As reported by Japers Rink this morning, the Capitals have signed Swedish forward Mattis Sjögren to a 2-year, $1.8M rookie deal. The translated article from Sweden’s Sport Bladet can be found here.
Sjögren could find ice time both as a center and on the right wing for Washington, signalling the all-but-assured departure of fan favorite and unrestricted free agent Brooks Laich.
This is a low-risk, medium-reward signing for George McPhee. Sjögren will be paid the maximum salary ($900k a season) an NHL rookie can make, but that will put him right in line with countryman and Farjestads alum Marcus Johansson. While Johansson was a first round draft choice (Sjögren went undrafted by an NHL team in 2006), they both come from a top-tier league in the SEL. Johansson took a while in 2010-11, but developed into a solid contributor for the Caps by seasons end. Sjögren will be expected to do the same, and if he finds his way into the top 6 forwards consistently, it will be nothing but a win for the Caps.
The exciting NHL offseason hasn’t officially begun, at least not until Henrik Sedin or Zdeno Chara skates with Lord Stanley’s Cup. However, the Capitals are wasting no time in ensuring that they are better posititioned to still be playing hockey next season.