ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have signed defenseman Ethan Bear to a two-year, $4.125 million contract, president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. Bear’s contract will carry an average annual value of $2.0625 million.

Bear, 26, has recorded 63 points (16g, 47a) in 251 career games with the Vancouver Canucks, Carolina Hurricanes and Edmonton Oilers. The 5’11, 197-pound defenseman spent last season with Vancouver, where he registered 16 points (3g, 13a) in 61 games. Among Canucks defensemen with at least 20 games played, Bear ranked third in plus/minus (+6), blocked shots (82) and shorthanded ice time per game (1:47). In addition, Bear’s 0.26 points-per-game in 2022-23 marked the second-highest rate of his career (2019-20: 0.30 P/GP).

Bear appeared in 58 games with Carolina during the 2021-22 season, recording 14 points (5g, 9a). Bear matched his single-season career high in goals with five, two of which were game-winners.

Originally drafted by Edmonton in the fifth round (124th overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft, Bearrecorded a career-high 21 points (5g, 16a) during the shortened 2019-20 season, appearing in all 71 of the Oilers’ games. Bear also averaged 21:58 of ice time in 2019-20, which ranked third among Oilers defensemen. Bear appeared in 132 games with Edmonton in parts of three seasons, as well as eight Stanley Cup Playoff games.

Bear registered 192 points (66g, 126a) in 264 games with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League (WHL) from 2013-17, where he was twice named to the WHL Western Conference First All-Star Team (2015-16, 2016-17). During the 2016-17 season, Bear was awarded the Bill Hunter Memorial Trophy as the WHL’s top defenseman and helped lead Seattle to the WHL championship.

Internationally, the Regina, Saskatchewan native has earned gold medals with Canada at the 2023 World Championship and the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. Bear also represented Canada at the 2015 Under-18 World Championship, winning a bronze medal.