Capitals trade Dillon to Jets for pair of 2nd-rounders

Steven Ryan / National Hockey League / Getty

The Washington Capitals traded blue-liner Brenden Dillon to the Winnipeg Jets for a second-round pick in 2022 and 2023, the teams announced Monday.

Dillon, 30, has three years left on his contract, which carries a $3.9-million cap hit. He registered two goals and 17 assists in 56 games this past season while averaging 18:57 of ice time, but the 6-foot-4, 225-pound rearguard is known more for his defensive abilities.

The British Columbia native isn't afraid to throw his weight around, racking up 143 hits last season, but he's also posted strong underlying numbers over the past three campaigns.

Dillon will also arrive in Winnipeg with some familiarity. Prior to joining the Capitals at the 2019 trade deadline, Dillon spent parts of six seasons with the San Jose Sharks, where he was often paired with current Jets defenseman Dylan DeMelo.

Winnipeg has been trying to rebuild its blue line since it lost Dustin Byfuglien, Jacob Trouba, Tyler Myers, and Ben Chiarot in the 2019 offseason.

With Dillon entering the fold, here's the Jets' current blue-line depth chart:

Josh Morrissey Neal Pionk*
Brenden Dillon Dylan DeMelo
Logan Stanley*
Ville Heinola
Dylan Samberg

*Pending restricted free agent

The Jets could still add one more right-handed defenseman if they aren't comfortable putting one of their young left-handed blue-liners on their off side. The club projects to have nearly $20 million in cap space, but in addition to Pionk and Stanley, Andrew Copp is also an RFA.

Meanwhile, the Capitals were likely looking to create some cap flexibility. The team has $13.6 million in projected cap space now but still needs to re-sign Alex Ovechkin and could add a netminder to pair with RFA Ilya Samsonov. Michal Kempny, who missed the entire 2020-21 campaign recovering from an Achilles tear, could step in and fill Dillon's shoes.

Capitals trade Dillon to Jets for pair of 2nd-rounders
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