The Washington Capitals have signed backup goaltender Pheonix Copley to a $3.3 million, three-year extension.

Copley will count $1.1 million against the salary cap in each of the next three seasons. General manager Brian MacLellan announced the contract Monday.

Signing Copley through the 2021-22 season raises questions about the defending Stanley Cup champion’s goaltending plans. Starter Braden Holtby is only signed through the end of next season, and Washington has top goaltending prospect Ilya Samsonov and 2014 second-round pick Vitek Vanecek in the system.

Copley has exceeded expectations in his first season as a full-time NHL backup, going 10-5-3 with a 2.98 goals-against average and .903 save percentage. The 27-year-old native from North Pole, Alaska, came into the year with a 4.32 GAA and .829 save percentage in two games with the St. Louis Blues.


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