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Top 15 Biggest Potential NHL Free Agents Going Into 2017-2018

National Hockey League players and General Managers will undoubtedly be hearing the sound of cash registers as July 1st 2017 hits. This past year saw teams spend in excess of $300 million dollars within the first twenty minutes after unrestricted free agents could be signed. What does the coming year have in store, as a number of credible and successful players will be available? It is an interesting crop of players; some are known for the championships they've won either in the NHL or internationally, while others are on the cusp of greatness, still under the age of 30 with room to grow. There are also players that, though they may not have won a championship, offer leadership that is valuable to a young team, to help steer the ship in the right direction, a concern the Edmonton Oilers have had over the past few seasons.

More questions will arise as to whether those that are on the verge of leaving their current teams will leave for more money or better opportunity. It is a gamble that not only the teams are making, but one the players are making in the hopes that the decision goes smoothly for all involved.

15 T.J. Oshie

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

14 Shane Doan

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

13 Chris Kunitz

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

12 Brian Elliott

Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

11 Cody Franson

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

10 Jaromir Jagr

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

9 Brent Burns

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

8 Jarome Iginla

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

7 Brad Marchand

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

6 Jonathan Huberdeau

Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

5 Patrick Sharp

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

4 Artemi Panarin

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

3 Ben Bishop

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2 Joe Thornton

John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

1 Kevin Shattenkirk

Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

It isn't clear why it has got to this point, but Shattenkirk appears to be headed for Free Agency. It seems St. Louis are not willing to retain this all-star and core player as he enters free agency. Shattenkirk's current salary is earning him $4.3 million annually. He has a career total of 242 career points in just over 410 games, averaging just under half a point per game as a defenceman. What appears to be the most glaring was he was –14 for the season, and –8 for the playoffs. At 27 years of age, Shattenkirk will be in great demand, with teams already speculated to be poking around and making him their top priority. The value of a puck moving defensemen cannot be understated, especially in today's NHL. Shattenkirk remains the cream of the crop and will surely earn a king's ransom on the open market, if it gets to that point.

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Top 15 Biggest Potential NHL Free Agents Going Into 2017-2018