The Washington Capitals were very active during the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline as they did an on the fly retool of the router. In order to do this, General Manager Brian MacLellan first had to consult team captain Alex Ovechkin. Once he got Ovi’s approval, GMBM did a mini sell off.
First he dealt Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway to the Boston Bruins for three draft picks and Craig Smith. Those three picks were a 2023 first rounder, a 2025 second rounder, and a 2024 third rounder. Orlov has since scored three goals in five games with the Bruins including a two goal game on Feb. 28 in a win over the Calgary Flames. Smith had a two goal game himself in the Caps win on Saturday night over the San Jose Sharks.
The Caps then sent Marcus Johansson to the Minnesota Wild for a 2024 third rounder. After that they sent Erik Gustafsson and their 2023 first rounder from Boston to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Rasmus Sandin. Sandin had three assists in his Capitals debut in their win against the Sharks on Saturday.
Their last move was trading Lars Eller to the Colorado Avalanche for a 2025 second rounder. They also re upped Nick Jensen for four more years and Nicolas Aube-Kubel for one more season.
Overall the Caps were active at this deadline and this was a good move for both the Capitals and the teams they did business with. They also were smart to hang onto Conor Sheary and Trevor van Riemsdyk.
What the Caps did was clear their roster for a more competitive year next year and use the pieces they have now to at least try for the playoffs this year. Those players on the roster now aren’t ready to pack in their season yet. Not after having won two in a row.
Grade B: Overall this was a good deadline by the Capitals and no matter where they finish this regular season it lays the way for an important offseason ahead.