After he was linked to the Edmonton Oilers earlier in the day, Connor Brown is actually on his way to the Washington Capitals. The Ottawa Senators have sent Brown to the Capitals in exchange for a 2024 second-round pick, according to Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia.
It was easy to see that Brown had been pushed out of Ottawa’s top-six by recent additions Alex DeBrincat and Claude Giroux, and almost immediately trade speculation started around his future. The 28-year-old forward has just one year left on his contract that carries a $3.6MM cap hit and is owed $4MM in actual salary this season.
He didn’t play his way out of Ottawa though, as the hard-working forward was still one of the team’s most consistent options last season, averaging more than 20 minutes a night and scoring 39 points in 64 games. While he probably won’t get quite as much ice time in Washington, he arrives as an instant penalty-killing improvement and versatile player that can move up and down whenever needed.
Brown is the kind of player that coaches love, never taking a shift off or quitting on a play. Not big or exceptionally skilled, he earns his paycheck by out-working the other team. It’s been like that for years. Despite being a sixth-round pick in 2012, Brown put up 128 points during his final year of junior, actually outscoring a young Connor McDavid. When he stepped into the AHL he found immediate success, scoring 21 goals and 61 points as a rookie for the Toronto Marlies.
It will be interesting to see where he starts, given the absence of Tom Wilson to start the season. Brown is a natural right-winger, though he can play the other side as well.
For the Senators, adding a second-round pick essentially makes up the value they gave Toronto in the Matt Murray trade, making them whole while clearing a good amount of money off the books. That money has been used for DeBrincat and Giroux, two offensive stars that should immediately push their team to an entirely new level.