Niederreiter, 30 in September, may be the most affordable player on this list. The 2010 5th overall pick put up 44 points (20 goals and 24 assists) in 75 games this season, while averaging 14:20 a night playing on line three for the Metropolitan Division-winning Carolina Hurricanes.
Niederreiter has a knack for getting into the high danger scoring areas and putting pucks on net. According to the data on Moneypuck, his 34 high danger chances put him in the top-30 among NHL forwards, ahead of many of the leagues best players. His in close, net-front oriented play has resulted in 20+ goals for him in 6 of his 10 NHL seasons.
Niederreiter’s offensive prowess combined with his defensive zone awareness resulted in a 67.3% on ice goals, putting him 20th among forwards with 250+ minutes of ice time. Meaning that a little over 2/3 of the goals scored while he was on the ice was by his team, which has been consistent through most of his career.
However, Niederreiter’s offensive play typically falls off come playoff time. In his previous five postseason campaigns he only produced eight points in 39 games. Things have picked up for him this postseason, tallying four goals and one assist through 12 games. He is a very offensive-minded player, with a wicked shot and the tendency to use it, however, it does come at a defensive cost, as he had 30 more giveaways than takeaways.
Niederreiter is coming off a five-year contract that saw him making $5.25 million per season.
Realistically, he will get a contract with a cap hit in the $4 million range for a three or four year deal. A dynamic net front presence who also has a sniper mentality is hard to come by in the NHL, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a plethora of suitors drawing the asking price from his camp even higher.