Productive free agent forward could come very cheap this offseason.


Productive free agent forward could come very cheap this offseason.

While most of the big name free agents have been snatched up already, there is one of the better scoring forwards over the past few seasons still on the market.

Unrestricted free agent Jiri Hudler is still looking for a team, which is surprising considering his numbers over the last few seasons. Unfortunately for Hudler, he took a step back in a contract year last season. He still managed to put up 16 goals and 46 points in 72 contests, but only 6 of those goals came after he was dealt to the Panthers from the Flames at the trade deadline.

In spite of his weak showing in 2015-16, Hudler remains one of the better 5-on-5 players in the NHL. According to TSN, Hudler has been in the top-20 in league scoring percentage when compared with his team. Since 2010 only the likes of Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis have had a better shooting percentage relative to their teammates when on the ice.

The 32-year old is also one year removed from a 76 point campaign where he achieved careers highs in goals (31), assists (45), total points (76), and shots (158) with the Calgary Flames in 2014-15. Hudler has individually shot 10.3 per cent at 5-on-5 putting him at third-overall in the NHL only behind Stamkos and St. Louis over the last six seasons. 

For his career, he's averaging almost 20 goals and 50 points per 82 games played.

He is also likely to come at a much lower cost than the $4-million cap hit he has carried over the past four seasons. He regularly flies under the radar as an offensive threat, and provides his teammates with a much needed boost every time he is on the ice.

It seems like whoever is willing to give Hudler a chance may be in line to get one of the better sleeper scorers in the NHL.