Two years ago the Capitals took highly-skilled forward Evgeny Kuznetsov with the 26th pick of the NHL draft and are still waiting for him to sign a contract.
This year, they took highly-skilled forward Filip Forsbeg with the 16th pick of the NHL draft and three weeks later have him signed to a three-year deal worth 2.5 million.
Forsberg, 17, will earn 832,500 at the NHL level and 70,000 at the AHL level.
He is just the second 2012 first-round pick to sign with an NHL team. Radek Faksa, taken 13th overall by the Dallas Stars, signed a three-year. 2.775 million contract on July 6.
Were happy we had the opportunity to draft him and he doesnt have to worry about that in the back of this mind, Capitals director of amateur scouting Ross Mahoney said. He can just get out there and play and practice and get himself ready to be a Washington Capital here in Washington.
Forsberg said negotiations between his agent, Claes Elefalk, and the Capitals began shortly after they drafted him and his week with the club during its development camp helped seal the deal.
They wanted to sign me and I wanted to sign with such a big organization and a good team, Forsberg said. It was a dream come true. I got a good first feeling from the Capitals and I thought it was a good decision to get it done right away.
Forsberg made it clear he will return to Sweden after this weeks development camp and will play for Leksand of the second-tier Swedish Allsvenskan League next season. Since Leksands training camp begins in late August, Forsberg will not attend Capitals training camp in September.
If the Caps want me over next year Ill give it a shot, he said But its hard to tell a year ahead. Well see.
At 6-foot-1, 187 pounds, Forsberg has handled himself well on the smaller ice surface at the Capitals development camp, but Maloney said he still needs work developing his offensive game. Forsberg netted eight goals and nine assists in 43 games for Leksand last season.
The big thing for him is to develop his strength, Mahoney said. As he works on his strength his skating will get even better. Hes very good from the top of the circles in he has good hands and quickness -- but his overall speed can use some improvement.
As for comparing his decision to the one made by Kuzentsov, who recently signed a two-year contract to remain in Russia until he is 22, Forsberg took the politically correct route, saying, Everyone goes their own way. Hopefully, he can play for the team one day.