ARLINGTON, Va. — The Washington Capitals took care of their greatest remaining low season precedence Tuesday by re-signing winger Jakub Vrana to a $6.7 million, two-year contract.
Vrana had been a restricted free agent and can rely $three.35 million towards the wage cap in every of the following two seasons. Locking him in at that value on a bridge deal may enable Washington to re-sign centre Nicklas Backstrom and goaltender Braden Holtby earlier than both core participant turns into a free agent subsequent summer season.
Washington Capitals Jakub Vrana celebrates (AP Picture/Nick Wass)
The 23-year-old Vrana set profession highs with 24 targets, 23 assists and 47 factors final season. The 2014 first-round decide is an enormous piece of the Capitals making an attempt to maintain their championship window open after successful the Stanley Cup in 2018.
“Jakub is a extremely expert participant with an incredible upside and is an enormous a part of our future,” basic supervisor Brian MacLellan mentioned. “We’re happy together with his growth the previous two seasons and are wanting ahead for him to proceed to develop and attain his full potential with our group.”
The Czech has 80 factors in 176 NHL regular-season video games. Vrana had three targets and 5 assists in the course of the Cup run and scored first within the title-clinching Recreation 5 within the remaining at Vegas.
Continued Growth Is Important
MacLellan mentioned after this previous season that Vrana’s progress was a part of the Capitals’ means to not lose a step after successful a championship. Subsequent season shall be one other problem, with Washington relying on Vrana to proceed growing his manufacturing.
Crucial factor is to “keep constant and play good each recreation and get higher,” Vrana mentioned in April. “Each season is an efficient expertise. Both you find yourself successful the Stanley Cup, or for those who lose like we did within the first spherical, it’s life. You can’t take the time again. It solely could make you stronger and higher.”
Washington Capitals left wing Jakub Vrana (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports activities)
Cap-strapped Washington nonetheless has to re-sign restricted free agent defenceman Christian Djoos and ahead Chandler Stephenson — each have wage arbitration hearings scheduled. The Capitals have slightly below $1 million in cap house remaining.
Backstrom and Holtby can turn into unrestricted free brokers after subsequent season, though it’s doable each may signal long-term extensions earlier than hitting the open market. Prime goaltending prospect Ilya Samsonov is shut to creating the NHL.
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Stephen Whyno, The Related Press