- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Capitals re-signed restricted free agent Andre Burakovsky to a two-year, $6 million contract, the team announced Tuesday.

Burakovsky, 22, has spent the last three years in Washington and had 35 points (12 goals, 23 assists) in 64 games last season. He is expected to have an increased role on the Capitals’ second line next season after Washington traded Marcus Johansson to the New Jersey Devils.

Burakovsky, the Capitals’ 2013 first-round pick, had a productive playoffs with three goals and three assists. When the Capitals faced a 3-1 deficit to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round, coach Barry Trotz moved Burakovsky to the first line alongside Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie. The move, which involved moving Alex Ovechkin to the third line, helped the Capitals force a Game 7 before ultimately losing.

On a conference call with reporters, MacLellan said he liked the “good, young players” the Capitals have coming up and then immediately brought up Burakovsky.

“If I look at our lineup, I think Burakovsky could of played a bigger role,” MacLellan said.

Burakovsky’s $3 million annual cap hit brings the Capitals’ remaining salary cap space to nearly $5.6 million, according to CapFriendly.com. Washington has about $69.4 million committed to 16 players. The salary cap is $75 million.

Burakovsky got a lesser deal than the Capitals’ other RFAs this offseason. Center Evgeny Kuznetsov got an eight-year, $62.4 million deal and defenseman Dmitry Orlov was signed to a six-year, $30.1 million contract.

With Burakovsky signed, backup goaltender Philipp Grubauer is the Capitals’ last restricted free agent.

The Capitals also have to fill the back end of the roster, which is expected to rely upon with younger players in the organization. NHL rosters can have a maximum 23 players.

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