The Washington Capitals made a small move on Wednesday night that could remove one potential headache for the upcoming expansion draft.
The team acquired forward Tyler Graovac from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for a 2018 fifth-round draft pick. The 24-year-old Graovac appeared in 52 games for the Wild this past season, scoring seven goals to go with two assists.
What this trade might do more than anything else is give the Capitals another forward to leave unprotected in the expansion draft and allow them to protect someone like Lars Eller. There had been a belief in recent days that the Capitals might have to leave him unprotected to satisfy the expansion draft requirements. That would have made him an intriguing option for the Vegas Golden Knights.
Graovac was selected by the Wild in the seventh-round of the 2011 NHL draft (No. 191 overall). In 57 career games over parts of three seasons he has scored seven goals. He is signed for the 2017-18 season at a salary cap hit of $625,000 (via CapFriendly).
The Wild now have seven picks in the 2018 draft, including two in the fifth-round. They traded their second-round pick that season to the Arizona Coyotes in the Martin Hanzal trade this past season.