Top 3 free agent forwards still available on the market.
Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports  

Top 3 free agent forwards still available on the market.

Free agency was fast and furious in 2024 and there are very few good options that remain.

Jonathan Larivee

The free agency period in the National Hockey League this season was hectic to put it mildly. Deals were reported by NHL insiders before the free agency period had even officially opened, as seemingly every team in the NHL attempted to get their business done before a rival could swoop in and snatch away a desired free agent target.

As a result most of the big names that hit the open market this summer have already been claimed and there remain relatively few options available for teams in the league that are trying to round out their respective rosters. Today I'll be looking at 3 of the top free agent forwards that are still available, and could provide some valuable depth to a roster looking to round out their bottom six.

Daniel Sprong

Sprong will likely be viewed as the top remaining free agent forward available due to a combination of his ability to produce offensively as well as his relatively young age at just 27 years old.

The former second round (46th overall) draft pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft spent last season with the Detroit Red Wings, recoreding 18 goals and adding 25 assists for a total of 43 points over 76 regular season games.

Sprong is coming off of a 1 year deal that carried an average annual value and salary cap hit of $2 million for last season, but will likely be seeking a raise in free agency after a relatively solid season in Detroit.

James van Riemsdyk

Although JVR is getting up there in terms of age at 35 years old, he did show that he can still produce offensively as a member of the Boston Bruins last season. Over 71 regular season games, JVR would record 11 goals and 27 assists for the Bruins, totaling up 38 points on the season and finishing with a plus minus rating of +7.

The Bruins signed JVR to a pretty team-friendly deal as well, a 1 year contract with an average annual value and salary cap hit of just $1 million for last season, so he is likely to be an affordable option once again this summer.

Tyler Johnson

The pool of available forwards begins to thin out very quickly after Sprong and JVR with Tyler Johnson arguably being the next best available option on the market. Although players like Max Pacioretty or Mike Hoffman could lay claim to this spot on the list, both are at least a year older and both played fewer NHL games than Johnson last season.

Johnson was a part of an abysmal Chicago Blackhawks team but still managed to produce 17 goals and add 14 assists for a total of 31 points over 67 regular season games. He also has a pair of Stanley Cups under his belt and that kind of veteran leadership in a locker room isn't always easy to come by.

Last season Johnson played out the final year of a 7 year deal he signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning back in 2017, one that carried an average annual value and salary cap hit of $5 million per season. Johnson isn't likely to get anything close to that number again, and like JVR I expect him to be a relatively affordable option for teams looking to add depth at the forward position.

Would you like to see your team add any of these 3 forwards? Let me know your thoughts on each player in the comments.