The Capitals have acquired top-line winger Martin Erat and AHL center Michael Latta from the Nashville Predators in exchange for Capitals prospect Filip Forsberg, the 11th player taken in last year’s draft.
Erat, 31, has two more years remaining on a contract that pays him $4.5 million a season.
Erat is a left-handed shooting right wing who has four goals and 17 assists in 35 games with the Predators. He’s expected to be given a chance on the left side of the Capitals’ top line with Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin.
Erat ranks tied for first on Nashville in points and led the team in assists at the time of the trade. Erat ranked second among Nashville forwards in time on ice per game (18:55) and tied for second among Nashville forwards in power-play time on ice per game (2:41). He was named an alternate captain for Nashville this season.
The native of Trebic, Czech Republic, currently ranks second in Nashville franchise history in career points (481), goals (163), assists (318), games played (723), game-winning goals (26) and ranks third in power-play goals (42). He recorded a career-high 58 points (19 goals, 39 assists) last season for Nashville and has eclipsed the 50-point plateau in five of the last six seasons. The three-time 20-goal scorer has represented the Czech Republic in the World Championships (three times), World Junior Championships (twice) and the Winter Olympic Games in 2006 and 2010.
The 6-foot, 196-pound forward has registered 23 points (eight goals, 15 assists) in 46 career playoff games with Nashville, ranking second in playoff scoring, games played, assists and fourth in goals in Nashville postseason history.
Latta, 21, ranks second on the Milwaukee Admirals (AHL) in points (34) and first in assists (26) among active players. He compiled a plus-9 rating and 184 penalty minutes (led the team) in 67 games played this season. In 122 career AHL games with Milwaukee, the St. Clements, Ontario, native has recorded 23 goals, 41 assists and 286 penalty minutes.
The 6-foot, 215-pound center was drafted by Nashville in the third round (72nd overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. He will report to Hershey.
Just two hours before the trade deadline Capitals coach Adam Oates said his team has put general manager George McPhee in a position to be a buyer and not a seller.
“I think we feel better about ourselves than we did two weeks ago,” Oates said, referring to the Caps’ 5-1-1 run. “We’re playing decent hockey and hopefully we’re going to continue to do that. We’re obviously striving for the playoffs and see where it goes.”
With the addition of Erat, the Capitals’ roster now looks like this:
Martin Erat -Nicklas Backstrom-Alex Ovechkin
Brooks Laich-Mike Ribeiro-Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera-Mathieu Perreault-Marcus Johansson
Matt Hendricks-Jay Beagle-Joel Ward/Wojtek Wolski/Aaron Volpatti
Karl Alzner-Mike Green
Jack Hillen-John Carlson
John Erskine-Steve Oleksy
Braden Holtby-Michal Neuvirth