Defensive prospect Chase Priskie has informed the Capitals that he will not be signing with Washington and will instead wait to become a free agent on Aug. 15, according to Bob McKenzie. Priskie was a sixth-round draft pick by the Caps in 2016 and has become a highly regarded prospect after four impressive seasons at Quinnipiac. 

Washington attempted to sign Priskie in 2018, but he elected to return for his final college season. 

Priskie’s decision does not necessarily mean he will not sign with Washington, but obviously makes it far less likely. He can only sign with the Caps until Aug. 15, but will be free to sign with any team after that. As a highly regarded prospect, general manager Brian MacLellan could gauge interest in a possible trade, but with no guarantee Priskie would sign with the new team, Washington is unlikely to get much if anything in return.

College players remaining in school four years and holding out for free agency is a growing trend in the NHL as it allows young players the chance to pick and choose their team. That is an enticing prospect considering restricted free agent rules prevents players from getting to free agency for several years into their professional careers.

What further complicates Priskie’s situation with the Caps was that the team is already at its 50-contract limit, meaning it could not sign Priskie for this season like it did with Shane Gersich in 2018. Instead, he would have had to sign a contract for next season. It is unclear if that played a role in Priskie’s decision, but it is one reason why free agency would be more appealing.