Capitals recoup expansion pick G Vitek Vanecek in trade with Kraken

Goaltender Vitek Vanecek, whom the Seattle Kraken originally chose in last week’s expansion draft, was traded back to the Washington Capitals on Wednesday in exchange for a second-round selection in the 2023 draft.

The Kraken executed the trade hours after signing free agent goaltender Philipp Grubauer — ironically, also a former Capital — to a six-year, $35.4 million deal during the start of NHL free agency.

With Grubauer and Chris Driedger, another expansion draft selection, in place, the Kraken had little use for Vanecek, whom Washington had to leave unprotected last week in favor of projected No. 1 goalie Ilya Samsonov.

The Capitals sent Seattle the draft pick that originally belonged to the Winnipeg Jets. They acquired the Jets’ pick earlier this week when they traded defenseman Brenden Dillon to Winnipeg.

Vanecek, a 25-year-old from the Czech Republic, started 36 games for Washington as a rookie last season and went 21-10-4 with a .908 save percentage and a 2.69 goals against average. He finished in sixth place in voting for the Calder Trophy, the NHL’s award for rookie of the year.

–Field Level Media