No. 50 to 46
(50) Shea Theodore – VGK (Age: 25/Cap Hit: $5.2M/5 Years Left)
Theodore has been an absolute beast in the 2020 playoffs, showcasing his bevy of skills for a contending Golden Knights team. He is averaging over a point per game in the postseason and has been a vital contributor to the Knights’ blueline for the last three seasons.
In the regular season, Theodore put up 46 points in 71 games and has proven to be durable during his NHL career. The former first-round pick is signed for the next five seasons at a very reasonable $5.2 million per season.
The Golden Knights acquired Theodore in their expansion draft after the Anaheim Ducks left him unprotected. You have to think Anaheim would love to have a mulligan on that one now.
(49) Johnny Gaudreau – CGY (Age: 27/Cap Hit: $6.75M/2 Years Left)
Johnny Hockey would likely have ranked higher on the list but is coming off a bit of a down year. He still put up 58 points in 70 contests this season after piling up 99 points in 2018-19.
Gaudreau amassed seven points in 10 playoff games this season and is the most explosive forward the Flames have. The diminutive winger has two years left on a deal that will see him make $6.75 million annually.
It will be interesting to see what the Flames do with Gaudreau after his contract is up. If the New Jersey native can bounce back next season, he will be much higher on the list.
(48) Pierre-Luc Dubois – CBJ (Age: 22/Restricted Free Agent)
Dubois is coming off of his entry-level contract, and it will be interesting to see how much he signs for with Columbus and for how long. His star is on the rise after a strong playoff in 2020.
He recorded 10 points in his ten playoff games and is an excellent defensive forward. Best of all, the Quebec native just turned 22 years old. The future is exceptionally bright for Dubois, and he may very well climb this list in the coming years.
The third overall pick from the 2016 NHL Draft is also exceptionally durable, having appeared in all 234 regular-season games for the Blue Jackets over the past three seasons. During those three years, PLD recorded 158 points and a plus-22 rating.
(47) Tuukka Rask – BOS (Age: 32/Cap Hit: $7.0M/1 Years Left)
Rask was a tough player to place on this list. He has consistently been among the elite NHL goaltenders for years now. Tuukka is in the final year of a contract that comes with a $7 million cap hit. Few goalies are as consistent as the Finn, and he has a Stanley Cup ring.
Right or wrong, Rask’s long term future is in question as he is 32 years old, and there have been whispers that he may be interested in retiring early. That makes him a challenging trade target.
But the numbers are there, in a big way. Rask was as sharp as ever in the 2019-20 season, recording a 2.12 goals-against average and .929 save percentage over 41 contests.
(46) Kyle Connor – WPG (Age: 23/Cap Hit: $7.143M/6 Years Left)
Connor is only recently 23 years old, and the Jets had the foresight to lock him up long term. The Michigan native is secured for six more seasons at $7,142,857 per year.
He has gotten better in every NHL season going from 57 points to 66 and then to 73 this past season, in just 71 games. Connor was reasonably non-existent in the playoffs, where he recorded only one assist in four games played.
Since being drafted 17th overall by Winnipeg in 2015, Connor has exceeded expectations and is one of the best assets in the NHL.