Washington Capitals sign power forward Tom Wilson to a 7-year extension worth $45.5 million

NHL: Washington Capitals at Pittsburgh Penguins
NHL: Washington Capitals at Pittsburgh Penguins

The Washington Capitals have signed Tom Wilson to a seven-year extension worth $45.5 million, a move that could keep the homegrown power forward with the team for his entire NHL career.

General manager Brian MacLellan announced the deal Friday that keeps Wilson from hitting free agency next summer. Instead, he will count $6.5 million against the salary cap from the time the new contract kicks in for the 2024-25 season through 2031.

“Tom possesses all the intangibles needed to win in this league, and we are extremely pleased to sign him to a long-term contract - giving him the opportunity to finish his career in a Capitals uniform,” MacLellan said. "Throughout his career, Tom has improved every facet of his game through his drive and competitiveness. We feel his work ethic and leadership qualities will be a tremendous asset to our organization for years to come.”

Wilson, who will be 30 when the new contract begins, has been an important part of the Capitals' core for a decade after they drafted him in the first round in 2012. He had 15 points in 21 games on their 2018 Stanley Cup run.

The deal makes Wilson the only player on the roster signed past 2030 - three years longer than captain Alex Ovechkin. It also opens the door for the respected teammate and fan favorite to be the new face of the franchise and perhaps wear the “C” once Ovechkin retires.

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound winger is a rarity in modern hockey: a big, physical player who can also produce offensively. Wilson has 326 points in 763 regular-season and playoff games, including a career-best 52 in 2021-22 before tearing the ACL in his left knee in the first round.

The Toronto native is now more than a year removed from surgery and will be counted on to help Washington return to the playoffs after an eight-year streak ended last season. Wilson is playing the last year on his current contract worth just under $5.2 million annually.