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Elite Sports NY previews the NHL unrestricted free-agent class of 2016.

Where does the NHL unrestricted free-agent class of 2016 stand now, as the window to sign these players officially opens? Well, there are still an ample amount of skilled forwards available, despite Steven Stamkos re-signing with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

All information courtesy of Hockey DB, Hockey Forecaster and Spotrac.

1. Steven Stamkos, C (Signed with Tampa Bay, 8 yr(s)/$68M)

6-foot-1, 194 pounds… very good skater with impressive hand-eye coordination… deadly one-timer… solid two-way player with enough grit and aggression to keep opponents honest… tallied 36 goals and 28 assists in 77 games with Tampa Bay… needs improvement in faceoff circle… needs to limit scoring slumps.

2. Kyle Okposo, RW

6-foot-0, 217 pounds… terrific scoring ability… can play a big man’s game… lethal shot and good nose for net… tallied 22 goals and 42 assists in 79 games for New York Islanders… durability is a concern… average to below-average in defensive zone.

3. Milan Lucic, LW

6-foot-3, 233 pounds… outstanding size and strength… can be nasty presence… not afraid to drop gloves… prototypical power forward… tallied 20 goals and 35 assists in 81 games for Los Angeles… average skater… occasionally too aggressive… not a natural goal-scorer.

4. David Backes, C

6-foot-3, 221 pounds… plays tremendous two-way game… owns size and hockey sense… plenty of grit and determination… versatile… tallied 21 goals and 24 assists for St. Louis… occasionally caught out of position… scoring lacks consistency.

5. Frans Nielsen, C

6-foot-1, 188 pounds… wealth of two-way ability… owns setup skills and playmaking prowess… makes his linemates better… asset on both special teams… tallied 20 goals and 32 assists in 81 games for New York Islanders… has dealt with injury concerns… sometimes too selfless.

6. Keith Yandle, D (Signed with Florida, 7 yr(s)/$44.45M)

6-foot-1, 196 pounds… explosive skater… superior offensive instincts… lethal shot… capable of manning point on power play… good competitor… tallied 5 goals and 42 assists (-4 +/- rating) in 82 games for New York Rangers… below-average without puck… tendency to make bad decisions when pressured.

7. Andrew Ladd, LW

6-foot-3, 200 pounds… good size with toughness and plenty of grit… good team player… some offensive prowess… tallied 25 goals and 21 assists in 78 games for Chicago Blackhawks… complementary forward at best… isn’t great at any single thing.

8. Dan Hamhuis, D

6-foot-1, 209 pounds… can log big minutes and play a shutdown role… good puck mover… loads of hockey sense… tallied 3 goals and 10 assists (-2 +/- rating) in 58 games for Vancouver… isn’t physical enough… lacks ideal size… limited contributer in offensive zone.

9. Brian Campbell, D

5-foot-10, 192 pounds… swift, creative and intelligent with the puck on his blade… can quarterback a power play… leadership capabilities… tallied 6 goals and 25 assists (+31 +/- rating) for Florida… can easily get knocked off the puck… below-average in defensive zone… isn’t consistent hitter.

10. Kris Russell, D

5-foot-10, 170 pounds… tremendous shot-blocker… adequate offensive acumen… moves the puck with aplomb… tallied 4 goals and 15 assists (-5 +/- rating) with Dallas… owns a lack of size and strength… prone to occasional mental lapses… lacks offensive consistency.

11. Shane Doan, RW

6-foot-1, 223 pounds… unafraid to throw around body… extremely durable… excellent two-way player… remarkably loyal with team-first attitude… tallied 28 goals and 19 assists in 72 games with Arizona… inconsistent goal-scorer… average skater… declining game.

12. Eric Staal, C

6-foot-4, 205 pounds… natural goal-scorer… great size and reach… decent speed… can play a complete game… tallied 13 goals and 26 assists in 83 games with New York Rangers… streaky scorer… inconsistent faceoff guy… in decline.

13. Mikkel Boedker, RW

6-foot-0, 211 pounds… sound two-way player… fantastic speed… versatile… legitimate offensive threat… tallied 17 goals and 34 assists in 80 games with Colorado… somewhat injury-prone… needs to be more selfish and shoot puck.

14. Jiri Hudler, RW

5-foot-10, 183 pounds… tremendous offensive instincts and creativity… sharpshooter with pinpoint accuracy… versatile… fan-favorite… tallied 16 goals and 30 assists in 72 games with Florida… streaky… below-average defensively… smallish.

15. Radim Vrbata, RW

6-foot-1, 194 pounds… possesses full package of offensive tools… right place at right time kind of player… tallied 13 goals and 14 assists in 63 games with Vancouver… lacks upper-body strength… lacks game-to-game consistency… can be tough to play with.

16. James Reimer, G

6-foot-2, 217 pounds… owns good size… calm and poised… commendable flexibility… neat catching mitt… hard worker… 17-14-7 with a 2.31 GAA and .922 SV% in 40 games with San Jose… prone to giving up the occasional weak goal… hasn’t displayed ability to play 60-plus games.

17. Lee Stempniak, RW

5-foot-11, 195 pounds… above-average on special teams, power play included… sneaky wrister… versatile… scoring acumen… tallied 19 goals and 32 assists in 82 games with Boston… weak without puck… somewhat undersized… too streaky.

18. Karri Ramo, G

6-foot-2, 206 pounds… excellent size… mature… cool as a cucumber… 17-18-1 with a 2.63 GAA and .909 SV% in 37 games with Calgary… extremely inconsistent.

19. Troy Brouwer, RW

6-foot-3, 213 pounds… size and scoring ability combo… punishing body checker… compliments skill players… tallied 18 goals and 21 assists in 82 games with St. Louis… inconsistent… weak skater.

20. Alexander Radulov, RW

6-foot-1, 200 pounds… excellent shiftiness… ability to finish… can dangle very well… spent a large chunk of time in KHL… confident with puck… lacks intensity and desire to be the best.

21. Alex Goligoski, D (Signed with Arizona, 5 yr(s)/$27.375M)
22. Teddy Purcell, RW
23. David Perron, LW
24. Luke Schenn, D
25. Matt Martin, LW
26. Jamie McGinn, LW
27. Dale Weise, RW
28. Cam Ward, G (Signed with Carolina, 2 yr(s)/$6.6M)
29. Tom Gilbert, D
30. Jason Demers, D

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