NHL Salary Cap Topics > Unrestricted Free Agents (UFA)

Unrestricted Free Agents (UFA)

Unrestricted Free Agents (UFA)

UFA's are free to sign with any team, and their previous team receives no compensation.  UFA's cannot sign contracts with new teams until July 1 at 12pm Eastern.

Group 3 UFA

This is the most common type of UFA.  A player becomes an Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA) if their current contract ends after either 7 Accrued Seasons or they are 27 or older as of June 30. 

An Accrued Season is defined as a year in which a skater is on an NHL roster for at least 40 games (30 games for Goalies).  If a player is on the NHL team's roster but injured, the team's games count towards the 40 game minimum. 

Group 6 UFA

A player becomes a Group 6 UFA if they are 25, completed 3 or more professional seasons, has a contract expiring, and has played less than 80 NHL Games.  For goalies, this is 28 NHL games with more than 30 minutes of ice time.  

A Professional Season is defined as any season where a player aged 18-19 plays in 11 or more Professional Games, and a player 20 or older plays 1 or more Professional Games.  A Professional Game is a regular season or playoff game in the NHL, minor league (AHL/ECHL), or European professional while under an NHL contract.

Non-Qualified RFA's

If a player who is a Restricted Free Agent (RFA) does not receive a Qualifying Offer by their team June 25 at 5pm Eastern, they become a UFA and are free to sign with any team on July 1. 

Undrafted UFA's

A player who is no longer eligible for the Entry Draft, or who was eligible but not selected, becomes a UFA.  

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