Jack Hillen

Caps give d-man Hillen a two-year, $1.4 million extension


The Washington Capitals have re-signed defenseman Jack Hillen to a two-year, $1.4 million contract extension, the club announced today.

Hillen has one assist in 10 games this season. The 26-year-old missed 25 games with a shoulder injury that he suffered in January.

Clearly, Hillen has been doing something right in coach Adam Oates’ eyes. On Saturday, Hillen played 25:19 in a 4-3 shootout win in Buffalo.


In other news out of Washington today — which is shaping up to be a pretty busy one — the Caps also acquired minor-leaguer Dane Byers from Edmonton in exchange for Garrett Stafford.

That’s the second AHL deal the Caps swung today. Earlier, they re-acquired Joel Rechlicz from Phoenix in exchange for Matthew Clackson.

The Caps also signed University of Minnesota defenseman Nate Schmidt to a two-year entry-level contract on Tuesday.

After healthy scratch, Severson vows to play ‘next 80 games’

Jimmy Hayes, Damon Severson
Leave a comment

Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.

It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.

“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”

Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.

Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.

Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.

“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”

Virtanen to make NHL debut tonight versus Kings

Jake Virtanen
1 Comment

Jake Virtanen, the sixth overall pick in the 2014 draft, will make his NHL debut tonight when his Canucks meet the Kings in Los Angeles.

The 19-year-old winger was a healthy scratch for Vancouver’s first three games of the regular season. He had two goals and two assists in six preseason games.

“I can’t wait,” he told reporters. “My energy is high. I want to get a couple of hits on my first shift.”

Big and physical with goal-scoring ability, the consensus is that Virtanen will remain in the NHL and not be returned to junior after he’s played nine games. That consensus could always change based on his play, of course.

The Canucks — who won last night in Anaheim — did not have a full skate this morning, so it’s unclear who will come out of the lineup. The best guess is rookie Jared McCann, who’s been playing third-line center.

If McCann does come out, the Canucks could move Brandon Sutter to third-line center and Virtanen could take Sutter’s spot on the first line with the Sedin twins. Or, there could be more extensive line juggling.