Capitals Re-Acquire Vitek Vanecek From Kraken In Exchange For Jets’ 2023 Second-Round Pick

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The Washington Capitals re-acquired goaltender Vitek Vanecek from the Seattle Kraken on Wednesday night in exchange for the Winnipeg Jets’ 2023 second-round pick, according to NHL Network’s Kevin Weekes. Vanecek was the Kraken’s pick from the Capitals in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft on July 21.

The pick sent to the Kraken was acquired in the trade that sent left-handed defensemen Brenden Dillon to the Jets on Monday night.

This comes after the Kraken signed unrestricted free agent and former Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer to a six-year contract that carries a $5.9 million cap hit on Wednesday. With a surplus in the net and Chris Driedger ahead of Vanecek on the depth chart, the Kraken did not need Vanecek.

The 25-year-old goaltender went 21-10-4 with a .908 save percentage, a 2.69 goals-against average, and two shutouts in his rookie season in 2020-21. At five-on-five, Vanecek posted a .918 save percentage, a 2.41 goals-against average, a 0.66 goals-saved above average, and a .798 high-danger save percentage. Vanecek started 16 of 17 games from January 18-February 27 when Ilya Samsonov was out with COVID-19 and posted a .905 save percentage and a 2.92 goals-against average over that time.

The Capitals drafted Vanecek, who finished in sixth place in Calder Trophy voting as the NHL’s top rookie last season, 39th overall in 2014.

He stopped three of four shots in Game 1 of the team’s first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Boston Bruins before leaving with a lower-body injury. Vanecek did not play again in the postseason.

In 141 career AHL games with the Hershey Bears, Vanecek went 72-50-6 with a .919 save percentage, a 2.28 goals-against average, and 11 shutouts.

Vanecek has one season remaining on a contract that pays him $716,667 per year. The Capitals have $2,668,740 left in cap space to re-sign restricted free agent goaltender Ilya Samsonov and find a replacement for Dillon, which could require some salary cap gymnastics.

This is the first-ever trade between the Capitals and Kraken.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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2 Responses to Capitals Re-Acquire Vitek Vanecek From Kraken In Exchange For Jets’ 2023 Second-Round Pick

  1. Anonymous says:

    Welcome back VV !! Crazy.

  2. Mark Eiben says:

    Love it! Great job by Brian McClellan in a most tricky offseason. Next offseason is a piece of cake compared to this one. Caps will have 12.5 million in space with only to sign Vitek, Dowd and Sprong. Team is essentially locked in for the next two years.

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