The Washington Capitals have completed a little housekeeping today, re-signing both Garrett Pilon and Bobby Nardella to identical two-year contracts. The deals will carry an average annual value of $750K in the NHL and are two-way the first season, one-way the second. The team has also signed Michael Sgarbossa to a two-year, two-way contract that will carry a $750K salary in the NHL.
Pilon, 23, made his NHL debut this season, suiting up for a single game with the Capitals five years after they drafted him 87th overall. The rest of his time was spent with the minor league Hershey Bears, scoring 16 points in 14 games. That was the first time he came anywhere close to a point-per-game rate in the AHL, signaling that he may have unlocked a little more offense after a few relatively pedestrian seasons. The Capitals obviously believed he was worth extending taking Pilon through the 2022-23 season with this new contract.
Should he fail to get much more opportunity at the NHL level, Pilon could end up a Group VI unrestricted free agent at the end of this contract, as he will be 25.
Nardella meanwhile is already 25 and still has not played a single game in the NHL. The former Notre Dame star spent this entire season with Djurgardens IF in Sweden, scoring 33 points in 47 games. Undersized, Nardella does bring an excellent offensive profile but will still be hard-pressed to become an impact player with the Capitals. Still, he too received a multi-year deal, keeping him from free agency and in the Washington system. He’ll be a prime candidate to help fill in during injury emergencies, but don’t expect him to take a full-time roster spot anytime soon.
Sgarbossa, 28, was already headed for unrestricted free agency, after spending the last three seasons in the Capitals organization. He’ll be back though too continuing to serve as an injury replacement and minor league depth. The undrafted center played in five games for the Capitals this season, registering two assists. In 14 games for the Hershey Bears, he put up ten points and has long been an excellent minor league performer.