Top 3 Unrestricted Free Agent Defensemen

With free agency soon at hand, we continue our look at the top three UFAs at each position this offseason in the NHL; Goaltenders were first up, now the top three defensemen on the open market. 

Dmitry Orlov

There's only one true top-pairing D-man available this summer, and it's 31-year-old Orlov. He's had only one season in his 11-year career in which he wasn't a plus in the plus/minus column (and that was ten years ago). 

He's already made overtures that he'd like to return to the Washington Capitals, where he spent the first 10 ½ years of his career, but added that he would possibly be open to a return to the Boston Bruins as well, who acquired him shortly before the trade deadline. 

There will certainly be other teams that will come calling as well. 

Vladislav Gavrikov

This is one that might be coming off the board, fast. Rumors have the Los Angeles Kings and Gavrikov "making progress" on an extension that would keep the trade deadline acquisition in Hollywood for a return engagement. At least that's the Kings' hope. 

The 27-year-old came over from the Columbus Blue Jackets and posted a plus-12 in just 20 games for the Kings, while registering nine points, and playing over 21 minutes per game. The team is now hoping it wasn't just a short-term rental. 

But if they fail to come to terms, there will be many other teams knocking at Gavrikov's door.

Damon Severson

As the longest-tenured New Jersey Devil, could this have been Severson's swan song in Jersey after nine seasons? 

The Devils have a couple of top D prospects ready to take over full-time roles in Luke Hughes and Simon Nemec, possibly putting an end to Severson's time.

The 28-year-old's minutes were down a bit this season, to just a tick under 20:00 TOI per game, and his point production per game was at its lowest in five seasons. He was dropped to the third pairing for much of the year. 

Nevertheless, there are a number of teams in need of a solid veteran like Severson, including the likes of the Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames, Winnipeg Jets and Buffalo Sabres, just to name a few. 

Photo: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports