The Washington Capitals have recalled forward Devante Smith-Pelly from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL) and re-assigned goaltender Vitek Vanecek to Hershey, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
The move is in direct response to the injury sustained by T.J. Oshie in last night’s 2-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Smith-Pelly will also add a bit of “grit” to a series that has been fairly physical to this point.
FROM CAPITALS MEDIA RELEASE
Smith-Pelly, 26, has recorded eight points (4g, 4a) in 54 games with the Capitals this season. In 20 games with Hershey, the 6’0”, 223-pound forwarded recorded 14 points (6g, 8a), including a hat trick on March 10 against the Hartford Wolf Pack.
Smith-Pelly collected 16 points (7g, 9a) in a career-high 75 games with the Capitals last season. During the Capitals’ 2018 Stanley Cup run, Smith-Pelly was tied for fourth on the Capitals in goals (7) and scored in three-straight games in the Stanley Cup Final against Vegas. Additionally, Smith-Pelly scored the series-clinching goal in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal against Columbus. In 48 career playoff games, Smith-Pelly has 13 goals, and his 0.27 goals per game rating is tied for the 47th-highest in the NHL among active players with at least 45 career playoff games. Since joining Washington in 2017-18, the Scarborough, Ont., native has 24 points (11g, 13a) in 129 regular season games.
Smith-Pelly has recorded 101 points (44g, 57a) in 395 career NHL games with Anaheim, Montreal, New Jersey and Washington.
Smith-Pelly was drafted by Anaheim in the second round, 42nd overall, in the 2010 NHL Draft.
Vanecek, 23, has posted a record of 21-10-6 with a 2.62 goals against average and a .907 save percentage in 38 games with the Bears this season. The 6’1”, 190-pound goaltender was named to the 2019 AHL All-Star Classic Atlantic Division team and was named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Oct. 21. In that span, Vanecek posted a 2-0-1 record with a 1.62 goals against average and a .949 save percentage, stopping 94 of 99 shots in three road starts. The Havlickuv Brod, Czech Republic, native has allowed two or fewer goals in 19 games this season.
In 110 career games with the Bears, Vanecek has a 52-33-24 record with a 2.69 goals against average, a .903 save percentage and nine shutouts.
The Capitals selected Vanecek with their second round pick, 39th overall, in the 2014 NHL Draft.