three minutes a night. At only 22 years old, he plays like he's been in the league a while. Expect nothing less from him this season, and maybe even a bump in points playing beside Dobson.

It is extremely important that all of these RFAs get signed by their teams, especially considering two teams each have two of the key players. There are also many more RFAs that didn't crack the list who will also play a part in their team's success. The sooner they're signed, the less stress it causes the team, player, and fanbase.

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