The Winnipeg Jets have acquired defenseman Brenden Dillon from the Washington Capitals in exchange for second-round draft picks in 2022 and 2023.
The Capitals have their work cut out for them this offseason. They need to improve a roster that has not won a playoff series since taking home the Cup in 2018. After Alex Ovechkin inevitably extends with the team, they will not have the cap space necessary to not only make improvements, but to just sign RFA Ilya Samsonov. The team also needs to find a backup for Samsonov after losing Vitek Vanecek in the expansion draft. So, cap space was needed. Dillon was the perfect player on their roster that was expendable and still had value while having a high enough cap hit to make a difference. The team overall got a really, really good deal here. Defensemen have come expensive this offseason, and this is a perfect case of that.
Dillon is a fine defensive defender, but is not two second-round picks good. The Jets overpaid for a player with a $3.9 million cap hit for three more seasons. But at some point they needed to improve their defense. The left side especially was awful last year. Josh Morrissey does not have the skill to handle a number one role. Dillon does not either, but he can be a good second-pairing player to play in front of Connor Hellebuyck. He will be a decent improvement over the departing Derek Forbort. The contract, however, is not great. It may not be a surprise if he is traded again while still under it.
Dillon, 30, scored two goals with 17 assists for 19 points in 56 games for the Capitals in 2020-21. In his NHL career for Washington and the San Jose Sharks, he has scored 24 goals with 109 assists for 133 points in 654 games.