The Washington Capitals have traded center Lars Eller to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for a 2025 second-round pick, the team announced on Wednesday.
Eller is the fifth player the Capitals have traded away since last Thursday in what's been Washington's biggest sell-off in years. Garnet Hathaway and Dmitry Orlov were traded to Boston; Erik Gustafsson to Toronto; Marcus Johansson to Minnesota.
The Capitals will retain 31% of Eller's salary in the deal. The 33-year-old is set to be an unrestricted free agent after the 2022-23 campaign.
Eller, 33, has spent the last six-plus seasons with Washington. Arguably his best season came in 2017-18, where he totaled a career-high 18 goals and 20 assists (38 points). The Denmark native recorded 30-plus points in four of his six full seasons with Washington (and it likely would have been five had the 2019-20 season not been cut short due to the pandemic).
Eller will be most remembered in Washington for his exceptional play during the Capitals' Stanley Cup run in 2018. The center scored seven goals and 11 assists in the 2018 playoffs, including three-game winning goals. Eller scored the double-overtime game-winner against Columbus in Game 3 of the opening round, the first of four straight wins for the Capitals over Columbus after beginning the series down 2-0.
In the Stanley Cup Final against Las Vegas, Eller scored the go-ahead goal in Washington's 4-3 Game 5 victory over the Golden Knights, clinching the first title in Capitals' history.
Following Eller's departure, only six members of Washington's Cup-winning team remain: Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, T.J. Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov, John Carlson and Tom Wilson.