ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have signed goaltender Joe Cannata, defenseman Darren Dietz and forward Christian Thomas to one-year, two-way deals, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Cannata, 26, posted a 20-13-6 record with two shutouts, a 2.52 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage in 40 games with the Utica Comets (AHL) last season. The 6’1”, 200-pound goaltender stopped all 30 shots he faced on Oct. 24 against Syracuse and earned his second shutout of the season with a 33-save performance on March 4 against Toronto. Cannata has posted a 41-33-6 record with two shutouts, a 2.59 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage in 88 career AHL games with Chicago and Utica. The Wakefield, Mass., native started for the ECHL All-Stars in the 2015 CCM/ECHL All-Star Game in Orlando and posted a 15-10-2 record with one shutout, 2.34 goals-against average, a .921 save percentage in 28 career ECHL games with Ontario and Kalamazoo. Cannata spent four seasons (2008-12) at Merrimack College (NCAA), posting a 59-46-16 record with seven shutouts, a 2.47 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage in 122 games. He holds the school record in wins, games played, goals-against average, save percentage and saves (3,152). Cannata also holds the Merrimack’s single-season records in wins (25), games played (39), goals-against average (2.18) and save percentage (.925). He was drafted by Vancouver in the sixth round, 173rd overall, in the 2009 NHL Draft.
Dietz, 22, registered five points (one goal, four assists) and 13 penalty minutes in 13 games with the Montreal Canadiens last season. The 6’1”, 201-pound defenseman made his NHL debut on March 12 against Minnesota and earned his first NHL point with an assist on March 22 against Anaheim. Dietz scored his first NHL goal and recorded his first multi-point game (one goal, one assist) on April 7 at Carolina. The Medicine Hat, Alberta, native was drafted by Montreal in the fifth round, 138th overall, in the 2011 NHL Draft. Dietz earned 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) and 61 penalty minutes in 61 games with the St. John’s IceCaps in 2015-16. He ranked second among St. John’s defensemen in penalty minutes, third in points and goals and tied for third in assists last season. Dietz has earned 38 points (eight goals, 30 assists) and 174 penalty minutes in 166 career AHL games with Hamilton and St. John’s.
Thomas, 24, registered two assists in six games with the Arizona Coyotes and Montreal Canadiens in 2015-16. He was traded from Montreal to Arizona on Dec. 15 in exchange for Lucas Lessio. Thomas earned an assist on Dec. 1 against Columbus and tallied an assist on Dec. 5 at Carolina. The 5’9”, 175-pound forward scored his first NHL goal on Feb. 12, 2015 against Edmonton and made his NHL debut on Feb. 23, 2013 at Montreal. He has earned three points (one goal, two assists) in 27 career NHL games with the NY Rangers, Montreal and Arizona. Thomas was drafted by the Rangers in the second round, 40th overall, in the 2010 NHL Draft. The Toronto native recorded 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists) in 34 AHL games with Springfield and St. John’s last season. He has earned 107 points (52 goals, 55 assists) in 219 career AHL games with Connecticut, Hamilton, St. John’s and Springfield.