With the July 1st free agency deadline come and gone, all 32 teams have an opportunity to look at their roster and assess their contract situation heading into the rest of the summer. As is tradition, some teams are laughing to the bank while others are staring down empty cupboards. Here are some of the winners of the 2024 NHL offseason (so far).

San Jose Sharks

General Manager Mike Grier walked into the draft on July 28th with a vision and has already appeared to deliver on said vision. Selecting Macklin Celebrini first overall was all but a formality, the real value came in what followed. Sam Dickinson from the London Knights may not have been the highest-ranked defender on most boards. At the 11th spot, it still remains as a very respectable building block for the future.

Igor Chernyshov and Leo Sahlin Wallenius round out the first two rounds, and the Sharks are already building a solid team through the draft. Grier also made some interesting adds through other means. Trading for Carl Grundstrom and signing two-time Stanley Cup winner Tyler Toffoli in an attempt to compete quickly. Will they? Only time will tell.

Calgary Flames

After the departure of Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkatchuk, Calgary found itself in a minor free fall. New General Manager Craig Conroy has seemed to right the ship, or at the very least taken them out of the crash course they were on. The Flames walked out of the draft with a shiny new piece of the rebuild in Zayne Parekh. As well as good value in the later rounds: Matvei Gridin (Russia), Andrew Basha (Medicine Hat), and Luke Misa (Saginaw).

As for free agency, southern Alberta was relatively quiet, making some low-risk signings like Jake Bean and Anthony Mantha. They also locked up breakout forward Yegor Sharagovich to a five-year deal. While not ready to contend for quite some time, Conroy has the makings of a subtle but solid turnaround in Calgary.

Minnesota Wild

Minnesota appeared to take the “quality over quantity” approach in the 2024 draft. Only possessing six picks but seemingly taking players with lots of upside. Trading up to select Zeev Buium, as well as Ryder Ritchie (Prince Albert), Chase Wutzke (Red Deer), and former touted number one pick Aron Kiviharju in the fourth round. On the contract front, GM Bill Guerin inked a handful of two-way deals day one of free agency. They also extended defenseman Jacob Middleton and forward Yakov Trenin, both not game-breaking but solid pieces.

Honorable Mentions

Edmonton Oilers

Despite having a mildly underwhelming draft (though Sam O’Reilly appears to be a fairly shrewd pick). Edmonton more than made up for it in free agency. Acting GM Jeff Jackson arguably cleaned up on July 1st. Retaining all of his pieces from the 2024 Finals run sans Warren Foegele and Vincent Desharnais, as well as adding Viktor Arvidsson and Jeff Skinner. The Oilers look poised to return to the final dance in back-to-back seasons, and may very well do so in dominant fashion.

Nashville Predators

Similarly to Edmonton, most (though a smaller percentage) of Nashville’s value over the last week came in free agency; the Predators, though, went big game hunting. Steven Stamkos, Jonathan Marchessault, and Brady Skjei headline the UFA class while Yegor Surin, Teddy Stiga, and Miguel Marques help make up a pretty tidy draft group. Barry Trotz and his group may have some steps to take, and their window may be shorter than most, but it’s a bold swing and the league has to respect that.

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