Washington Capitals Sign Goon Matt Clackson

The Washington Capitals have signed forward Matt Clackson to a one-year, $525K contract.

Clackson, 27, recorded one goal, one assist and 193 penalty minutes in 43 games with the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League (AHL) last season. Clackson finished first on Chicago and eighth in the AHL in penalty minutes in 2011-12. The 6’0”, 190-pound forward has collected seven goals, 14 assists and 767 penalty minutes in 247 career AHL games with Chicago, Adirondack and Philadelphia.

Clackson attended Peters Township High School in McMurray, Pennsylvania, and played for the school’s varsity ice hockey team, winning twoPennsylvania State AA Ice Hockey Championships. He was a teammate of NHLer Christian Hanson at Peters Township.After high school, he played two seasons of Junior A with the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League (USHL) and was selected 215th overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers.

Following his draft, he spent three seasons with Western Michigan University of the NCAA circuit. After his junior season, he decided to forego his senior year by signing with the Flyers on March 19, 2008. That same day, he was assigned to the Philadelphia Phantoms of the American Hockey League (AHL); he played two games with the AHL team to close out the 2008–09 season. Clackson then played three full seasons with the Philadelphia/Adirondack Phantoms, re-signing with the Flyers following the 2009–10 season.

On June 7, 2011, Clackson was packaged into a trade that sent him, a 2012 third round draft pick and future considerations, to the Phoenix Coyotes, in exchange for goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov. Failing to come to terms with the Coyotes on a new contract, he became an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Several months later, he was invited to the Vancouver Canucks on a tryout basis during the team’s training camp.

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