Billy Hartung heads a list of four out-of-contract Hawks who will have their fate decided in the next fortnight as the club plan to take three picks into November's national draft.
Hartung, Jonathan O'Rourke, Kurt Heatherley and Kade Stewart are in limbo as the Hawks work through their list needs following a quiet trade period.
List manager Graham Wright has indicated that they will retain two or three of the unsigned players and use selections 43, 67 and 75 in the draft.
Hartung, 22, is the most experienced of the group, having played 63 games for the Hawks.
He just missed out on being selected in the 2015 premiership team and remains unsigned despite playing 18 games in 2017, the third season in succession he has played at least that many games.
The speedster will have to endure a nervous wait to see whether the Hawks retain him or he ends up seeking a club through the delisted free-agency period that starts on November 1.
A strong runner, Hartung could be an attractive prospect for clubs seeking a player to break the lines.
O'Rourke is expected to remain on the list for one more season after failing to play a senior game in his third year at the Hawks because of a hamstring problem.
Heatherley and Stewart expect to know more about their chances of being retained in the next few days.
"It's a difficult time for them but we just need to work out list spots and list management and how we get everyone in and under the cap," Wright told hawthorn.com.au.
Hawthorn gained Port Adelaide's Jarman Impey in the trade period and facilitated club champion Luke Hodge's career-extending switch to the Brisbane Lions when they finally conceded to trading him for selection 75 and a pick swap in the third round.
They are also considering whether to add Devlin Brereton, the son of Hawthorn great Dermott Brereton, to their list as a father-son.
Collingwood is waiting on a medical update on Ben Sinclair before deciding whether he continues, while Jackson Ramsay remains unsigned.
The Pies got running defender Sam Murray from the Swans on Thursday in a deal in which they traded future picks as they prepare for the possibility of adding father-son Will Kelly and next-generation academy member Isaac Quaynor to their list for 2019.
Essendon are likely to offer Josh Green a contract for 2018 after he impressed in his first season with the club, kicking 17 goals as a lively small forward while Richmond remain undecided on the future of Ben Lennon, who was selection 12 in the 2013 national draft.