Maybe Next Year or Just Missed the Cut
These players, in no particular order, are valuable and rank just outside the Top 50. They could leap onto next year’s list, or they could not appear again. Some of the players are ascending in the league, but not quite in the upper echelon. Others are on the back nine of their career or have too tricky a contract.
Thomas Chabot – OTT (Age:22/Cap Hit: $8.0M/8 Years Left)
Coming off of his entry-level contract, Chabot will start his eight-year, $64 million contract next season. He has been gold from Ottawa in his young career. If Chabot continues his development, an $8 cap hit will be a bargain, and he will be in the Top 50. Oh yeah, he also led the NHL this season with 26 minutes of ice time per game. Count this extension as one of the few right decisions Ottawa has made in the last five years.
Dylan Larkin – DET (Age: 22/Cap Hit: $6.1M/3 Years Left)
I was shocked that Larkin is still only 22 – can someone check his birth certificate? A consistent pro who put up 0.75 points per game this season, he carries a manageable cap hit for three more seasons. There is not much to like in Detroit, but Larkin is undoubtedly one of their building blocks.
Carey Price – MTL (Age: 32/Cap Hit: $10.5M/6 Years Left)
It feels wrong to not have Price in the Top 50 when you consider how much he has tormented my dreams as a Leafs fan. He is still playing at a high level and should have several more good seasons in him. The ranking suffers from the massive $10.5 million cap hit over the next six seasons, which is a lot to be paying your goaltender.
Frederik Andersen – TOR (Age: 29/Cap Hit: $5.0M/1 Year Left)
Andersen continues to be a stalwart in net for the Maple Leafs and is not yet 30 years old. Next year will be the last year left on his team-friendly $5 million cap hit. The Leafs will have some severe cap management to do when he comes up for a new deal. With massive money on the books for their superstar forwards, GM Kyle Dubas will have to work some magic. There are already rumours swirling about an actual Andersen trade.
Brady Tkachuk – OTT (Age: 19/Cap Hit $925K/1Year Left)
Tkachuk has been a very consistent player in his first two seasons in the NHL. Don’t believe me? He played 71 games both seasons, recorded 23 assists in each and had 22 and 21 goals. He can get under the opponent’s skin just enough and plays with an edge that racks up a few penalty minutes. While he is likely never going to be a superstar, a 19-year-old with that much consistency in the NHL is an incredible asset. I’m sure the Sens won’t screw this up…
Coming next: Players ranked 50-35!
What do you think of the players who just missed the Top 50? What will the Maple Leafs do with Frederik Andersen? Please let us know in the comments below!