- The Washington Times - Friday, July 27, 2018

The Washington Capitals and forward Tom Wilson have agreed to a six-year deal with an annual average value of $5.17 million, the team announced Friday night.

Wilson, 24, rose the ranks of the Capitals‘ depth chart from fourth-line enforcer to top-line contributor in a few short seasons. He set career highs in 2017-18 with 14 goals and 21 assists, while also leading the team with 187 penalty minutes, the second-highest mark in the NHL. 

Tom is an invaluable member of our team and we are pleased that he is committed to sign a long-term deal at this point in his career,” general manager Brian MacLellan said in a statement. “Tom is a unique player in this League, in that he plays a physical game, leads by example and contributes in every facet of the game.”

Wilson seemed to catch scrutiny for at least one hit in every round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, most notably when he was suspended three games for a check against the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Zach Aston-Reese in the second round.

Still, Wilson played 21 playoff games this past season and tallied five goals and 10 assists. Now locked in with a contract that totals $31 million, he figures to be a top-six forward on Capitals‘ teams to come.

Washington has secured the final major point on its offseason checklist after re-signing pending free agent blueliner John Carlson and re-upping with playoff hero Devante Smith-Pelly. Wilson was a restricted free agent and the Capitals tendered a qualifying offer for him back in June, with the intention of striking a long-term contract for the fan favorite.

The deal also uses up most of the Capitals‘ remaining cap room for the upcoming season. They have $1.095 million remaining, according to capfriendly.com.

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