Capitals Deal Vanecek, Pick 46 To Devils For Picks 37 And 70

Photo: Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Capitals traded goaltender Vitek Vanecek, along with the 46th overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, to the New Jersey Devils for picks 37 and 70 in Saturday’s draft. The 26-year-old could become a restricted free agent on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old went 20-12-6 with a .908 save percentage, a 2.67 goals-against average (tied for 17th in NHL), and four shutouts, including a stretch where he went 11-7-4 with a .935 save percentage (third), a 1.96 goals-against average (third), and three shutouts (tied for league lead) from December 16-March 6.

Vanecek entered the postseason as the Capitals’ No. 1 in net but coughed it up after posting an .863 save percentage and a 4.21 goals-against average in the first five periods of the team’s first-round series against the Florida Panthers before Samsonov took the job again and never looked back. Samsonov posted a .912 save percentage and 2.97 goals-against average the rest of the way.

In 79 career NHL games with the Capitals, Vanecek earned a 41-22-10 record, .908 save percentage, a 2.68 goals-against average, and 10 shutouts. The Capitals took him 39th overall in 2014.

Vanecek was selected by the Seattle Kraken in the 2022 NHL Expansion Draft before they dealt him back to Washington the next week for the Winnipeg Jets’ 2023 second-round pick.

The Capitals have $23.345 million in salary cap space with right-wing Marcus Johansson (pending unrestricted free agent), center Johan Larsson (UFA), defenseman Justin Schultz (UFA), defenseman Michal Kempny (UFA), defenseman Matt Irwin (UFA), and Samsonov (both restricted free agents) up for contract.

The team is expected to sign a veteran to pair up with Samsonov as the Capitals’ goalie tandem in 2022-23. They have been linked to pending unrestricted free agents Darcy Kuemper and Jack Campbell in addition to Anaheim Ducks netminder John Gibson and Jake Allen of the Montreal Canadiens.

Vanecek’s first game in Washington with the Devils will be on Thursday, March 9. The Capitals’ season finale is on Thursday, April 13 against the Devils at home as well.

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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12 Responses to Capitals Deal Vanecek, Pick 46 To Devils For Picks 37 And 70

  1. Marky says:

    VV was gonna cost 2+ million to resign. They chose Sammy and will add someone else obviously. #37 and #70 is a nice move up. Might be nice to keep and use the picks but some of this might be used for a trade, who knows.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Well, something had to be done. Interesting they landed in keeping Sammy.

  3. Lance says:

    All the best to Vanny! I like picking up pick #37. I think we’ll get a good prospect there.

  4. steven says:

    Sad to see VV go as although he might turn into a #1 goalie he would have beed a very steady #2. Now they ahve to spend on a starting goalie unless the want to put the nets in the hands of a headcase. Love getting the picks as this team can use them hpwever with what is in the pipeline in 2 years both would be gone so there really was not a need to make this move. If and when Sammy falls on his face and flounders like a fish out of water the GM will have shown everyone that he is a moment that finally Ted changes course and goes outside the organization to obtain new blood for the GM slot.

  5. Rob says:

    Not a big fan of trading a goalie in the division. He’ll probably shutout the Caps 3X next year.

  6. novafyre says:

    Will be interested in reading what Caps have to say about this trade. I was leaning towards keeping Vitek but basically because I felt he would be the cheaper option. Might as well go to MD or WV and shoot the dice as try to decide on ability.

    I had decided my vote was for which one gave us the most in trade or cap space. So I’m interested in seeing how this plays out. What contract will Sammy get, what contract will Vee get (even if he stays with the Devils). Seldom am I impressed with trading a player for a draft pick.

  7. DC Scappeli says:

    I liked Vitek and thought he was a tad better than Sammy. I wish him well but hope he doesn’t come back to bite the Caps in the rear end.

  8. Nick A Bontrager says:

    Hallelujah praise jaffar! The moment I’ve been praying for is at hand. Good riddance, I say. Now we can actually bring in a veteran to mentor Sammy. If King Henrik hadn’t had those heart issues we’d already be reaping the benefits of a tutored Sammy. Better late than never I guess.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Sorry to see they chose to trade Vitek. He’s more technically sound and a solid backup/1B goalie to pair with a veteran that will be added. Sammy and all the supposed “upside” may have returned more.

  10. novafyre says:

    Let me throw out a radical (and most, most probably wrong) thought here. What if they trade Sammy as well? Canes did it. What if they promote a very inexpensive Fucale up from Hershey as backup and then go big on a #1? Short term contract, giving Hunter a couple of years to see if he or fucale can grow into that #1 spot?

    Everyone is saying that Caps decided to keep Sammy, but no word on any new contract.

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