Capitals Acquire and Sign Nick Jensen
The Washington Capitals acquired defenseman Nick Jensen and a fifth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for defenseman Madison Bowey and a second-round pick in 2020. The Capitals signed Jensen to a four-year, $10-million contract extension.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some are comparing to the Capitals acquisition of Michal Kempny from the Blackhawks at last year’s deadline. Other than Kempny and Jensen being defensemen, I don’t see the similarity.
While Jensen isn’t a well-known blueliner, he drew plenty of attention during this season as a highly-touted trade candidate. Kempny, meanwhile, blossomed with the Capitals and played a crucial role in last season’s Cup run.
This is still a solid acquisition by the Capitals, who were expected to boost their blueline depth on the right side before the deadline. Jensen is used to skating over 20 minutes per game this season, giving the Capitals flexibility to move him up or down their blueline depth chart as required. They obviously see him as a long-term part of their lineup, quickly re-signing him to a deal worth an annual average value of $2.5 million. It’s an affordable deal that fits well within their salary-cap payroll but could also prove easy to move if necessary.
The Wings were reportedly interested in re-signing Jensen but evidently weren’t willing to invest as much as the Capitals to retain him. Bowey, 23, struggled to crack the Capitals’ lineup on a full-time basis but should have a better chance of sticking with the rebuilding Red Wings.
To summarize, the Capitals boost their right-side blueline depth with a long-term acquisition while the rebuilding Wings get a decent return with a young blueliner and a second-round pick.