The Washington Capitals completed the final stage of their National Hockey League draft day facelift when they signed Swedish winger Peter Sundstrom to a contract yesterday.

Sundstrom, 25, is a tentative replacement for Gaetan Duchesne on the checking line with Bob Gould and Kelly Miller. He agreed to a contract covering one year plus an option. The Capitals will give a 1988 fifth-round draft choice to the New York Rangers, Sundstrom's former NHL club.

Eager to return to the NHL after a year in Sweden, Sundstrom resolved differences with his Bjorkloven club team that delayed the Swedish Hockey Federation's approval of his transfer.

Duchesne, Alan Haworth and Washington's first-round draft pick were traded to Quebec on June 13 for goalie Clint Malarchuk and center Dave Hunter.

But Capitals General Manager David Poile thought about Sundstrom during the draft, called time and walked across to his Quebec counterpart, Maurice Filion.

"On my way to Quebec's table, I asked Espo {Rangers General Manager Phil Esposito} about Sundstrom," Poile said. "Then I made the Quebec deal and on the way back I confirmed the Sundstrom deal with Espo.

"My thought with giving up Gaetan was that this {Sundstrom} was a player who could fill his role on the Gould-Miller line."

Sundstrom has mixed credentials, scoring 22 goals in his first NHL season with New York in 1983-84 and 18 the next year despite drawing criticism for his lack of physical play. After getting limited ice time under former coach Ted Sator in 1985-86, Sundstrom went back to Sweden in disgust.

Last season he scored 22 goals in 36 games as Bjorkloven captured the Elite Division championship. Sundstrom later played with fellow Capital Bengt Gustafsson on the surprising Swedish national team that won the World Hockey Championships in Vienna.

During that tournament, Sundstrom told Poile of his desire to return to the NHL.

The Philadelphia Flyers yesterday traded rights to defenseman Brad McCrimmon -- a five-year Flyer, who became a free agent -- to the Calgary Flames for two draft picks. The Flyers will receive a first-round selection in either 1988 or 1989, Philadelphia's choice, and a third-rounder the other year.