By Ian Oland
The Washington Capitals have traded goaltender Philipp Grubauer and defenseman Brooks Orpik to the Colorado Avalanche for a second round pick, 47th-overall, from the Colorado Avalanche in the 2018 NHL Draft.
The trade of Orpik, 37, will open up cap space so the Capitals can re-sign John Carlson. Orpik, who is going into the final year of his five-year deal, has a cap hit of $5.5 million. Without Grubauer, the Capitals now have room to slot first-round pick Ilya Samsonov into the lineup in Hershey. Bears starter Pheonix Copley will likely backup Braden Holtby in Washington next season.
TRADES ARE HAPPENING #NHLDraft
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Grubauer, a restricted free agent, is coming off a one-year deal which earned him $1.5 million.
Over the last two seasons, Grubauer saved 1422 of 1538 shots over 59 games. His .925 all-strength save percentage ranks him fourth among all goalies with at least 50 games played over the span. According to Corsica, Grubauer saved 5-on-5 shots at a rate two points higher than expected based on the quality of shots he faced — placing him in a virtual tie with Sergei Bobrovsky.
Grubauer was the backup goalie behind Braden Holtby during the team’s 2016-17 Jennings-winning campaign. Holtby stumbled in 2017-18, and Grubauer began taking most starts in late February, including games one and two of the playoffs. Holtby took over the net for game three and did not give it back.
Orpik, a controversial signing four years ago, was a part of the Capitals leadership committee and helped push the Capitals to a Stanley Cup in 2018. Orpik’s declining play forced him into a minimized role on the third pairing after the first year of his deal, but he stepped up his play in the 2018 postseason while paired with Christian Djoos.
More from the Capitals:
The Washington Capitals have acquired a second round pick, 47th-overall, from the Colorado Avalanche in the 2018 NHL Draft in exchange for defenseman Brooks Orpik and Philipp Grubauer, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
“We would like to thank Brooks and Philipp for all of their contributions to our organization,” said MacLellan. “Philipp has been a consummate professional and a great teammate and we wish him all the best. Brooks was a great leader and a tremendous role model for our young players in his four years with our organization. This was a difficult move, but the one we felt we needed to make in order to give some flexibility moving forward.”
Orpik, 37, registered 10 points (10 assists) in 81 games with the Capitals last season. The 6’3″, 217-pound defenseman has recorded 53 points (3 goals, 50 assists) and 830 hits in 279 games with the Capitals. He was signed by Washington on July 1, 2014.
Grubauer, 26, recorded a 15-10-3 record in 35 games with the Capitals last season, a 2.35 goals against average and a .923 save percentage. The 6’1″, 191-pound goaltender has a 43-31-11 record in 101 career NHL games (all with the Capitals), a 2.29 goals against average and a .923 save percentage. Grubauer was selected by Washington with the 112th pick in the 2014 NHL Draft.
Read more: Report: Colorado Avalanche to buy out Brooks Orpik or trade him to ‘preferred spot’
Report: Capitals took a worse draft pick so Philipp Grubauer would play in Western Conference
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