Photo: NHL via Getty Images
After Devante Smith-Pelly was bought out by the Devils last July, the Washington Capitals signed him to a one-year, two-way deal to the league minimum $650,000. The Capitals had limited cap space, and we’re looking for extreme value on the open market.
The Capitals were the fourth team the 25-year old right-winger has played for. But the fourth time just might be the charm, as Smith-Pelly may have found a home in Washington.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) June 5, 2018
Smith-Pelly enters the upcoming offseason as an restricted free agent. His postseason performance on the bottom-six forward corps will likely have him getting a raise.
While he put up a respectable 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in the regular season, it’s his playoff performance that will garner the bulk of the raise money.
This postseason Smith-Pelly has posted seven points (six goals, one assist). Four of those goals came in the Eastern Conference Finals and beyond while the other two occurred in the first round against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Smith-Pelly has lit the lamp in the last two games of the Stanley Cup Finals, both at home.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) June 5, 2018
“He skates pretty well, he can be a physical aspect, he can kill penalties, he does a lot of those things… He played on probably every line this year. Early in the year he played with Kuzy (Evgeny Kuznetsov) and O (Alex Ovechkin), and really on every line. I’ve had a lot of faith in him this year and I think he’s learned that he’s got my trust as a coach/player relationship and he’s done a really good job,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz told the media after Game 4.
Many Capitals fans didn’t know who he was when the team signed him in July. Now, they chant “DSP!” when he scores. The playoffs are all about role players stepping up and becoming household names and Devante Smith-Pelly has done that.
By Michael Marzzacco