The Washington Capitals have traded defenseman Brenden Dillon to the Winnipeg Jets for two second-round picks – one in 2022 and another in 2023.
The news was first reported by TSN’s Darren Dreger.
Brenden Dillon traded to the Winnipeg Jets for two 2nd round picks.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 27, 2021
According to The Winnipeg Sun’s Scott Billeck, the Jets were trying to land Nate Schmidt, but after learning that The Human Emoji was unwilling to play there, they opted for Dilly.
And on another defensive front, the #NHLJets have/had been trying to make a deal for Nate Schmidt but the latter will not waive his modified no-trade clause despite, what I have been told, is several attempts by the Jets.
— Scott Billeck (@ScottBilleck) July 27, 2021
Dillon, who spent most of the season skating on the first pairing with John Carlson, was one of three left-handed shooting defensemen under contract with the Capitals next season — Dmitry Orlov and Michal Kempny were the others. But with lefty Martin Fehervary graduating to the NHL and the team open to bringing back Zdeno Chara, the Capitals had the flexibility on the left side to move Dillon and gain much-needed salary-cap space. Dillon, 30, has three years remaining at a $3.9 million cap hit.
While Dillon ate up a lot of minutes and played a physical brand of defense, he struggled with penalties — he had the worst penalty differential on the team (-8) — and making plays with the puck under new head coach Peter Laviolette. Lavy’s system requires defensemen to be aggressive, especially offensively, which is not Dillon’s forte.
HockeyViz says Dillon’s impact is to lower opponents’ offense by 10 percent and his own team’s by 4 percent. In short, at his ideal, Dillon can slow down a game — a bit like Backstrom or Jensen can. Except slowing down game pace is only a good thing in some conditions (e.g. protecting a lead), and when it fails — like it did for Dillon in the postseason when Boston scored five goals against Washington’s one — it’s a catastrophe.
The deal will now give the Capitals the ability to re-sign Alex Ovechkin (UFA) and Ilya Samsonov (RFA) and possibly add a veteran backup goaltender or depth piece during free agency.
According to Puck Pedia, the Capitals now officially have $13.6 million in cap space.
After trading Dillon ($3.9M Cap Hit), the #ALLCAPS have $13.6M of Cap Space with 17 Players on the Projected Roster (11F/6D/0G).
UFA: Ovechkin, Raffl, Chara, Lundqvist, Andersonhttps://t.co/OLyyi1OrvO
— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) July 27, 2021
The Capitals announced the deal shortly before 10 PM.
NEWS | The Washington Capitals have acquired Winnipeg's 2022 and 2023 second-round picks in the NHL Draft in exchange for defenseman Brenden Dillon.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) July 27, 2021
Here’s the full press release from the team.
Capitals Acquire a 2022 Second Round Pick and a 2023 Second Round Pick in the NHL Draft from Winnipeg for Brenden Dillon
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have acquired a second round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft and a second round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft from the Winnipeg Jets for defenseman Brenden Dillon, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Dillon, 30, registered 19 points (2g, 17a) in 56 games with the Capitals last season. The 6’4”, 220-pound defenseman has recorded 19 points (2g, 17a) in 66 games with the Capitals. Washington acquired Dillon from the San Jose Sharks via trade on Feb. 18, 2020 in exchange for a second round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft and a conditional pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.
The Capitals later said goodbye on social media.
Cheers. 🍻 Dilly, Dilly!
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