Sunday, August 26, 2007

Pool Worthy Restricted Free Agents

In a mock draft conducted (30 teams, 14 players, points from last season), There were only three Restricted Free Agents left on the list of the 420 players chosen. Now, that isn't to say that they'd actually be taken in the real draft, especially with all the young names popping up, but have a look for yourself. Going into the final weeks before training camp, you might see someone you'd have a little higher on your list than some other people. A little bit of "Buyer Beware" from the Opiated Sherpa.

Jussi Jokinen, F
Jokinen remains unsigned with only a couple weeks left to go before camp opens. Opting not to go to arbitration surely helps his standing with the club. He finished last season with 48 points in all 82 games and that ranked him 159th in pool rankings. His pay range should be in the $1.2 - $1.9 million range. The Stars have plenty of room to move, which also gives some hope to Jokinen, who was a marvel in the shootouts in his first two seasons with the team. In a mock draft, he was taken in the 6th round and I would imagine he'd finish around there come September 20th.

Keith Ballard, D
Taken in the 11th round of the mock draft, Keith Ballard is still without a contract with the Phoenix Coyotes. Every indication is that he is working out a long-term deal with the club. With a couple of immediate comparisons to last season's numbers, Barret Jackman, who is making $2.2 million, should be in the ballpark for when Ballard talks numbers. Of course, the Coyotes have all sorts of cap room, so no one should really panic.

Mark Giordano, D
The Flames are still in need of signing one more defenseman. Mark Giordano was a final round pick, who wouldn't necessarily be picked in the pool if we weren't in Calgary. Giordano only managed 15 points last season, but when you get that deep into defensemen, you might want to gamble on a young defenseman. The Flames already have six solid defensemen signed to deals, so there isn't much of a rush for the team to sign the young defender.

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