Coming off an impressive first full season in Washington, Evgeny Kuznetsov has scored a new deal.
On Monday, the Caps announced they’d signed Kuznetsov to a two-year, $6 million extension with an average annual cap hit of $3M. The deal allows the two sides to avoid arbitration — the Caps had until today to file — and comes after the 23-year-old put together a solid rookie campaign, notching 11 goals and 37 points in 80 games to finish ninth among first-year players in scoring.
Kuznetsov, who was an RFA, was carrying a $900,000 cap hit on his old deal.
The move is just the latest from Caps GM Brian McLellan, who’s been a busy man of late. He made a splash in free agency by acquiring former Conn Smythe Trophy winner Justin Williams, then orchestrated the T.J. Oshie trade shortly thereafter.
Previously, MacLellan suggested that Williams and Kuznetsov would play together on a line next season, along with Andre Burakowsky.
As for what’s up next — the Caps still need to reach new deals with two other RFAs: Braden Holtby and Marcus Johansson.
A total of 23 players have filed for arbitration, according to a list unveiled by the National Hockey League Players’ Association.
Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby along with Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist and Rangers’ Derek Stepan are part of the list released on Sunday.
The deadline for club-elected arbitration is Monday at 5 p.m. ET. Salary Arbitration hearings will be held from July 20 to August 4.
Here is the complete list of players who have filed:
Detroit Red Wings
New Jersey Devils
New York Rangers
Michael Del Zotto
St. Louis Blues
The Washington Capitals have agreed to a one-year, two-way contract with Dan Ellis, per the team’s website.
Ellis is a veteran of 212 career NHL games. The 35-year-old netminder posted a 2.35 GAA and .914 save percentage in eight contests with the Florida Panthers in 2014-15. He also had a 2.71 GAA and .904 save percentage in 37 AHL contests.
He’ll probably start the campaign competing for playing time in the minors with another veteran goaltender in Justin Peters. Meanwhile 25-year-old Braden Holtby and 23-year-old Philipp Grubauer are projected to begin the 2015-16 season as the Capitals’ starting and backup netminders respectively.
Due in part to the youth of the Capitals’ top two goalies, the projected AHL tandem has logged more NHL games than their Washington counterparts.
Washington has already had a busy summer with the signing of Justin Williams and acquisition of T.J. Oshie, but the team isn’t finished yet. It still needs to come to terms with restricted free agents Marcus Johansson, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Holtby.