The Washington Capitals have engaged in their second, and probably final, trade before the trade deadline. After acquiring Carl Hagelin from the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday, the Capitals engaged in a trade with the Detroit Red Wings on Friday before the 3pm trade deadline on Monday.
On Friday, the Capitals sent second-year defenseman Madison Bowey and a 2020 second round draft pick over to the Red Wings. Madison Bowey played in 33 games this season with the Capitals, compared to the 51 he played in last season. During the 33 games this season that Bowey played in, he recorded his first career NHL goal along with five assists. Last season, he recorded 12 assists in the 51 games. A young player that can develop into a top four defenseman, the Capitals did not have much space for him in their lineup. Bowey battled for the third line spot with Jonas Siegenthaler, when the Capitals were plagued with injuries to their defensemen such as Brooks Orpik and Christian Djoos. Bowey will become a regular in Detroit’s lineup, receiving more ice time than he did in Washington.
The Capitals received defenseman Nick Jensen and a 2019 fifth round pick. Jensen has played 190 career NHL games, recording six goals and 37 assists. He has played in 60 games this season with the Red Wings, recording two goals and 13 assists. Head Coach Todd Reirden commented on the addition of Nick Jensen, saying, “He’s a late bloomer we feel and we think his best hockey is ahead of him.” Continuing, Reirden commented on his skill, saying, “The way he competes, he defends, skates. The way that the NHL is going now we feel like he is a really good fit for our team and obviously the penalty-kill ability and willingness to block shots and be tough to play against, there’s lots to like about the player.”
Jensen will fit the slot of what the Capitals needed, which was a right-hand shooting defenseman. Reirden said in his press conference, “He is a dependable, right-hand shot that skates really well and currently leads Detroit in [penalty killing] minutes from their defensemen.” The Capitals seemed to go all for their penalty kill this trade deadline, as they added Carl Hagelin for his speed on the penalty kill.
There was also not a big surprise surrounding the addition of a defenseman at the trade deadline. Last year, General Manager Brian MacLellan acquired defenseman Michal Kempny from the Chicago Blackhawks. Since joining the Capitals last season, Kempny has jumped up to the first-line defensive pairing with veteran Capital John Carlson. This could honestly be a similar addition.
Following the trade, the Capitals re-signed Jensen to a 4-year, $10 million contract, averaging $2.5 million a year. When Washington acquired him Friday, he was in his final year of his previous contract with the Red Wings. This contract is very similar to Michal Kempny’s contract extension that he signed this past offseason.
My take is that they signed Jensen expecting him to take Brooks Orpik’s slot in future seasons, as it is rumored that Orpik is going to retire after this season.
Reirden announced this morning that Nick Jensen will not play today in Buffalo, but will debut tomorrow at Capital One Arena when they play the New York Rangers.