Capitals sign Hardy Haman Aktell

Washington Capitals (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Washington Capitals (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

The Washington Capitals signed defenseman Hardy Haman Aktell to a one year, two way entry level contract. He will make $775K in the NHL and $82.5K in the AHL.

The 24 year old recorded 36 points in 51 games with the Vaxjo Lakers of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) this season with nine goals and 27 assists. The six foot three, 220 pound defenseman led Vaxjo in plus minus with plus 23, ranked second on the team in assists and points and tied for third among SHL defenseman in points.

The Kage, Sweden native added seven points with three goals and four assists and recorded a plus six plus minus rating in 18 playoff games, helping Vaxjo capture the SHL championship for the second time in three years. In 151 career SHL games with Vaxjo, Haman Aktell has recorded 63 points with 17 goals and 46 assists.

Prior to joining Vaxjo in 2020-21, Haman Aktell recorded 16 points with six goals and 10 assists in 45 games with IF Bjorkloven of HockeyAllsvenskan (Sweden 2) during the 2019-20 season and six points with one goal and five assists in 34 games during the 2018-19 season.

He was originally drafted by the Nashville Predators in the fourth round at 108th overall in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Sammi Silber of The Hockey News was the first with the inside scoop of the Caps signing the standout SHL defenseman. She got this per local Swedish news outlets.

She said the Caps were front runners and that the outlets and Smalandsposten a local paper in Sweden, that the Caps were the “closest to agreeing on a deal” with the 24 year old.

General Manager Brian MacLellan said he was happy with the right side of the defense where Haman Aktell shoots but also needed room for improvement especially after the team missed the playoffs and has more work to be done:

"“I think we could still improve it a little bit. We’ll look at opportunities to do that. I like the right side, what they’ve contributed. They all have roles they fill within our team, and they do it well. The left side, we’ve got three 23-year-old guys that are all looking to improve and get better and get to the next level.”"

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This is just the first move in what will be a busy offseason ahead.