The Capitals have announced that they have traded forward Chandler Stephenson to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for a fifth round pick in 2021.
Update, 10:20 PM: The Capitals have confirmed the details of the trade, earlier announced by Elliotte Friedman.
It’s been rumoured all night but LV will be acquiring Chandler Stephenson from WASH
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) December 3, 2019
Stephenson, 25, played 168 games for the Capitals since 2015-16. He played 24 games for the team during their 2018 Stanley Cup postseason. Stephenson was held out of Monday practice in San Jose for a “pending transaction.”
Offense has long been Stephenson’s weakness. He had a lower shot rate than nearly any NHL player in 2018-19. Though he has made big improvements in his offense this season, he still has the worst impact on the team’s puck possession among all Caps forwards except for Evgeny Kuznetsov.
Stephenson’s $1.05 million cap hit may have been a factor. As the Caps’ health improves (Hagelin, Backstrom), the team is under increasing salary-cap pressure. With Dowd, Hathaway, Boyd, and Leipsic all viable fourth line options at similar or lowest costs, Stephenson became unfortunately expendable. He now rejoins the team of the GM who drafted him, George McPhee.
From the Capitals:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 2, 2019
Capitals Acquire a Fifth Round Pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft from Vegas for Chandler Stephenson
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have acquired a fifth round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft from the Vegas Golden Knights for forward Chandler Stephenson, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Stephenson, 25, registered four points (3g, 1a) in 24 games with the Capitals this season. The 6’0”, 208-pound forward has recorded 33 points (14g, 19a) in 168 games with the Capitals. He was drafted by Washington with the Capitals’ third round pick, 77th overall, in the 2012 NHL Draft.
This story has been updated.
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