NHL's top 2023 free agents: Who they are and where they went

NHL teams just finished addressing their own long-term future during the two days of the draft.

Now they will address their more immediate future when the free agency signing period opens at noon ET on Saturday, and two big names are no longer available.

The Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights used the $5 million annual savings in cap hit from their trade of Reilly Smith to the Pittsburgh Penguins to sign Ivan Barbashev to a five-year, $25 million contract. Barbashev, acquired at the trade deadline, played on the top line with Jack Eichel and Jonathan Marchessault and had 18 points in 22 playoff games, plus provided physical play.

The Golden Knights announced a two-year, $9.8 million contract for Adin Hill on Friday. The goalie recorded the final 11 wins of Vegas' championship run.

Our updated NHL free agent list (salary figures from

OFFSEASON TRACKER: News and analysis on trades and signings

Dmitry Orlov, right, and Todd Bertuzzi hit free agency and signed with Eastern Conference teams.
Dmitry Orlov, right, and Todd Bertuzzi hit free agency and signed with Eastern Conference teams.

1. Defenseman Dmitry Orlov, Boston Bruins

Orlov provides steady top-four play and he showed more of an offensive side after his trade from the Washington Capitals to the Bruins. He had 17 points in 23 games plus eight in seven games in the playoffs. Where he went: Hurricanes, two years, $15.5 million.

2. Forward Tyler Bertuzzi, Boston Bruins

He has three 20-goal seasons, including a 30-goal one, plus is a gritty player. He was injured on two occasions after blocking shots with Detroit, but he took off after his trade to Boston and was impressive in his playoff debut. Where he went: Maple Leafs, one year, $5.5 million.

3. Forward Alex Killorn, Tampa Bay Lightning

He leads all free agents with 64 points. The bigger draw is his two Stanley Cup rings and two other trips to the Final. Teams value championship experience. Where he went: Ducks, four years, $27 million.

4. Forward Ryan O'Reilly, Toronto Maple Leafs

More championship experience. He won the 2019 Stanley Cup with the St. Louis Blues, capturing the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. Plus, he's a former winner of the Selke Trophy. Where he went: Predators, four years, $18 million.

5. Forward Vladimir Tarasenko, New York Rangers

The former Cup winner rebounded from two injury-filled seasons to score 34 goals in 2021-22. Last season, he dropped to 18. But teams will be intrigued by the production from his heyday. Where he went: Senators, one year, $5 million.

6. Forward Patrick Kane, Rangers

Hip-resurfacing surgery will keep the three-time champion out four to six months, so a team will have him in the lineup at some point in the season. How effective will he be, though? If he's vintage Kane, that's a good risk to take.

7. Forward Jason Zucker, Pittsburgh Penguins

He bounced back from two down seasons to score 27 goals. He's had five 20-goal seasons and one 30-goal season. He was a good fit on Evgeni Malkin's line. Where he went: Coyotes, one year, $5.3 million

8. Forward J.T. Compher, Colorado Avalanche

He scored a career-best 52 points while filling the No. 2 center role in the absence of Nazem Kadri. He wasn't a factor in the playoffs. Where he went: Red Wings, five years, $25.5 million.

9. Forward Michael Bunting, Maple Leafs

The top-six forward averaged 23 goals and 56 points in his two seasons in Toronto. He was suspended three games for a hit in the playoffs. Where he went: Hurricanes, two years, $13.5 million.

10. Goalie Frederik Andersen, Carolina Hurricanes

Andersen has won the William Jennings Trophy (lowest team goals-against average) twice in his career. He has five 30-win seasons but also has his share of injuries. Where he went: Stayed with Carolina, two years, $6.8 million.

11. Forward Max Pacioretty, Hurricanes

He recovered from a torn Achilles tendon, only to tear it again five games later. He's a 30-goal scorer when healthy. Where he went: Capitals, one year, $2 million, with $2 million in performance bonuses.

12. Forward Max Domi, Dallas Stars

He had a strong season on the stripped-down Chicago Blackhawks and a good playoff run with the Stars (13 points in 19 games). The gritty forechecker should be able to turn that into more than last year's one-year, $3 million contract. His defense is an issue. Where he went: Maple Leafs, one year, $3 million

13. Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, Hurricanes

His 13 goals rank first among free agent defensemen and his 41 points rank second. Where he went: Red Wings, one year, $4.125 million.

14. Forward Matt Duchene, Nashville Predators

He had the final three years of his contract bought out, even though he had 43 goals two seasons ago and 22 goals last season. Where he went: Stars, one year, $3 million

15. Forward Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets

He also was bought out. He had 55 points last season and 60 two seasons ago. Where he went: Rangers, one year, $800,000, with $300,000 in bonuses.

16. Goaltender Tristan Jarry, Penguins

He's a two-time All-Star and has a career .914 save percentage, but his injury issues could give teams pause. Where he went: Stayed with Penguins, five years, $26.875 million.

17. Forward Evan Rodrigues, Avalanche

He provides secondary scoring and can move up a line if needed, as he did with Pittsburgh two seasons ago when he filled in for an injured Malkin. Where he went: Panthers, four years, $12 million.

18. Forward Garnet Hathaway, Bruins

He's prized for his feistiness and physical play. He has had 250 or more hits the past two seasons and has hit double digits in goals. Where he went: Flyers, two years, $4.75 million

19. Defenseman Luke Schenn, Maple Leafs

He led the league with 318 hits and tied his career high with 22 points. Where he went: Predators, three years, $8.25 million.

20. Defenseman Radko Gudas, Florida Panthers

He was right behind Schenn with 312 hits and plays a solid defensive game. Where he went: Ducks, three years, $12 million.

21. Forward Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks moved on from their longtime captain, who has missed time with chronic immune response syndrome and long COVID. He's valued for his leadership, two-way play and three championships. However, Toews said his health is the biggest factor determining whether he returns for another season. Where he went: Toews announced he'd be taking time off this season so he can "fully heal."

22. Forward Tomas Tatar, New Jersey Devils

He got back to the 20-goal mark last season but was ineffective in the playoffs. Where he went: Avalanche, one year, $1.5 million.

23. Defenseman John Klingberg, Minnesota Wild

He scored 10 goals between the Ducks and Wild last season on a one-year, prove-it deal, but he's also a -53 over the past two seasons. He was a plus player after leaving the defensively porous Ducks. Where he went: Maple Leafs, one year, $4.15 million.

24. Defenseman Matt Dumba, Wild

He doesn't put up the offensive numbers anymore, but right-shot defensemen are usually in demand. Where he went: Coyotes, one year, $3.9 million.

25. Goaltender Joonas Korpisalo, Los Angeles Kings

He was solid (2.13 goals-against average, .921 save percentage) after his trade from Columbus, showing what he could do behind a better defense. Where he sent: Senators, five years, $20 million.

Note: Bruins forwards Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci weren't included in this list because they're expected to either return to Boston or retire. Bergeron announced his retirement on July 25 and Krejci also retired on Aug. 14.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NHL free agency 2023: Where top 25 players went