Capitals trade Anthony Mantha to the Vegas Golden Knights for two draft picks

The Washington Capitals have made their first move ahead of the NHL’s March 8 trade deadline.

Anthony Mantha has been dealt to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for a 2024 second-round draft pick and a 2026 fourth-round draft pick. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman was the first to report the full trade details.

Mantha has 34 points (20g, 14a) in 56 games this season. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Additionally, according to ESPN’s Kevin Weekes, the Capitals will be retaining 50 percent of Mantha’s $5.7 million cap hit.

The Capitals initially acquired the 29-year-old winger from the Detroit Red Wings in April of 2021. Jakub Vrana, Richard Panik, a 2021 first-round draft pick, and a 2022 second-round draft pick went back in exchange. This season is his first in DC where he has hit the 20-goal mark.

Mantha recently reflected back on that trade, knowing that he might be on the move again soon. This time though, a deal would impact not only himself but also his wife Caitlyn–currently pregnant with the couple’s second child–and their daughter Naomie.

“It’s a little different this year, I would say,” Mantha said. “My first trade, I wasn’t quite expecting anything of it. I obviously didn’t have a wife or daughter also at that time. I was with Caitlyn, don’t get me wrong, but it’s just a little different with a daughter in play and the unknown.

“Obviously, you just never know, but I try to go day by day and do my best, play for this team — that’s who I’m playing for right now — and I’m focused on winning games here, being a good teammate and that’s all I can do.”

Mantha’s 20 goals rank second on the Capitals, and his 28-goal pace would be the best of his career. He’ll now join a Vegas team that sits third in the Pacific Division and has struggled in their last 10 games, winning just twice.

Here is the Capitals’ press release on the trade:

Capitals Acquire 2024 Second-Round Pick and 2026 Fourth-Round Pick from Vegas for Anthony Mantha

ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have acquired a second-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft and a fourth-round pick in the 2026 NHL Draft from the Vegas Golden Knights for forward Anthony Mantha, president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. The Capitals will retain 50 percent of Mantha’s salary as part of the trade.

The Capitals own 23 total picks in the next three drafts. Washington currently has seven picks in the 2024 NHL Draft, eight picks in the 2025 NHL Draft and eight picks in the 2026 NHL Draft. The Capitals own their first, third, fourth, fifth and sixth-round picks in 2024, as well as Vegas’ second-round pick and Boston’s third-round pick in 2024; their first, second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth-round picks in 2025, as well as Colorado’s second-round pick and Boston’s second-round pick in 2025; and all seven of their picks in the 2026 NHL Draft, along with Vegas’ fourth-round pick.

Mantha, 29, has recorded 34 points (20g, 14a) in 56 games with the Capitals this season and will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Originally drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the first round (20th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft, Mantha has registered 286 points (139g, 147a) in 476 career games with Washington and Detroit.

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