Which under the radar forwards should teams target in free agency?
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In this edition of the hotstove, we share our thoughts on some under the radar forwards teams should target on the open market.
I think Joonas Donskoi could be a very nice addition to any team.
The 27-year-old has quietly averaged 39 points per 82 games over the last two seasons. What's impressive about Donskoi is almost all of his production – 58 of 69 points – has come at 5v5.
In that game state, he's matched the output of T.J. Oshie and J.T. Miller while recording *more* points than James van Riemsdyk, Nino Niederreiter, Josh Anderson, Mike Hoffman, Jonathan Drouin and Kyle Palmieri, to name but a few. He could really boost a team's 5v5 offense.
Donskoi also brings a lot of speed to the table and is a plus-defender (his shot and chance suppression numbers are excellent).
While most players get significantly overpaid in free agency, Donskoi strikes me as someone who would provide good bang for your buck.
I'm not sure he's underrated but given all the names out there the one that does not get mentioned much is Ryan Dzingel. Between Ottawa and Columbus he played 78 games and had a 26 goal and 30 assists, and he's 27 years old.
That's probably the best thing is that he's not too old to offer a longer deal to. His individual points/60 has been getting better and with Columbus this season he reached a career high with both Ottawa and Columbus. He had a bit of a shooting percent bump this year with Ottawa but at 5v5 he's about a career 12% average which is damn good.
The one area I'd want to understand is why his ixG- individual expected goal rate dropped when he went to Columbus after being ssteady for 3 seasons. Other than that I think big names will garner attention but he could be a sleeper grab for a smart team who does their homework now.
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