Devante Smith-Pelly signs with KHL's Kunlun Red Star

Ailish ForfarNHL Editor


WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 20: Devante Smith-Pelly #25 of the Washington Capitals warms up before playing against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game Five of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Capital One Arena on April 20, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 20: Devante Smith-Pelly #25 of the Washington Capitals warms up before playing against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game Five of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Capital One Arena on April 20, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

Stanley Cup champion Devante Smith-Pelly signed a one-year contract with China-based KHL team Kunlun Red Star after failing to crack an NHL lineup as a free-agent this summer.

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Kunlun currently sits ninth out of 12 teams in the KHL’s Eastern Conference, with 22 points from 22 games played.

The 27-year-old played 395 games in the NHL after being selected by the Anaheim Ducks in the second round of the 2010 NHL Draft. He’s been a tough forechecking forward holding mostly a bottom-six role with Anaheim, Montreal, New Jersey and Washington, where he won the Cup in 2018. His biggest impact came during the Capitals’ championship run when Smith-Pelly scored seven goals, including two game winners, in 24 games.

He signed a one-year, $1-million extension with the Capitals after the title run, which left him as an unrestricted-free agent this summer. He attended a professional tryout with the Calgary Flames where he went without a point in four preseason games before being released.

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