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Who are the top NHL restricted free agents this offseason?

We go over the top restricted free agents for 2022 NHL free agency.

Jake Oettinger of the Dallas Stars in action against the Calgary Flames during Game Seven of the First Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome on May 15, 2022 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The Flames defeated the Stars 3-2 in overtime. Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images

Will we see an offer sheet? History would suggest no. Recent history/beef between teams could give us an offer sheet this season. It really comes down to if any GM has a big issue with the Dallas Stars. We did see the offer sheet battle between the Montreal Canadiens and Carolina Hurricanes. The Habs tried to scoop Sebastian Aho from the Canes. Then the Canes came back and actually scooped Jesperi Kotkaniemi, which was probably an awful decision on Carolina’s part. Anyway, let’s take a look at some of the top restricted free agents who will need new contracts and could be offer sheeted (but probably won’t).

Top 2022 NHL Restricted Free Agents

Matthew Tkachuk, Calgary Flames

2021-22 stats: 42 goals, 62 assists

Tkachuk picked a hell of a season to have a career year. The Flames thought it was a good idea to bridge Tkachuk with a three-year, $21 million deal a few seasons ago. That was a mistake. Now, Tkachuk will likely command a very lengthy contract in the same offseason Johnny Gaudreau is a UFA. Tkachuk finished eighth in the NHL in scoring with 104 points, a career high. Tkachuk’s next contract should be in the neighborhood of seven years at $8-9 million annually. Calgary has the money to lock in Tkachuk. The Flames may have to lose Gaudreau in free agency.

Jason Robertson, Dallas Stars

2021-22 stats: 41 goals, 38 assists

Hopefully the Stars don’t make the same mistake as the Flames with Tkachuk. Robertson has been in the NHL for three seasons and is almost a point-per-game player with 125 points in 128 career games. Robertson finished in the top 15 in goal scoring this past season and is only 22 years old. The Stars would be foolish to bridge Robertson, so we should see a long-term deal in the range of $7-8 million annually.

Jake Oettinger, Dallas Stars

2021-22 stats: 30-15-1, 2.53 GAA, .914 SV%

Oettinger had a pretty incredible season for a goaltender who is only 23 years old. What will ultimately make Oettinger a ton of money on this contract is his performance in the 2022 playoffs. Oettinger nearly stole the series from the Flames, posting an insane .954 SV% and 1.81 GAA over seven games in the series loss. Oettinger’s name has been linked the most to potential offer sheets. The issue is the goalie market has kind of dried up and there are a few starters available in Jack Campbell and Darcy Kuemper. Oettinger has a better chance of getting bridged than Robertson. We could see something like a three-year, $18 million deal at $6M annually.

Other restricted free agents: Jesper Bratt, NJD; Pierre-Luc Debois, WPG; Patrik Laine, CBJ