2020 NHL UFA Top 75: Conor Sheary, Derick Brassard, Jesper Fast, Craig Smith and Justin Schultz

Feb 18, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the DailyFaceoff UFA preview. Over the next 15 days, I’ll be profiling the top 30 players in this years UFA class, as listed by TSN. Contract information is from our friends at PuckpediaFull UFA list via puckpedia here. Analytics provided by hockeyviz.com and naturalstattrick.com. Contract projections are done by evolving-hockey.com with the presumption contracts are signed between Aug. – Oct. 11 with different teams. 

Today, we’re looking at the 39th ranked Conor Sheary, 38th ranked Derick Brassard, 37th ranked Jesper Fast, 36th ranked Craig Smith and the 35th ranked Justin Schultz.

Conor Sheary

After spending his first four years in the NHL with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Sheary was traded to the Buffalo Sabres ahead of this years trade deadline. This year, he scored 10 goals and 23 points in 63 games and has totalled 150 points in 325 NHL games.

His isolated impacts in both zones are solid: plus three in the offensive zone and an even zero in the defensive zone. This year he starred as a third-line winger. At 5v5, he posted a 50 CF%, an xG% just below 50 and a goals for rate just below 50 as well.

Sheary, who is coming off a three-year, $3m AAV deal, appears to be an average third-line winger who can provide some offence.

Contract projection: One year, $1.343-m.

Derick Brassard

Brassard signed a one-year deal, $1.2-m deal last year with the New York Islanders and had a solid season for them. The 33-year-old scored10 goals and 32 points in 66 games.

Offensively he contributed at a league-average rate, but brought defence at a four percent rate below league average as a third-line center. At 5v5, he posted a 45.59 CF%, a 46.81 xG% and an even 50 GF%.

He would be a decent bottom-six centre for a team looking to sign him.

Contract projection: One year, $1.091-m.

Jesper Fast

Having spent his full seven year NHL career with the New York Rangers, Fast, 28, is hitting the UFA market. This past year he scored 12 goals and 29 points in 69 games this year as a second line winger.

His isolated impacts were very, very good providing offence and defence at a five percent rate higher than league average in both ends of the rink. At 5v5 this past year, he posted a 48.02 CF%, a 51.35 xG% and a 58.44 goals for rate.

Fast is a very solid winger and teams should be lining up to sign him.

Contract projection: One year, $1.08-m.

Craig Smith

Smith, a third-line winger, should have teams lining up to sign him this offseason as it appears the Nashville Predators will be letting him walk. This past year the 31-year-old scored 18 goals and 31 points in 69 games.

His isolated impacts are nothing short of incredible. He provides offence at a 21 percent rate above league average and defence at a four percent rate above league average — these are some of the best in the NHL. At 5v5, he posted a 55.18 CF%, a xG% of 56.91 and a goals for rate of 67.65.

As I said before, teams should be lining up from far and wide to add him to their team.

Contract projection: Five year, $4.584-m AAV.

Justin Schultz

Some of Schultz’s best years appear to be behind him. This past year with the Penguins, he scored three goals and 12 points in 46 games as a second pairing defenceman.

On both offence and defense, he contributed at a four percent rate below league average. On the powerplay, the number was even worse as provided value there at a 13 percent rate below league average. At 5v5 this year, he posted a 49.77 CF%, a 50.88 xG% and a goals for rate of 47.62 percent.

If Schultz played less minutes, he may provide some more value to whoever signs him.

Contract projection: One year, $1.421-m.

 

The post 2020 NHL UFA Top 75: Conor Sheary, Derick Brassard, Jesper Fast, Craig Smith and Justin Schultz appeared first on Daily Faceoff.

2020 NHL UFA Top 75: Conor Sheary, Derick Brassard, Jesper Fast, Craig Smith and Justin Schultz