By Ian Oland
Wednesday night, the Washington Capitals made a minor trade that gives the team more flexibility ahead of the expansion draft.
The Capitals traded a fifth-round selection in next year’s draft to the Minnesota Wild for forward Tyler Graovac. While the loss of another depth draft pick will sting — the team only has four selections in the 2017 NHL Draft (fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh round) — the trade appears to have been made to protect a valuable forward on the team.
Heading into this weekend, the Capitals would have had to expose two of these three forwards: third-line center Lars Eller, fourth-line center Jay Beagle, and first-round draft pick Tom Wilson. Now just one of those three will be exposed, along with Graovac.
Because Graovac played 52 games for Minnesota last season and is under contract for the 2017-18 season, the former Wild forward meets the qualifications for exposure for the 2017 Expansion Draft.
Player Exposure Requirements
* All Clubs must meet the following minimum requirements regarding players exposed for selection in the Expansion Draft:
i) One defenseman who is a) under contract in 2017-18 and b) played in 40 or more NHL games the prior season OR played in 70 or more NHL games in the prior two seasons.
ii) Two forwards who are a) under contract in 2017-18 and b) played in 40 or more NHL games the prior season OR played in 70 or more NHL games in the prior two seasons.
iii) One goaltender who is under contract in 2017-18 or will be a restricted free agent at the expiration of his current contract immediately prior to 2017-18. If the club elects to make a restricted free agent goaltender available in order to meet this requirement, that goaltender must have received his qualifying offer prior to the submission of the club’s protected list.
Because Brett Connolly is a restricted free agent and has not yet re-signed, he is not eligible to be one of the two required forwards. Connolly only fulfilled the games played requirement.
In Graovac, the Capitals acquire a player who does not compare favorably to an average NHL fourth line center, but gives the organization more depth overall at the pivot position.
Via Own the Puck.
More from the Capitals:
The Washington Capitals have acquired center Tyler Graovac from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Graovac, 24, registered nine points (7g, 2a) in 52 games with the Wild last season. The 6’5”, 212-pound center scored his first NHL goal in his 2016-17 season debut on Oct. 29 against Dallas and recorded his first NHL assist on Feb. 27 against Los Angeles. He made his NHL debut during the 2014-15 season on Dec. 29, 2014 at Winnipeg and has recorded nine points (7g, 2a) in 57 career NHL games with the Wild. Graovac was drafted by Minnesota in the seventh round, 191st overall, in the 2011 NHL Draft.
The Brampton. Ont., native earned 15 points (10g, 5a) in 26 games with the Iowa Wild (AHL) in 2016-17 and has recorded 102 points (49g, 53a) in 202 career AHL games with Iowa. Graovac set AHL career highs in goals (21), assists (25), points (46) and games played (73) during the 2014-15 season and led the Wild in points, goals, power-play goals (9) and game-winning goals (4).
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.