NEW YORK — The Golden Knights made an intriguing depth move Monday night, acquiring forward Chandler Stephenson from the Washington Capitals in exchange for a 2021 fifth-round draft pick.
Stephenson fits the mold that the Golden Knights are looking for out of their bottom-six forwards: He's defensively minded with some speed and can play either center or wing. He figures to join the team in New Jersey on Tuesday ahead of the game with the Devils.
He has three goals and four points in 24 games this season. He had a career-high 18 points in 67 games two seasons ago. He adds some NHL-level depth to a team suddenly in need of it after an injury to Cody Eakin that looks to keep him out for a considerable time.
Stephenson had been in and out of the Capitals' lineup, and his time in Washington was coming to an end. He may have been waived soon with the Capitals needing to free cap space for Carl Hagelin's return from injured reserve, and instead secured a late draft pick from the Golden Knights.
Stephenson was a regular on Washington's Stanley Cup-winning team of 2017-18, including playing all five games against the Golden Knights in the Final.
He carries a cap hit of $1.05 million, according to CapFriendly and will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season. He is eligible for unrestricted free agency after 2020-21.
The Golden Knights assigned forward Nicolas Roy, who played Monday night against the New York Rangers, to AHL Chicago upon acquiring Stephenson.
This is the first trade between the Golden Knights and the Capitals. Vegas president of hockey operations George McPhee was Washington's general manager from 1997-2014.