Washington Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan got to work on Sunday, addressing a couple of promising prospects in the pipeline as he braces for what is sure to be a busy offseason.
The Capitals signed right wing Brett Leason to a two-year, one-way contract worth $1.55 million. They also inked left wing Beck Malenstyn to a two-year, $1.525 million deal, which is two-way in the first year and one-way in the second. With these signings, Washington not only maintained organizational depth on the wings but also rewarded both players after strong seasons.
Leason is coming off a breakout 2021-22 campaign that saw him finally make the NHL jump. The 6-5, 218-pound right wing made the NHL jump and laced ’em up for 36 games with the Capitals this season, dishing three goals and three assists. He also appeared in 31 games with the AHL’s Hershey Bears, racking up 13 points.
The 2019 second-rounder is a strong player who skates well and can also serve as a versatile winger who can be aggressive on the forecheck and strong in his own end as well.
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Malenstyn, meanwhile, is another big body (6-3, 200 pounds) and skated in 12 games for Washington this season, picking up his first NHL goal and leading the team with 34 hits during his tenure. In 65 games with the Bears this season, the 24-year-old picked up six goals and 10 assists, and his three game-winning goals this season ranked third on the team.
He is a physical player who doesn’t shy away from puck battles and also plays a strong defensive game. He can also log heavy minutes on the penalty kill and generate pressure on the forecheck.
With both Malenstyn and Leason signed, the Capitals now only have a few more restricted free agents to address. They also have to decide on the future of some of their pending unrestricted free agents. Here is Washington’s updated list of outstanding RFAs and UFAs with NHL Free Agency starting on July 13:
Capitals Restricted Free Agents
- F Mike Vecchione
- F Damian Riat (signed in Europe)
- D Lucas Johansen
- D Tobias Geisser (signed in Europe)
- G Ilya Samsonov – $2 million cap hit in 2021-22
- G Vitek Vanecek – $716,667 cap hit in 2021-22
Capitals Unrestricted Free Agents
- F Marcus Johansson – $1.5 million cap hit in 2021-22
- F Johan Larsson – $1.4 million cap hit in 2021-22
- F Brian Pinho
- F Shane Gersich (UFA G6)
- D Justin Schultz – $4 million cap hit in 2021-22
- D Michal Kempny – $2.5 million cap hit in 2021-22
- D Matt Irwin – $750,000 cap hit in 2021-22
- G Pheonix Copley