According to The Fourth Period, Patrik Laine will explore all his options as a restricted free agent. This means he is open to offer sheets. However, The Fourth Period has not usually been a reliable source and it is comment to think that any high-end RFA would explore other options is a very normal course of thinking.
What are Laine’s options? He can sign a contract with the Winnipeg Jets or he can sign an offer sheet. He was no other options. He is 21 right now and does not have arbitration rights. He is four years away from unrestricted free agency and he has limited options to explore.
It should be noted that every off-season we get mentions of offer sheets and yet they rarely happen to the “big players” Instead, they rarely get an offer sheet and instead eventually sign with their team after a negotiation period. We will probably see this with Mitch Marner in Toronto as well even thought Darren Dreger speculated that the would go and visit other teams at a certain point.
The player with the Jets to really watch is Jacob Trouba who seems to have one foot out the door. The threat with Trouba to go to an offer sheet can easily be nullified by the Jets by filing for arbitration (unless I forgot and they filed against him last year). This is a tactic teams have used in the past and could use again.
In short: Laine has to sign with the Jets, sign an offer sheet, or go play in Europe. Trouba has more intriguing options, and the NHL has not had a major offer sheet for years.