The Washington Capitals have signed Chandler Stephenson to a new two-year deal, worth $650K at the NHL level. In 2017-18 the deal will be two-way, with Stephenson earning $125K in the AHL and then will transition to a one-way contract in 2018-19. Stephenson could be a Group VI free agent at the end of the contract if he isn’t given a real chance in the NHL over the next two years (he would need to play in 67 more games to be ineligible).
A third-round selection by the Capitals in 2013, Stephenson has played in just 13 NHL games thus far in his career, and was held pointless in all of them. A center by trade, he’s contributed solid point numbers in the AHL over the past couple of seasons but not enough to force his way onto the Capitals’ roster.
It’s important for Washington to get him in on a cheap contract though, as they will be stretched thin following new contracts for Dmitry Orlov, Andre Burakovsky, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Philipp Grubauer. Even with $17.5MM in cap space, the team will be hard-pressed to find enough room to make a real impact in free agency. Losing three players from their defense in Karl Alzner, Kevin Shattenkirk and the Vegas bound Nate Schmidt, they do need to find another option to fill a hole there, either internally or on the market.