The Washington Capitals have re-signed defenseman Lucas Johansen to a one-year, two-way contract; and signed defenseman Matt Irwin to a one-year, two-way contract, defenseman Dylan McIlrath to a two-year, two-way contract and goaltender Hunter Shepard to a two-year, two-way contract.
Johansen, who has missed most of the last two seasons due to injury, posted two assists in five games with the AHL’s Hershey Bears in 2020-21.
The fifth-year pro has skated in 133 career AHL games with Hershey, recording nine goals and 36 assists for 45 points. He was a first-round pick (28th overall) by the Capitals in the 2016 NHL Draft.
Irwin enters his 12th pro season after notching two assists in 24 games with the Buffalo Sabres in 2020-21. The UMass-Amherst product has appeared in 383 NHL games with Buffalo, Anaheim, Nashville, Boston and San Jose, totaling 22 goals and 62 assists for 84 points. Irwin has also played 47 postseason games in the NHL, including a trip to the Stanley Cup Final with the Predators in 2017.
An AHL All-Star in 2012, Irwin has played 249 games in the AHL with Milwaukee, Providence and Worcester, recording 27 goals and 92 assists for 119 points.
McIlrath joins the Capitals after five seasons with the Grand Rapids Griffins, including a Calder Cup championship in 2017. The blueliner notched two goals and six assists in 29 games in 2020-21.
McIlrath has played 426 regular-season games in the AHL with Grand Rapids, Springfield and Hartford/Connecticut, recording 23 goals and 67 assists for 90 points along with 903 penalty minutes.
McIlrath was selected by the Rangers in the first round (10th overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft, and has amassed three goals and two assists in 66 career NHL games with the Rangers, Florida and Detroit.
Shepard made his pro debut in 2020-21 after four seasons at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where he won back-to-back national championships in 2018 and 2019.
Shepard was 3-0-0 in three AHL appearances with Hershey last season, stopping 93 of 96 shots (1.00, .969) and earning a shutout in his debut on May 2 vs. Lehigh Valley.