We have made it through the entire month of July and through the first week of August as well but there is still plenty of time before fans in the National Hockey League get to experience meaningful games once again. That also means that there is still plenty of time for NHL organizations to tweak their rosters before next season, even though most of the work has already been done.
In spite of the fact that most of the teams around the league already have a pretty good idea of what their rosters will look like come the start of the 2019 - 2020 NHL regular season, there are still some potential additions out there that could prove to be difference makers for a number of teams. Today we will be taking a look at the top available players remaining in free agency at their respective positions, and in every case these are players who could make a significant impact come next season.
We're going to kick things off with some forwards and for the moment we will be focusing on the right side of the playing surface. Here are, in my opinion, the top 3 free agent right wingers still available at the time of this writing.
#1 Justin Williams.
Although there has been plenty of talk regarding the potential of retirement for Justin Williams, you would be hard pressed not to put him in the top spot on this list. The Carolina Hurricanes captain led his team on a truly improbable playoff run this season and did so while putting up 23 goals and 30 assists for a total of 53 points in the 2018 - 2019 NHL regular season. If Williams does return to the NHL the team that gets him will get a ton of experience, and arguably one of the most clutch players in the game's history.
#2 Jason Pominville.
The now former Buffalo Sabres forward is coming off of a bad year, but it is hard to judge him too harshly given just how badly his entire team struggled during the 2018 - 2019 NHL regular season. Pominville had one of the worst seasons of his career with 16 goals and 15 assists for a total of 31 points, his lowest point total since the 2012 - 2013 NHL regular season, a season where he was coincidentally also a member of the Buffalo Sabres. At 36 years old Pominville is a free agent on August 10th for a reason, but it is hard to imagine that he won't land himself at least a short term deal before the start of the season.
#3 Troy Bouwer.
A veteran of over 800 NHL games Troy Bouwer has been a journeyman for the majority of his career and it seems likely that this summer will be no exception. Like Pominville it is easy to see why no team rushed to sign the 33 year old veteran to a big new deal, but as teams finalize their rosters this summer a veteran like Bouwer could be an excellent addition to your bottom 6. Coming off a 75 game season with the Panthers Bouwer had 12 goals and 9 assists and 21 points.
Photo Credit: Jacob Kupferman/CSM/Zuma