By Rachel Cohen
The Capitals announced on Monday morning that they had re-signed backup goaltender Pheonix Copley to a three-year contract worth $3.3 million. His cap hit per year will be $1.1 million.
Copley has done well in a backup role this season for Washington. In 19 appearances, the North Pole, Alaska native owns a 10-5-3 record with a 2.98 goals against average and a .903 save percentage.
THREE MORE YEARS FOR @PheonixCopley! #ALLCAPS
The Washington Capitals have re-signed goaltender Pheonix Copley to a three-year, $3.3 million contract extension
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— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 4, 2019
Copley’s new deal likely blocks AHL All-Star Vitek Vanecek and 2015 first-round pick Ilya Samsonov from the NHL next season unless there is a trade or an injury. Recently, Brian MacLellan told reporters he expected Samsonov to be in the AHL next season.
“I think he’s pretty much continually gotten better,” MacLellan said of Copley to the Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan. “You watch him work in practice, you watch what [goaltending coach Scott Murray] does — I mean I talk to Scott constantly on where’s he at, where’s he going — and there’s a comfort level with him that he’s not going to get worse. He’s going to get better.”
The new deal extends Copley two years past Braden Holtby, who is an unrestricted free agent after the 2019-20 season concludes. It also will allow Copley to potentially be exposed in an expansion draft involving the new Seattle franchise.
Copley was originally signed to a two-year entry-level contract by the Capitals in 2014, before being traded to the St. Louis Blues with Troy Brouwer and a third-round draft pick for TJ Oshie in July of 2015. He was then traded back to the Capitals with Kevin Shattenkirk in 2017 at the trade deadline for Zach Sanford, Brad Malone, a 2017 first-round pick, and a conditional second-round pick in 2019.
More from the Caps:
The Washington Capitals have re-signed goaltender Pheonix Copley to a three-year, $3.3 million contract extension, with an average annual value of $1.1 million, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
This season, the North Pole, Alaska, native has posted a record of 10-5-3 with a 2.98 goals against average and a .903 save percentage. The 6’4”, 200-pound goaltender has allowed two goals or fewer in 10 of his 19 appearances. Additionally, Copley went on a seven game unbeaten streak (6-0-1) from Nov. 24 through Jan. 9, the longest stretch by a Capitals goaltender this year.
In 21 career NHL games, Copley is 10-6-3 with a 3.08 goals against average and a .898 save percentage. Copley made his NHL debut on Feb. 27, 2016 as a member of the St. Louis Blues at Nashville and made 24 saves in his first career NHL start on Jan. 21, 2017 at Winnipeg.
The Capitals acquired Copley from the Blues on Feb. 27, 2017.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong
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