Not even two years ago, Danny DeKeyser had a lot of freedom. As an undrafted free agent, he had the chance to pick any of the teams that were willing to offer him a contract. It's believed all 30 showed interest in the spring of 2012 after DeKeyser decided to leave Western Michigan after his junior year.

He picked the Detroit Red Wings, the team he loved growing up and the one closest to his hometown of Clay Township, Mich. Now he's a restricted free agent and his options are limited. Unless a team swooped in with an offer sheet, the Red Wings are the only team DeKeyser can play for in the NHL heading into next season. That means he has to play the waiting game without much leverage to speak of.

After finishing second on the Red Wings in average ice time as a rookie, DeKeyser has to know that he's not only an important part of the Red Wings present, but also its future.

The 24-year-old told Bob Duff of the Windsor Star that he is confident a deal will be done before camp, but the two sides are not close to a deal at this point.

“I watch all the contracts but it's hard to compare unrestricted free agents with restricted free agents as far as rights go,” DeKeyser said. “I think with a lot of restricted free agents it takes a little bit longer than with unrestricted guys just because there's not much room for guys (RFAs) to go anywhere.

“It just seems like it's a longer process.”

“It would be nice to figure something out long-term but we'll just have to see where everybody's at,” DeKeyser said.