Samsonov of Capitals among players not receiving qualifying offers

Ilya Samsonov did not receive a qualifying offer from the Washington Capitals and will become an unrestricted free agent Wednesday.

The 25-year-old goalie went 23-12-5 with a 3.02 goals-against average, .896 save percentage and three shutouts in 44 games (39 starts) this season. He was 1-3 with a 2.97 GAA and .912 save percentage in five Stanley Cup Playoff games (four starts), when the Capitals lost to the Florida Panthers in six games in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference First Round.

Samsonov joins forwards Dylan Strome (Chicago Blackhawks), sonny milano (Anaheim Ducks) Rem Pitlick (Montreal Canadiens), Danton Heinen (Pittsburgh Penguins) and Ryan Donato (Seattle Kraken), and defenseman Victor Mete (Ottawa Senators) among notable players who did not receive a qualifying offer and will become unrestricted free agents.

Washington traded goalie Vitek Vanecek to the New Jersey Devils on Friday for a second-round pick (No. 37, defenseman Ryan Chesley) and a third-round pick (No. 70, left wing Alexander Suzdalev) in the 2022 NHL Draft. Vanceck went 20-12-6 with a 2.67 GAA, a .908 save percentage and four shutouts this season, and 1-1 with a 4.21 GAA and an .863 save percentage in two playoff games.

A first-round pick (No. 22) by the Capitals at the 2015 NHL Draft, Samsonov is 52-22-8 with a 2.81 GAA, a .902 save percentage and six shutouts in 89 games (79 starts), and 1- 6 with a 2.98 GAA and .907 save percentage in five playoff games (four starts), all with Washington.

With Samsonov set to become an unrestricted free agent, Zach Fucale would be the lone goalie on the Capitals roster with NHL experience. The 27-year-old played four games (three starts) this season and was 1-1-1 with a 1.75 GAA, .924 percentage and one shutout.

Strome had 48 points (22 goals, 26 assists) in 69 games for the Blackhawks this season. The 25-year-old has 170 points (67 goals, 103 assists) in 273 regular-season games with the Arizona Coyotes and Blackhawks, and three points (two goals, one assist) in nine Stanley Cup Playoff games. He was the No. 3 pick at the 2015 NHL Draft by the Coyotes.

Milano had 34 points (14 goals, 20 assists) in 66 games for the Ducks. The 26-year-old has 81 points (36 goals, 45 assists) in 197 games with Anaheim and the Columbus Blue Jackets, who selected him in the first round (No. 16) of the 2014 NHL Draft.

Pitlick had 37 points (15 goals, 22 assists) in 66 games between the Minnesota Wild and Montreal Canadiens this season. The 25-year-old was claimed off waivers by the Canadians on Jan. 12. He was a third-round pick (No. 76) by the Nashville Predators at the 2016 NHL Draft.

Heinen, who turned 27 on July 5, scored an NHL career-high 18 goals this season, his first with the Penguins. He had three goals in seven Stanley Cup Playoff games, when Pittsburgh lost to the New York Rangers in the first round. Heinen signed a one-year, $1.1 million contract with the Penguins on July 29, 2021.

Donato had 31 points (16 goals, 15 assists) in 74 games for the Kraken in their inaugural season. The 26-year-old has 108 points (51 goals, 57 assists) in 254 games with the Boston Bruins, Minnesota Wild, San Jose Sharks and the Kraken.

Mete had seven points, all assists, in 37 games for the Senators this season. The 24-year-old signed a one year, $1.2 million contract with Ottawa on August 4, 2021, and has 43 points (five goals, 38 assists) in 236 regular-season games with the Canadiens and Senators, and two assists in 10 playoff games.

The NHL salary cap will increase by $1 million to $82.5 million next season.

Others who did not receive qualifying offers include forwards Sam Steel (Ducks) and Brendan Lemieux (Los Angeles Kings).

Steel had 20 points (six goals, 14 assists) in 68 games this season. He has 65 points (24 goals, 41 assists) in 197 games with the Ducks since they selected him in the first round (No. 30) of the 2016 draft.

Lemieux had 13 points (eight goals, five assists) in 50 games for the Kings this season. He was traded to Los Angeles by the Rangers on March 27, 2021, and has 60 points (31 goals, 29 assists) in 230 games with the Kings, Rangers and Winnipeg Jets.

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