The Washington Capitals have signed center Brad Malone to a one-year, two-way contract, the team announced Saturday. Malone is expected to provide much-needed center depth for Washington’s American Hockey League affiliate in Hershey next season, but he also has NHL experience, in case the Capitals are in need of a veteran call-up. According to team reporter Mike Vogel, Malone’s NHL salary will be $575,000 and fall to $250,000 when in the AHL.

Malone, 27, scored six points (two goals and four assists) in 57 games with the Carolina Hurricanes last season. The 6-foot-2, 207-pound center led the Hurricanes with 75 penalty minutes in 2015-16 and ranked second on the team in hits (124). Malone has played in 176 NHL games across five seasons with Carolina and Colorado, and he established career highs in goals (7), assists (8), points (15) and games played (65) in the 2014-15 season. He was in nine NHL fights last season, according to

Pending a contract extension for Marcus Johansson, the Capitals already have 13 forwards slated for the NHL roster, and General Manager Brian MacLellan said a 14th spot would most likely be held for prospects who could get some NHL experience and then go back down to the AHL. Expect Malone to start the season with the Hershey Bears, and he could have a role similar to center Zach Sill, a veteran who spent most of the season in the AHL but played well with the Capitals when injuries impacted Washington’s depth at center.

Malone has registered 75 points (29 goals and 46 assists) and 263 penalty minutes in 165 career AHL games with the Lake Erie Monsters. He finished tied for second among Lake Erie skaters in scoring with 36 points in 2011-12, and he was second on the team in assists and ranked fifth in penalty minutes (89). Malone is already familiar with a pair of Capitals, as he was teammates with defenseman Taylor Chorney and winger T.J. Oshie at the University of North Dakota during the 2007-08 season.