Quick Links

T.J. Oshie re-signs with Caps in long-term deal

T.J. Oshie re-signs with Caps in long-term deal

The Capitals won't have to worry about their biggest pending free agent anymore. T.J. Oshie signed an eight-year, $46 million contract that will carry a cap hit of $5.75 million per year to remain with Washington, the team announced Friday.

With one fan favorite on his way to Vegas in Nate Schmidt, the Capitals made sure to keep another fan favorite in Oshie. Acquired by the Caps in 2015 via a trade with the St. Louis Blues, Oshie was tied for the team lead in goals last season with 33. In two years with Washington, he has scored 59 goals and 107 points, solidifying his place as the right wing on the top line alongside Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.

“T.J. is an invaluable member of our team and we felt it was imperative for us to re-sign him in a competitive free agent market,” said general manager Brian MacLellan. “T.J. is a highly competitive player with a tremendous skill set; he epitomizes the kind of player our team must have in order for us to continue to put ourselves in a position to compete in this League.”

Re-signing Oshie is a bit of a surprise for a Capitals team that was facing major cap constraints this offseason. As one of the top free agents available, Oshie could certainly have made more money on the open market. Instead, the Caps managed to keep him with a very long-term deal.

At 30 years old, Oshie will be 38 years old when the new contract expires. So while the Capitals were able to sign him for less money than perhaps many expected, the tradeoff was a much longer contract.

With Oshie re-signed and the Evgeny Kuznetsov, Andre Burakovsky and Dmitry Orlov all restricted free agents in need of new deals, this likely means the end of Justin Williams and Karl Alzner's time in Washington.

MORE CAPITALS: Revisiting the 2012 draft: What's the grade for the Caps?

Quick Links

Revisiting the 2012 draft: Caps find value in volume of picks

Revisiting the 2012 draft: Caps find value in volume of picks

Every year as soon as the NHL draft is finished, everyone rushes to give their grades and their thoughts on what happened even though it is impossible to evaluate. Nobody knows how a team really did in a draft until time has passed. Players people project to be stars turn out to be busts while late-round picks end up surprising everybody.

As the Capitals prepare for the 2017 draft which will begin on Friday, let's take a look back five years to see how the 2012 draft panned out for Washington.

Filip Forsberg, forward, selected in the first round, 11th overall

Every Caps fan is of course well aware of the exploits of Forsberg whom the Caps traded for Martin Erat and Michael Latta, but that doesn't take away from the fact that he was a great draft pick. He has developed into one of Nashville's top offensive threats and certainly would be a top-six, probably top line player in Washington.

RELATED: Schmidt in Toronto? New report says Leafs interested

Tom Wilson, forward, selected in the first round, 16th overall

Wilson has not lived up to being the 16th overall pick offensively, but has proven himself to be an NHL player with his strong physical play. He also showed flashes of the potential the team saw in him in the 2017 postseason, especially in the first round against Toronto in which he was phenomenal. What makes him hard to evaluate as a draft pick is how his development was mishandled early in his career. Would he be a better player today if he had been sent back to his junior team in 2013-14 rather than stay in the NHL to play fewer than eight minutes a night? 

Chandler Stephenson, forward, selected in the third round, 77th overall

Stephenson has played in 13 NHL games and is still looking for his first point. This year could be a big year for him, however, as the Caps will be in need of depth forwards and I project he will spend the majority of the hockey season in Washington.

Thomas DiPauli, forward, selected in the fourth round, 100th overall

DiPauli was not signed by the Caps after the four-year deadline and became a free agent. He signed an entry-level deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the summer of 2016, but his first professional season was limited to just 21 games in the AHL due to injury. He has some offensive upside and was a very good college player in Notre Dame. Could he be the next rookie forward to shine with the Penguins?

Austin Wuthrich, forward, selected in the fourth round, 107th overall

After four years at Notre Dame, Wuthrich has spent the past two seasons in the ECHL.

Connor Carrick, defenseman, selected in the fifth round, 137th overall

Carrick was a surprise in training camp in 2013 and started the season with the Caps, playing in three games before being sent down to the AHL. He would be called up in January and stick with the team for the rest of the season. After that season, he struggled to stay in the Caps' lineup and did not play a single NHL game in 2014-15. He was traded to Toronto in 2016 as part of the package that sent Brooks Laich to the Leafs. Since then, he has been a regular in Toronto's lineup, but I have to wonder how much of that is due to a rebuilding defensive core. How big of a role Carrick will continue to have with the Leafs remains to be seen.

Riley Barber, forward, selected in the sixth round, 167th overall

Barber has played in three NHL games, but looks poised to compete for a spot with the Caps this year. His grinding style of play seems best suited for a fourth-line spot which is exactly where the Caps will need him.

Christian Djoos, defenseman, selected in the seventh round, 195th overall

Despite his small size, Djoos has shown he has NHL talent with a breakout year in Hershey last season. His size is the only thing really standing in his way and his chances of making his NHL debut this season got a heck of a lot better with Nate Schmidt leaving for Vegas in the expansion draft. General manager Brian MacLellan's comments seem to indicate both Djoos and Madison Bowey will be relied upon to have big roles next season. If he proves to be a reliable NHL defenseman, Djoos will be considered a late-round steal.

Jaynen Rissling, defenseman, selected in the seventh round, 197th overall

Rissling has spent the majority of his professional career in the ECHL. He played in five games in the AHL in 2014-15, but has not returned to that level since and seems unlikely to do so anytime soon.

Sergei Kostenko, goalie, selected in the seventh round, 203rd overall

Kostenko has played in nine ECHL games. He did not play at all in the 2013-14 season and has been playing in the VHL, Russia's minor league, ever since.

Other takeaways:

This draft reflects the enormity of the task the Caps face this season. Washington's first five picks in 2012 came before their first pick in 2017 (120). You can also see just how difficult it is to find value in the later rounds. All three of the Caps' first three picks have played in the NHL. Of the remaining seven players, only two have any NHL experience. The good news for Washington is that Stepehenson, Barber and Djoos are all likely to take on bigger roles this year.

Draft grade: B-

Amazingly, it still may be too early to fully grade this draft, but that's just the nature of hockey where it takes a great deal of time for most players to develop. What if Djoos turns into a top-four defenseman and Barber and Stephenson both thrive as bottom-six grinders? That would mean the Caps drafted six dependable NHL players. That is an impressive number of finds. One could also reasonably argue that Forsberg is the second best player in the entire draft. Snagging him 11th was a steal, even if he ended up thriving in Nashville rather than Washington. That's the good news. The bad news is that the Caps were no doubt hoping for more offensive production from Wilson when they took him 16th overall. While he may be an important piece in Washington, he has not delivered offensively.

What grade do you give the 2012 draft?

MORE CAPITALS: Mahoney suggests Djoos could compete for roster spot

Check out the latest episode of the Capitals Faceoff Podcast!

Like what you hear? Be sure to subscribe on Apple podcastsAudioboom and Google Play and give us a good review! Maybe we'll even read it on the air. For the latest Caps coverage be sure to follow @CSNCapitals@TarikCSN and @JJReganCSN on Twitter.

Quick Links

Caps re-sign Djoos, could he be a potential Schmidt replacement?

Caps re-sign Djoos, could he be a potential Schmidt replacement?

In the wake of losing Nate Schmidt to the Vegas expansion draft, the Capitals re-signed defensive prospect Christian Djoos to a two-year, $1.3 million contract with the Caps, Brian MacLellan announced Wednesday.

Re-signing Djoos, a restricted free agent, became a huge priority for Washington in the wake of the expansion draft. Djoos was expected to compete along with Madison Bowey for a spot on the NHL roster next season even before Schmidt's sudden departure. Now the team may find itself in need of both prospects to take on full-time roles next season.

RELATED: How do the Caps recover from the loss of Schmidt?

The Caps are returning Matt Niskanen, Dmitry Orlov and John Carlson next season, all who are expected to take top-three roles. Behind them are Brooks Orpik and Taylor Chorney. That gives the team only five defensemen when most teams carry seven.

Djoos, 22, showed he could be ready for the move up to the NHL with a 58-point season in Hershey. He is a great skater and tremendously skilled, but there are questions about his size. He is 6 feet tall and weighs only 164 pounds, putting him on the small side. Does he have the skill to make up for that lack of size? That is what the Caps will be asking themselves this offseason.

One other thing to consider si the fact that Djoos is no longer waiver exempt. he could prove to be a pretty tempting prospect for any teams if the Caps try to call him up or send him to the AHL. Wherever he starts at the beginning of the season, Washington or Hershey, is likely where he will stay.

MORE CAPITALS: MacLellan says prospects 'ready to make the jump' to replace Schmidt