Caps reload for Season 31

Wheelin' and dealin' pays dividends for Washington

The Washington Capitals had a busy off-season after a quick exit from the playoffs. The Metropolitan division is the toughest in the league and we needed to shake things up. The team was retooled for season 31 by making some personnel changes in getting younger and more skilled. All available options were maximized: entry draft, trade market, free agency, waiver draft, and farm call-ups.

Entry Draft

The Caps made six selections from the 2018 NHL entry draft coincidentally only from odd numbered rounds of the draft (rounds 1, 3, and 5). Most notable from the new recruits is winger Martin Kaut who has already played in nine NHL games with the Colorado Avalanche.

Trade Market

Five trades were made during the draft – with the St. Louis Blues, Carolina Hurricanes, San Jose Sharks (2x), and Montreal Canadiens – which helped to re-stock some draft picks and add key players. Those acquired include Ben Hutton, Ondrej Palat, and Devon Toews, while Nick Paul left.

Following the draft, the Caps inked three deals – with the Florida Panthers, New Jersey Devils, and Chicago Blackhawks – that led to the departure of Patric Hornqvist, Mikko Koivu, Craig Anderson, and Erik Gustafsson. Mike Smith returned to the District of Columbia in one of the moves.

Altogether, these moves made the team younger, created roster space, and balanced out the cap.

Free Agency

Two young free agents were signed by the Caps – defenceman Cam Lee and goaltender Kyle Keyser – which provided organizational depth for the Hershey Bears. We were also in contention for a seasoned free agent.

Waiver Draft

Washington picked-up forward Joakim Nygard while losing two Bears, Buddy Robinson and Kevin Connauton.


Three players – Nick Suzuki, Madison Bowey, and Christian Wolanin – were promoted to the big league. Suzuki was playing an important role upfront prior to his injury (collecting 7 points in 13 games played), while both Bowey and Wolanin are providing depth on the backend.

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