Trade: Caps acquire Erat from Nashville for Forsberg

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The Washington Capitals provided the most suspenseful moments on Wednesday, announcing they’d acquired Nashville forward Martin Erat nearly two hours after the trade deadline had passed.

In exchange, Washington has sent Filip Forsberg — the club’s first-round pick (11th overall) at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft — to the Preds.

The Caps will also receive AHL forward Michael Latta in addition to Erat.

Erat, 31, has been a steady scorer for the Preds over the course of his 11-year career, all spent in Nashville. Last year, he recorded a career-high 58 points and currently sits tied for the team lead in scoring this season, with 21 points.

He has two years remaining on the seven-year, $31 million deal signed with the Preds in 2008. He has an average annual cap hit of $4.5 million, and waived his no-trade clause to join the Caps.

Update: According to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, Erat asked for a trade out of Nashville and gave the organization a list of 10 teams where he was willing to move.

While a big pickup for Washington’s current roster — they add a talented player without subtracting anything — the move will likely cause some stir in Washington, as Forsberg was regarded as one of the organization’s best prospects.

He was NHL Central Scouting’s highest-rated European forward heading into the ’12 draft, and twice represented Team Sweden at the World Junior tournament.

At the ’13 tourney, he was named to the All-Star team after losing to Team USA in the gold medal game.