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Posted at 11:43 AM ET, 07/13/2012

Caps sign Filip Forsberg to entry-level deal

Filip Forsberg, 11th overall pick by the Washington Capitals, poses on stage during the first round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft last month at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh. (Bruce Bennett - Getty Images)
First-round draft pick Filip Forsberg has one more year left on his contract in Sweden and will play there next season, but whenever the young forward does make the transition to North America, the paperwork will be squared away.

On Friday, Washington signed Forsberg to a three-year, entry-level contract worth $832,500 per season at the NHL level. The contract goes into effect whenever Forsberg plays his first professional season in North America, which won’t be any sooner than the 2013-14 season.

“I got a good first feeling from the Capitals,” Forsberg said, “And I thought it was a good decision to get it done right away.”

Forsberg, who turns 18 in August, will play with Leksands IF in Sweden during the 2012-13 campaign. While Forsberg has made it clear that he will eventually make the leap to the NHL, when it will occur remains to be determined.

“That’s a hard question,” Forsberg said when asked about a potential timeline. “I will be playing back in Leksand this year. Then if the Caps want me over, maybe I give it a shot. It’s hard to tell a year ahead. In one year, you can ask me the same question.”

Forsberg’s skill has helped him stand out at times on the ice during this week’s development camp but he’s still quite young and building strength is an important step for the highly-touted prospect Capitals Director of Amateur Scouting, Ross Mahoney, said.

“When you see Filip, he’s a very young looking young man. A big thing for him is to develop his strength. As he works on his strength, his skating will get even better,” Mahoney said. “He’s very good at the top of the circle. He has good hands and has some quickness but his overall speed could use some improvement, but that’s the same with most young players his age. So really I think developing off the ice is important for him.”

All entry-level deals are two-way under the terms of the current collective bargaining agreement and Forsberg’s is worth $70,000 at the AHL level, but at this stage it seems unlikely that he would see time with the Hershey Bears.

By  |  11:43 AM ET, 07/13/2012

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