The Capitals re-signed defenseman Tomas Kundratek to a two-year contract, the team announced Tuesday.
Kundratek, 23, will earn $550,000 on a one-way deal in 2013-14 but in 2014-15 it switches to a two-way contract worth $550,000 at the NHL level and $150,000 in the American Hockey League. With the signing of Kundratek, the Capitals have a little more than $8.4 million in room under the salary cap.
It’s an opportunity for Kundratek, who was an impending restricted free agent, to show he can stick in the NHL for a full 82-game season after appearing in 25 games (1G, 6A, 16:09 average TOI) with the Capitals last season.
Kundratek made a strong impression on Coach Adam Oates and assistant coach Calle Johansson during their time in Hershey during the lockout, prompting the Capitals to recall the Czech native after Jack Hillen was injured in the season opener last year. His skating ability fits well into Oates’s defensive structure and if he can continue to progress, Kundratek makes for a salary-cap friendly addition to Washington’s NHL depth chart.
A right-handed shot, Kundratek will compete with Steve Oleksy for a spot on the Capitals’ third defensive pairing in training camp this September.