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Capitals ink Schmidt, Vanecek

Ottawa Senators v Washington Capitals

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 21: Nate Schmidt #88 of the Washington Capitals skates down the ice against the Ottawa Senators at Verizon Center on January 21, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

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The Washington Capitals have recently signed two young players to deals, as they came to terms with defenseman Nate Schmidt (pictured) and goalie Vitek Vanecek.

Schmidt, 22, received a one-year, two-way contract. He might not be well-known at this point, but his numbers look pretty promising for a depth blueliner. Japer’s Rink does a great job of illustrating why the logjam on defense might hurt a player with some strengths, who might just be a little too “one-dimensional” to make an impact on what Capitals owner Ted Leonsis calls the defensive corps the team’s had since he bought the franchise.

Then again, if the Capitals were to defy their previous claims and actually trade a player like Mike Green, Schmidt could very well find himself with a larger role (or at least a role) with the team. The two-way deal gives him room to breathe and the Capitals a little leeway with their NHL-level roster.

The Caps also signed 2014 second-rounder Vanecek to an entry-level deal, according to TVA’s Renaud Lavoie:

Washington traded the 44th and 74th picks of the 2014 NHL Draft to select Vanecek, 18, with what was the Buffalo Sabres’ 39th pick. Giving up a third-rounder just to move up a few spots to grab the goalie is a strong signal that the team has pretty high hopes for the Czech-born netminder.

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins