The RFA interview period is officially open
It appears teams are showing interest in Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor and Carolina Hurricanes centre Sebastian Aho, according to TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun.
LeBrun reports that despite both Connor and Aho having the intent to sign a new contract with their current teams this summer, interested clubs started to reach out on Wednesday, the first day of the restricted free agent speaking period.
Connor, who was selected 17th overall by the Jets in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, scored a career-high 34 goals and added a career-high 32 assists over 82 games in 2018-19, his third season in the NHL. The 22-year-old added three goals and two assists in just six playoff games as Winnipeg was eliminated in the first round by the eventual Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues.
It was the second season in a row the American scored 30-plus goals, netting 31 in his sophomore campaign in 2017-18.
Aho, 21, also scored a career-high 30 goals and a career-high 53 assists over 82 games with the Canes in 2018-19. He added five goals and seven assists in 15 playoff games.
The native of Finland has scored at least 24 goals in each of his three seasons after Carolina selected him in the second round of the 2015 NHL Draft.
According to TSN's Frank Seravalli, the initial ask from Aho's camp was for five years with an average annual value in the range of $9.5 million.
Seravalli also reports that the Philadelphia Flyers are not "anywhere close to signing" restricted free agent defenceman Ivan Provorov. The 22-year-old Russian scored seven goals and 19 assists with the Flyers in 2018-19, a year after lighting the lamp 17 times during his sophomore campaign.
"Like a lot of RFAs, sense is he'll be patient and wait for market to develop," adds Seravalli.