The Washington Capitals announced three signings over a span of an hour on Thursday morning. All three players are minor leaguers but could play games in the NHL over the next two seasons.
The team first re-signed Garrett Pilon to a two-year, $1.5 million contract. The first year of Pilon’s deal is a two-way contract ($750,000 NHL/$110,000 AHL), while the second year is one-way ($750,000).
The Capitals next announced they had re-signed prospect defenseman Bobby Nardella to a two-year, $1.5 million contract. Nardella’s first year is two-way contract ($750,000 NHL/$110,000 AHL), while the second is one-way ($750,000).
Finally, depth forward Michael Sgarbossa inked to a two-year, two-way contract a short time later. The contract will pay Sgarbossa $750,000 NHL/$425,000 AHL in 2021-22 and $750,000 NHL/$500,000 AHL in 2022-23.
Pilon signed first at 10 AM:
Capitals Re-sign Garrett Pilon
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have re-signed forward Garrett Pilon to a two-year, $1.5 million contract, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. The first year of Pilon’s contract will be a two-way contract ($750,000/$110,000), while the second year will be a one-way contract ($750,000).
Pilon, 23, made his NHL debut with the Capitals last season on May 8, 2021, against the Philadelphia Flyers. The 6’0”, 190-pound forward also recorded 16 points (4g, 12a) in 14 games with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL), ranking third on Hershey in points per game (1.14).
The Kindersley, Saskatchewan, native set career highs in goals (18) and points (36) during the shortened 2019-20 AHL season with Hershey. Pilon ranked third on Hershey in goals, fifth in points and tied for second in power play goals (5). Pilon recorded a combined 17 points (10g, 7a) in Hershey’s final 22 games.
In 146 career games with Hershey, Pilon has recorded 85 points (32g, 53a).
From the 2015-16 season to 2017-18, Pilon played in 207 combined games in the Western Hockey League (WHL) between the Kamloops Blazers and the Everett Silvertips, recording 192 points (69g, 123a). During his final season in the WHL in 2017-18, Pilon recorded 80 points (34g, 46a) in 69 combined games between Kamloops and Everett.
Pilon was selected with the Capitals’ third round pick, 87th overall, in the 2016 NHL Draft.
Nardella signed second at 10:30 AM:
Capitals Re-sign Bobby Nardella
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have re-signed defenseman Bobby Nardella to a two-year, $1.5 million contract, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. The first year of Nardella’s contract will be a two-way contract ($750,000/$110,000), while the second year will be a one-way contract ($750,000).
Nardella, 25, recorded 33 points (7g, 26a) in 47 games with Djurgardens IF in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) during the 2020-21 season, leading the team in assists and points and ranking fifth among defensemen in the SHL in points. The 5’9”, 180-pound defenseman also added an assist in three playoff games.
During the 2019-20 season and in his first AHL season, the Rosemont, Ill., native led all Hershey Bears defensemen with 31 points (4g, 27a) in 41 games and tied for first on the team in assists and power play assists (13). Nardella’s 0.76 points per game tied for fifth among AHL defensemen with at least 30 games played and his 13 power play assists tied for second among AHL rookie defensemen.
Nardella recorded 34 points (8g, 26a) in 38 games in the 2018-19 season with the University of Notre Dame, setting a personal collegiate career high in points. Nardella led Notre Dame in assists and points, was named as a Hobey Baker Award nominee and was named to the NCAA (B1G) First All-Star Team. A two-time winner of the NCAA (B1G) Championship each of his last two years at Notre Dame, Nardella averaged 0.54 assists per game during his collegiate career. Additionally, Nardella was named to the NCAA (Hockey East) All-Rookie Team and was named as Notre Dame’s Rookie of the Year during his freshman year (2015-16).
In 147 career games with Notre Dame, Nardella recorded 103 points (24g, 79a).
At the international level, Nardella represented Team USA at the 2014-15 World Junior A Challenge, recording two assists en route to a gold medal in Kindersley, Saskatchewan. Additionally, Nardella won a silver medal in the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Tournament held in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In 2012, as a member of USA Hockey’s U-17 team, Nardella won a gold medal at the Five Nation Tournament held in the Czech Republic.
The Capitals signed Nardella as a college free agent on April 5, 2019.
And Sgarbossa’s deal was completed at 11 AM:
Capitals Re-sign Michael Sgarbossa
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have re-signed forward Michael Sgarbossa to a two-year, two-way contract, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. The contract will pay Sgarbossa $750,000 NHL/$425,000 AHL in 2021-22 and $750,000 NHL/$500,000 AHL in 2022-23.
Sgarbossa, 28, appeared in five games with Washington during the 2020-21 season, recording two assists and a +2 plus/minus rating. The 6’0”, 182-pound forward also recorded 10 points (5g, 5a) in 14 games with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL), ranking sixth on Hershey in goals per game (0.36) and seventh in points per game (0.71).
During the 2019-20 season, Sgarbossa played two games with Washington, making his Capitals debut on Nov. 20, 2019, against the New York Rangers. Sgarbossa also recorded 40 points (13g, 27a) in 39 games with Hershey, which ranked third on the team. Additionally, the Campbellville, Ontario, native led Hershey in points per game (1.03), tied for the team lead in game-winning goals (4) and ranked tied for second in power play goals (5).
Sgarbossa has recorded 12 points (2g, 10a) in 55 career NHL games with Washington, the Anaheim Ducks, the Florida Panthers and the Colorado Avalanche. In 440 career AHL games between Hershey, the Manitoba Moose, the Springfield Thunderbirds, the San Diego Gulls, the Norfolk Admirals and the Lake Erie Monsters, Sgarbossa has recorded 314 points (120g, 194a) and was an AHL All-Star in 2013 and 2019.
In his final season in the Ontario Hockey League with the Sudbury Wolves, Sgarbossa led the League with 102 points (47g, 55a) and was a member of the OHL First All-Star Team in 2012.
Pilon is the most likely of the three to see immediate playing time in Washington after general manager Brian MacLellan spotlighted the center during his end-of-the-season press conference. “I’d like to see Garrett Pilon get some games,” MacLellan said.
Pilon spent time on the Capitals taxi squad during the 2020-21 season and made his NHL debut against the Philadelphia Flyers on May 8. During a limited stretch of games in Hershey, Pilon was a point-per-game player, recording 16 points (4g, 12a) in 14 games.
Sgarbossa, 28, is less of a prospect and more of a reserve forward with pop in the AHL level that can fill in at the NHL level. Sgarbossa played five games with the Capitals during the season, recording two assists. Since 2012, he’s played in 55 games combined in the NHL with the Capitals, Anaheim Ducks, Florida Panthers, and Colorado Avalanche.
Nardella, who, the Capitals signed in 2019 as an unrestricted free agent out of college, might be the most intriguing of the bunch. The 25-year-old rearguard recorded 33 points (7g, 26a) in 47 games with Djurgardens IF in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL), leading the team’s defensemen in assists and points. He also ranked fifth overall among all SHL defensemen in points.
Headline photo: Amanda Bowen/RMNB
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