- Bovada has issued props on what NHL player will receive the largest contract in free agency
- The 2021 NHL free-agent market is scheduled to begin at noon ET on July 28
- Dougie Hamilton (+135), Gabriel Landeskog (+150) and Alex Ovechkin (+200) are the favorites to strike it rich
On Monday night, the Tampa Bay Lightning will likely put the finishing touches on the Montreal Canadians to win their second Stanley Cup in as many years. Then the real fun begins in a jam-packed offseason with an expansion draft, the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, and last but not least – free agency.
Which hockey stars will score the biggest paydays this summer? Before we look at the odds for the available players on the market, make sure to check out our NHL betting tips page for advice on how to wager on hockey.
Receive Largest NHL Free Agent Contract
Hot for Hamilton
Dougie Hamilton (+135) was named an NHL Second Team All-Star last Tuesday after finishing fourth in Norris Trophy voting and totaling 42 points (10g, 32a) in the 2020-21 season. There should be no shortage of suitors for the 27-year-old defenseman, who is a lock to join his fourth-career NHL club after being given permission by the Hurricanes to talk to other NHL clubs a few weeks back.
According to the rumor mill, the Flyers, Devils, Blackhawks, and expansion Seattle Kraken could all be interested in the 6’6″, 229-pound puck-moving blueliner. And, last year, the two top contracts given out to unrestricted free agents went to defensemen Alex Pietrangelo (7 years, $61.6M) and Torey Krug (7 years, $45.5M).
Dougie Hamilton needs to be the Flyers' top priority this offseasonhttps://t.co/b9Llap6t17
— Ryan Gilbert (@RGilbertSOP) July 1, 2021
In all honesty, this looks like a sure bet. It’s not every day that NHL general managers can acquire a top-five guy on the blueline and given that all it will cost is money — and not draft picks and players — we expect Hamilton to land a long-term deal with an average of at least $8 million per season.
Signing a five-to-eight-year pact is critical for this wager as the value of all years of the contracts will be combined when assessing which player landed the largest payday.
The rich get richer
Gabriel Landeskog (+150) and the Avalanche both said publicly that they want to continue their business relationship, but general manager Joe Sakic is facing a cap squeeze. Goaltender Philipp Grubauer is a UFA after finishing third in Vezina voting and 22-year-old defenseman Cale Makar is a restricted free agent after placing second in Norris Trophy voting.
There’s a good chance the Colorado captain will provide a hometown discount after completing his seven-year, $39 million contracts, but even if he does switch teams, it’s difficult to imagine anyone paying the 28-year-old over $7M per year on a long-term deal.
What we’re hearing about the Avalanche offseason: Gabriel Landeskog talks quiet, Carl Soderberg heads home, more https://t.co/ADkNNmDMag
— Peter Baugh (@Peter_Baugh) July 2, 2021
Alex Ovechkin (+200) will see his 13-year, $124 million contracts with the Capitals officially end on July 28. Everyone around the league expects the soon-to-be-36-year-old to re-sign shortly after and while the average annual value (AAV) on the salary could be similar, it’s hard to imagine it coming in at anything more than five years.
Taylor Hall (+650) seems ready to take a pay cut after expressing a desire to return to Boston, so he’s an especially bad bet. At +1200, the aforementioned Philipp Grubauer is intriguing, however. It has only been two years since the Florida Panthers handed Sergei Bobrovsky a seven-year, $70 million contracts so there’s always a chance a team in desperate need of netminding spends big for the 29-year-old German. But that’s doubtful.
See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you: