Capitals Sign Ethen Frank To One-Year, Two-Way Deal

The Washington Capitals announced Thursday morning that they have signed forward prospect Ethen Frank to a one-year, two-way deal ($775,000/$205,000) for the 2023-24 season. Frank is currently on an AHL deal (no NHL call-ups) with Hershey, and was set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2022-23 season.


ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have signed forward Ethen Frank to a one-year, two-way contract ($775,000/$205,000) for the 2023-24 season, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.

Frank, 25, has recorded 41 points (24g, 17a) in 45 games with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL) this season. Frank’s 24 goals lead Hershey and rank tied for fifth in the AHL. In addition, Frank ranks first among AHL rookies in goals and tied for second in points. The 5’11”, 185-pound forward represented the Bears at the 2023 AHL All-Star Classic and was named the AHL Rookie of the Month for January after recording 13 points (7g, 6a) in 10 games. Frank, who signed an AHL contract with Hershey on April 11, 2022 after a five-year collegiate career at Western Michigan University, has recorded 42 points (25g, 17a) in 50 career AHL games with the Bears.

Frank served as assistant captain for Western Michigan (NCAA) in 2021-22 and recorded 39 points (26g, 13a) in 38 games. The Papillon, Nebraska native finished the season with the most goals in NCAA Division I and led the Broncos in shots on goal (141), power-play goals (10) and game-winning goals (6). In addition, Frank was selected to the NCHC First All-Star Team and the NCAA (West) Second All-American Team. In five seasons at Western Michigan, Frank registered 118 points (70g, 48a) in 158 career games.

Frank was another high-quality college free agent signing by Capitals’ Director of Player Recruitment, Danny Brooks, who has also successfully recruited and signed undrafted college free-agents Joe Snively, Bobby Nardella and Clay Stevenson, just to name a few.

[Related:Rookie Ethen Frank Leading The Way In Hershey]

Frank, a college free-agent, signed with the Bears in April of 2022, and has been by far the most impressive young forward so far this season in Hershey.

Frank was selected to the 2023 AHL All-Star Game, which took in Laval, Quebec. “It means a lot. I’ve been putting in a lot of hard work, so it’s nice to get a little recognition,” Frank told Bears Radio.

As part of the All-Star Game festivities, Frank participated in the fastest skater competition. He not only won with a time of 12.915 seconds, he set a new All-Star Game record.

Frank was interviewed after winning the competition. He was asked what’s the secret to winning the event?

”Skate fast. Really, I don’t know. It’s something we do everyday, all day, after practice and it’s just kind of a normal habit at this point. Gettin’ faster is still one of my goals. Still working on things trying to get things exactly right, and make it as efficient as possible.”

Frank has been thriving on a line with veterans Mike Sgarbossa and fellow All-Star Mike Vecchione. Frank said he’s been a “sponge” around the vets, gleaning all he can on how to play the professional game.

“I think kinda the standard we set for ourselves every game that we step on the ice. We know we are depended on to create offense and be strong, defensively,” Frank told Bears Radio earlier this week. “I think we keep ourselves accountable, and hold up to that standard when we come back from a bad shift. We’re kinda letting each other know that that’s not good enough and we need to be better, and fix it the next shift.”

By Jon Sorensen

Washington Capitals Prospect Report: February, 2023 – Alexander Suzdalev, Ethen Frank And Gabriel Carlsson Continue To Impress
Rookie Ethen Frank Wins Fastest Skater At AHL All-Star Skills Competition, Sets New League Record
Ethen Frank Scores Twice, Atlantic Division Falls To Pacific Division In 2023 AHL All-Star Challenge Final
Report: Capitals “Expected” To Sign Ethen Frank To NHL Deal
Rookie Ethen Frank Leading The Way In Hershey

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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39 Responses to Capitals Sign Ethen Frank To One-Year, Two-Way Deal

  1. Novafyre says:

    Whew. Really thought we were going to lose him.

    • KimRB says:

      I’m gonna guess this is the kid betting on himself. He’ll accept the two way deal, knowing there might be a RW spot or two open on the NHL roster, then hope to parlay 20 goals in the NHL into big bucks. Sounds about right.

      • Jon Sorensen says:

        I guess that’s the case. I would have given serious thought to trying free agency. But it may also show respect for Danny Brooks, who gave him a shot.

        • KimRB says:

          We (and I’ll include myself in this) sometimes forget that life isn’t a big game of fantasy hockey. They’re human beings, not plastic game pieces. Could be that he just wanted the familiarity of the organization. BMac gets a lot of criticism, some deserved, but everything I hear from players says they were treated well by Washington, under his leadership. Good to know that, bodes well for the future. Ribeiro was the last one I know of to bad mouth the Caps, but that was under McPhee, and he had enough baggage to fill a 747.

        • Novafyre says:

          My thought was an expectation that Caps prospects next year might have more opportunities than with more established teams.

      • Anonymous says:

        Nobody was going to sign Frank to a one way NHL deal. He still needs to prove himself. Many a player comes through the AHL & scores 20+ goals and don’t get one way NHL deals and sometimes never even see more than a few games in the NHL. Frank has some solid skills with his speed, ability to change speed, and his shot. He has been working on his total game. When the year started, he was on the fringe of ending up in the ECHL. But he worked hard and proved he deserved more than just an AHL deal.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      “Whew” was gonna be my comment.

  2. KimRB says:


    I would’ve thought he would test free agency, to see if anyone would offer him a one way deal

    Way to go, BMac! Excellent signing. Looking forward to September now

  3. Anonymous says:

    Kind of surprised it’s only for a year and starting next season. Can he still be called up this year or is that still off the table?

    • KimRB says:

      He needs an NHL contract for this. Right now, as far as I know, he’s still only signed to play in the AHL.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Mac! He’s killing it this week!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Frank’s speed is well documented but his shot is next level.

  6. Lance says:

    Cool! Hope Ethen becomes a fixture on a wing for the Caps.

  7. Mark Eiben says:

    Good job again Brian McClellan. Would like to see him for a few games up with the big club next year at least.

  8. Anonymous says:

    So does he become a UFA after next season or do we have some RFA time?

    • KimRB says:

      Well, I got good news about that. Cap Friendly is saying he’ll be RFA after this contract, probably due to being under age 27, and not having played an NHL game.

  9. horn73 says:

    Yep, I agree, totally betting on himself. Knows there are spots open in DC and if he doesn’t get any, or if he does, he is able to do the same thing next year. Although I did expect he’d get a one way contract and at a little larger number so again I am impressed with GMBM.

  10. hockeydruid says:

    IF he can do well in training camp could he take the place of Sheary or NAK? Younger, fast legs and a great shot is something missing on this team. Young man has a chip on his shoulder from not being drafted and setting out to prove everyone wrong! Could he be another Dan Boyle or Dino Ciccarelli or even a Geoff Courtnall or god forbid Wayne Gretzky but maybe a Tim Kerr or Adam Oates. A lot of good to great players were never drafted so maybe, just maybe, we have hit pay dirt with Frank!

    • KimRB says:

      Gretzky wasn’t drafted because he signed a personal services contract with Nelson Skalbania, owner of the Indianapolis Racers, at the age of 17. He was sold to Edmonton, and the 4 WHA teams who merged with the NHL were allowed to keep two players each. Edmonton, of course, kept Gretzky.

      He was dominant at every level, so he would’ve been drafted 1st overall, if it weren’t for that loophole.

      • hockeydruid says:

        WOW so you can read!! And information that I already knew but for some reason you chime in with it and it isn’t relevant. IF I needed anything from you I will let you know and all your info is old and stale. Now take your self and exit the barn!

        • KimRB says:

          A little touchy, aren’t we Scooter? Maybe hockey related discussion is too much for you. Might I suggest the Disney, or Harry Potter sites?

        • KimRB says:

          You made it seem like Gretzky had a chip on his shoulder, because he wasn’t drafted, as if he had been passed over in the draft, when he hadn’t been. I corrected you. It was completely relevant. If you don’t want to be corrected, then don’t write things that are clearly wrong.

  11. Joe says:

    The contract also pays over $200K at the AHL level, which is not typical at all! I really hope and think this kid can be an NHL player.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Yep. I was just thinking about that. It’s typically 75k-ish. Good point, Joe.

      • hockeydruid says:

        Yes $75K is typical however I think that the $200 was both a reward for an outstanding and unexpected season and to sweeten the pot so he would sign and be in camp next season to push several of the vets like Sheary and NAK. Could you see him on a line with Kuzy and Oshie flying down the ice? Jon, Do you know if he has any PP experience?

  12. Edward Hayman says:

    Why is this guy not up with the caps with all the trades and injuries. Let us see what he can do

    • Anonymous says:

      He’s only signed to an AHL deal this season so he can’t unfortunately. The contract he just signed is for next year. Someone correct me but it was my understanding that the final deadline for in season contracts is sometime in December, so nothing they can do to bring him on sooner.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Massive W

  14. Anonymous says:

    Until the current coaching staff is gone, I don’t understand why any prospect would sign with the Caps. Lavi, doesn’t give them any chance to crack the lineup and the GM keeps giving him slow, old vets to fill up the lineup card with

    • novafyre says:

      Until the Caps started trading, I would have said the same — run away as fast as you can. But now, I think prospects would be willing to take a chance, especially if it’s a one year deal. Lavi has not been re-signed. Caps have an injury curse opening up opportunities. The Bears and Stingrays are well run development teams with good coaching. I think it’s worth taking a chance.

      And even if they don’t play a regular season game with the Caps, they can still recount having been on the ice with Ovi.

    • horn73 says:

      Like Milano and even Strome, locked up Snively after a chance last year. How about Fehervary…

      You guys that hate Lavi should instead say, Lavi doesn’t like to play players that don’t take/earn positions.

      • novafyre says:

        Too many times a prospect has scored only to warm the bench for the rest of the game or be a healthy scratch the next. Yet Lavi has played vets who have not produced. I think it’s more honest to say that Lavi doesn’t like to play players that he’s not comfortable with. He has stated on video that he prefers veteran players. His playbook is tilted towards an older style of play that is not in vogue currently and is one that young players find hard to fit into to. It’s like hiring a running QB and then only letting him only pass from the pocket, not run.

  15. dwgie26 says:

    Glad they got him signed. And really at a good value except for the term. Smart on Franks part. Caps org is a great place for him though. Not like it is going to be easier to get a spot immediately on any other roster.

    I don’t think he takes NAK’s spot. He is a 4th liner. Like Snively, Franks value is in the top 9 (really middle 6). So down the right you probably see Wilson, Oshie, Frank, NAK (whom i suspect we resign to replace Hathaway). If we sign another top 9 RW, then Frank may have to get his time when Oshie gets inevitably hurt.

  16. Geoffy says:

    Caps do nothing with young guys except abuse them. Exhibit A: Joe Snively

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