Wednesday: Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post tweets that the contract is not finished, though the Capitals are “exploring it.” The deal has still not been announced, though there have been reports that Shumakov will not sign with either the Chicago Blackhawks (via Scott Powers of The Athletic) or New York Rangers (via Larry Brooks of the New York Post), two other teams that were linked to the Russian forward.
Tuesday: There had been recent reports that KHL forward Sergei Shumakov was looking for an NHL contract, and it appears he has found one on a team known for its Russian contingent. The Washington Capitals have signed Shumakov to a one-year entry-level contract according to NHL.com correspondent and Sovsport reporter Pavel Lysenkov. The Capitals have not announced the contract yet, but all signs point to the 25-year old joining Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov and Ilya Samsonov in the Washington organization.
Shumakov had the best offensive season of his career last season after moving over to CSKA Moscow, recording 40 points in 47 games and more goals—17—than fellow highly touted players like Kirill Kaprizov and Valeri Nichushkin. While Shumakov is several years older than those two, he still brings a level of offensive upside that could be very valuable to the Capitals as they look to repeat as Stanley Cup champions. Washington has other young players like Jakub Vrana and Andre Burakovsky hoping to take big steps forward this season, but signing Shumakov can only improve their depth up front.
The contract of course guarantees Shumakov nothing in the way of playing time, given that he’ll be on a two-way deal like any other entry-level contract. The deal could very well include a European Assignment clause though, which could send Shumakov back to Russia if he can’t crack the NHL lineup. We won’t know that until the contract is announced, but for now Washington fans can just be happy they’ve added another forward with very little risk.