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Washington Capitals are re-acquiring Vitek Vanecek from the Seattle Kraken for a draft pick

The Washington Capitals are re-acquiring Vitek Vanecek from the Seattle Kraken for a 2023 2nd round draft pick.

Vanecek, a second-round pick (No. 39) in the 2014 NHL Draft, was the second Czech Republic-born goaltender ever selected by the Capitals, following Michal Neuvirth (2006, No. 34).

He signed a three-year, entry-level contract July 15, 2014, but played the 2014-15 season in the Czech Republic. He had a 1.50 goals-against average and .943 save percentage in two games in the Czech Extraliga, the country’s top professional league, and a 2.24 GAA and .925 save percentage in 20 games with HC Benatky nad Jizerou in the Czech second division. Vanecek also had a 4.31 GAA and .829 save percentage in three games for the sixth-place Czech Republic at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Vanecek came to North America in 2015-16, going 18-7-6 with a 2.03 GAA, .917 save percentage and four shutouts in 32 games with South Carolina of the ECHL, and was named to the league’s All-Rookie Team.

He spent most of the next three seasons with Hershey of the American Hockey League. In 2016-17 he was third among AHL rookies with a 2.54 GAA in 39 games and tied for second among all AHL goalies with five shutouts. In 2018-19 he had a 2.62 GAA and .907 save percentage in 38 games and played in the AHL All-Star Game.

Vanecek made his NHL debut Jan. 15, 2021, making 30 saves in a 2-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres. His first shutout also came against the Sabres, on March 15, 2021. His 21 wins in 2020-21 led NHL rookies and were the second-most ever by a Capitals rookie, after Neuvirth had 27 in 2010-11.

Igor Burdetskiy

Igor Burdetskiy

Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & CEO at Hooked on Hockey Magazine
I grew up playing Ball and Roller Hockey day and night somewhat religiously throughout elementary and middle school. The two don't compare though when I lace up the skates and hit the ice. I live and breathe hockey beyond the perspective of "it's just a game" and I will gladly talk hockey for hours with anyone. Hockey is more than just a lifestyle, it's a culture of passionate people who make memories every time the puck is dropped. Hockey has not only helped me get through some of the hardest times in life but has created some of the best memories to date. Want to talk hockey with me? Shoot me an email: iburdetskiy@hookedonhockey.com and let's talk some hockey!
Igor Burdetskiy
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