The Washington Capitals locked up one of their key depth players to a long-term contract extension on Saturday afternoon by announcing a five-year, $17.5 million deal with veteran forward Lars Eller.
Eller, 28, has been with the Capitals since the start of the 2016-17 season after coming over in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens.
In his time with the Capitals he has scored 23 goals and added 30 assists in 134 regular season games.
Over the course of his career his production has been remarkably consistent and can be counted on to score around 12-15 goals and record 25-28 points as a third-line center. The salary cap hit of $3.5 million per season is a pretty fair deal for what Eller provides (it is also identical to the salary cap hit he has on his current contract), but the term of the contract could be a concern in the future. The contract will run through Eller’s age 34 season and while he is a really good depth player now, will he still over that same level of production into his 30s?
That is a question the Capitals will find out the answer to in the future.
In the meantime the Capitals now have a lot of their key players locked in place for the next few years, with Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, T.J. Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Eller, Matt Niskanen, Dmitry Orlov and Braden Holtby all signed for at least the next three years (and some of them well beyond that).
They still need to come to terms with potential unrestricted free agent John Carlson if they plan on keeping him beyond this season. Forward Tom Wilson is also eligible for restricted free agency after this season.