The Washington Capitals have re-signed Aaron Ness to a one-year, two-way contract that will see him earn $650K at the NHL level. Ness was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, after spending most of the season in the AHL with the Hershey Bears.
Ness, 27, has never been able to make the impact many expected of him when he was selected 40th-overall in 2008 by the New York Islanders. Always a solid point producer at the AHL level, he has only suited up for 47 NHL games across seven professional seasons. Eight of those came this year with the Capitals, in which he recorded just a single point.
The talented but undersized defenseman is likely destined to spend much of next year in the minor leagues, but is certainly a nice depth piece to have for a team that expects to contend for the Stanley Cup. Any contender needs dynamic players with NHL experience waiting in the minor leagues, and Ness will be no different.
Impressively, he secured a $425K minor league salary for the second season in a row, a relatively high amount for AHL players. That salary could come with a bigger leadership role, something he previously held with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Ness served as captain in 2014-15, when he registered 45 points in 74 games, his best professional season to date.