Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Washington Capitals are looking for forward help by the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline five weeks from Monday at 3 PM ET. He added that they are eying forwards from the Vancouver Canucks and Seattle Kraken as possible trade targets.
“Washington’s looking for forwards. They’re going to be eying at the Pacific Northwest. Several potential matches in Seattle and Vancouver,” Friedman wrote in 32 Thoughts.
The most likely targets could include left-wings J.T. Miller (who leads Vancouver with 17 goals and 48 points in 47 games this season) and Conor Garland (11 goals, 26 points in 44 games) from the Canucks in addition to left-wing Calle Jarnkrok (nine goals, 19 points in 37 games), center Mason Appleton (five goals, 13 points in 35 games), and right-wing Colin Blackwell (five goals, 10 points in 25 games) from the Kraken. All of the Kraken players listed are on expiring contracts, though Appleton can become a restricted free agent on July 17 while Miller (two years left at a $5.5 million cap hit) and Garland (five at $4.95 million per) both have term on their contracts.
The Capitals rank 11th in the NHL with an average of 3.20 goals-per-game but 28th with a 15.5% power-play efficiency this season and 21st with an average of 2.80 goals-per-game since December 18. Over the past two seasons, they have struggled replacing a center when one gets hurt, which has cost them in the postseason. With Nicklas Backstrom missing 32 games this season due to injury and illness, the Capitals could use some insurance up the middle. All four centers have missed time this season due to COVID-19 protocol and/or injury.
In addition, top-six forwards Anthony Mantha and T.J. Oshie have missed 40 and 32 games, respectively, this season and neither have a set timetable. Mantha started skating on his own last week and could play before the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, according to head coach Peter Laviolette.
They also reportedly inquired on New Jersey Devils center Pavel Zacha.
By Harrison Brown