While the Atlantic Division won this weekend’s All-Star Game, the true winners were far away from FLA Arena. Capitals used the 10-day gap between games to make sure two young forwards were part of their core in 2024. Dylan Strome And Sonny Milano.
Washington made the announcements in consecutive days. retaining Strome On a 5-year deal worth $25 million and coming to terms with Milano Three years, $5.7 million. After their previous teams refused to offer them qualifying offers, both players signed on the Capitals as prove-it contracts. They took advantage of the opportunity for minutes in D.C.
Strome, 25, has spent most of the season as the Capitals’ top center on Alex Ovechkin’s line, ranking third on the team with 36 points including 14 on the power play. Milano, 26, joined the team in November 2005 and took on more responsibility as the season progressed. Milano entered the All-Star Break having scored eight goals and assisting 14 times in 40 games.
Their contributions are huge for a Washington team trying to meet the $82.5million salary cap. Now, they’re being rewarded with long-term security on a roster that developed into one of the oldest groups in the NHL.
The Capitals signed eight players between 2024-25. Charlie Lindgren At 29 years of age. Evgeny KuznetsovThe youngest skater is one-year older than his counterpart. The Strome and Milano signings are not only team-friendly but also offer serious upside as players who could still have their best years.
Strome and Milano, both first-round picks, reached the NHL as teens. They showed great promise, even though they played for teams with few talented players.
The two former top prospects were able to play alongside stars in Washington. Strome has assisted on seven of Ovechkin’s goals this season while Milano has often found himself on lines with T.J. Oshie Evgeny Kuznetsov. Nicklas backstrom, Tom Wilson, and other forwards will all be back next season.
As much as Strome and Milano have impressed already, their extensions are more about what the Capitals believe they’re capable of moving forward. They offer insurance in the case that players such as Oshie or Backstrom continue with injuries. This could mean that they will end up outplaying their agreements if they make another step in their development.
The Capitals will continue the second half with the same roster that they played the first half of last week. The Capitals’ path to contention next year has become much clearer.