The Washington Capitals traded forward Chandler Stephenson to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.
Stephenson, 25, was held out of the Capitals’ practice at SAP Center in San Jose on Monday afternoon because of a pending roster transaction, according to Capitals’ senior writer Mike Vogel.
Confirmed: The Golden Knights have acquired forward Chandler Stephenson from the Washington Capitals. He will join the team tomorrow in New Jersey.
The trade will be announced later tonight or tomorrow morning.
We still have not heard what VGK are giving up.
— SinBin.vegas (@SinBinVegas) December 3, 2019
With center Nicklas Backstrom, who has missed the past five games with a lower-body injury, and forward Carl Hagelin, who has missed the past 11 games with an upper-body injury, set to return against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night (10:30 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington), the Capitals need to make a move to stay under the NHL salary cap. They currently have $2.65 million available but need $2.75 million to activate Hagelin off of long-term injured reserve.
Stephenson, 25, has posted three goals, four points, and a +5 rating in 24 games this season after signing a one-year, $1.05 million contract as a restricted free agent on July 27. He can become a restricted free agent again on July 1.
The Capitals currently have 21 players on the roster. The maximum they could have is 22 but they do not have the room to carry that many with their current salary cap situation.
The Capitals selected Stephenson 77th overall in the 2012 NHL Draft. In 168 career regular-season games with the Capitals, Stephenson has 14 goals, 33 points, and a +2 rating. He posted two goals, seven points, and a +3 rating during the team’s run to the Stanley Cup in 2018. In 180 career AHL games, all with the Hershey Bears, Stephenson recorded 30 goals, 87 points, and a +4 rating.
Golden Knights President of Hockey Operations George McPhee drafted Stephenson when he was GM of the Capitals.
By Harrison Brown