Sonny Milano came off a career season and into a new contract today with the Washington Capitals. The deal is a one-year, one-way contract worth $750,000.
Sonny Milano's one-year, one-way deal with #caps is worth $750,000.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) October 16, 2022
Sonny Milano Gets Contract with Capitals
Despite his high draft position – 16th overall in 2014 – Milano has not had an easy time trying to establish an NHL career. He was drafted as a pure offensive threat, and for good reason. He was an absolute terror for the U.S. National U-18 Team, scoring 29 goals and 86 points in just 58 games. He wasn’t great defensively, which dropped him down a bit, but his scoring ability was worth taking a chance on.
Most of 2015-16 and 2016-17 as spent in the AHL, honing his game while getting the occasional call-up. By 2017-18, he was getting a regular shift with a decent Columbus Blue Jackets team. He lost coach John Tortorella’s trust, though, and was once again mainly in Cleveland for 2018-19. He was eventually sent to the Anaheim Ducks for Devin Shore, arriving just in time for the chaos that was the NHL’s COVID seasons.
Milano’s first two years with Anaheim were a write-off. He did modestly well after the trade, scoring two goals and five points in nine games. That was good enough for the Ducks to sign him to a two-year, $1.7 million/per deal. Concussion and smaller injuries limited him to just six games in the first year of the deal. Not the ideal start.
The past season was much, MUCH better. He still missed some games to injury, but no concussion symptoms. He found a home with veteran Rickard Rakell and super sophomore Trevor Zegras. Last year’s 14 goals, 34 points, and 66 games are all career highs.
What This Means
Obviously, they hope his numbers continue to improve. He won’t be more than secondary scoring, but Milano has speed to burn. Last year clearly improved his confidence and creativity, taking full advantage of the power-play time he was given. It’s not all peaches and cream, though. While his defence has improved markedly since that long-ago scouting report, it’s still not exactly a hallmark of his game.
If his injury history is behind him, Sonny Milano is a proven – if not exactly prolific – secondary scorer. That’s well worth taking a chance on.