The Washington Capitals announced Saturday night that they signed defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk to a one-year contract worth $800,000. The 29-year-old became an unrestricted free agent on Friday.
Trevor van Riemsdyk is joining the #caps. 1-year at $800k
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) October 10, 2020
The 29-year-old right-handed defenseman had a little bit of a down season as he posted just a goal, eight points, and a -7 rating in 49 games but did not get as much opportunity as he could have since the Carolina Hurricanes have arguably the deepest blueline in the NHL.
At five-on-five, he recorded a nice 53.22% Corsi-for percentage, a 52.12% expected goals-for percentage, a 54.51% scoring-chances for percentage, and a 53.2% shot-attempts percentage.
Van Riemsdyk was a solid third-pairing defenseman in Carolina, and based on some of his stats above, he could be looked up to as a second-pairing guy. He averaged 14:52 worth of ice-time per game this past season, including 1:14 on the NHL’s fourth-best penalty-killing unit. Van Riemsdyk’s 37 blocked shots this season were seventh on the Hurricanes while he also posted 21 hits, 13 takeaways, and 17 giveaways.
He won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015.
With Van Riemsdyk now in the fold, the Capitals have four right-handed NHL defensemen on the roster (John Carlson, Nick Jensen, Justin Schultz). This could spell the end for Jensen’s time in Washington as Carlson finished second in Norris Trophy voting as the NHL’s top defenseman and Schultz just signed a two-year contract with the Capitals on Friday.
With GM Brian MacLellan projecting Schultz to slide in next to Orlov, Van Riemsdyk could fit on the third-pairing with Siegenthaler or rotate in with Jensen if the Capitals do not trade him.
In 364 career NHL games with the Hurricanes and Blackhawks, the undrafted defenseman has recorded 15 goals, 69 points, and a +10 rating. His best season came with the Blackhawks in 2016-17, when he posted a career-high five goals and +17 rating and tied a career-high 16 points while playing in only 58 games.
The Capitals made it a priority to add to their defense after they gave up an average of 3.44 goals-per-game from December 22 onward (the most among the 24 teams that were invited to the NHL’s return-to-play plan) and allowed an average of 2.88 per game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Capitals now have about $2.2 million remaining in cap space after signing Van Riemsdyk, according to CapFriendly. They could also add a forward.
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) October 10, 2020
By Harrison Brown