Avs pick up Varlamov from Caps for picks

Semyon Varlamov - JOCELYN MALETTE / JOURNAL DE MONTREAL / QMI AGENCY

Semyon Varlamov - JOCELYN MALETTE / JOURNAL DE MONTREAL / QMI AGENCY

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 5:54 PM ET

 The Colorado Avalanche have acquired the rights to restricted free agent goaltender Semyon Varlamov from the Washington Capitals in exchange for a pair of draft picks.

Colorado will send Washington a first-round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and a second-round choice in either the 2012 or 2013 draft.

"Semyon is an elite goaltender who is a key part of our future success," said Avalanche executive advisor Joe Sakic. "Avalanche fans should be very excited with this acquisition, as we all are."

Varlamov had reportedly set his sights on playing in his native Russia next season after losing out on the No. 1 goaltender job in Washington. Michal Neuvirth wrestled that position away and started every game in this spring's playoffs for the Capitals, while the club also has 21-year-old Braden Holtby as a potential prospect.

The Avalanche were in need of a top goaltender after trading Craig Anderson to Ottawa last year and failing to make an offer to restricted free agent Brian Elliott. Peter Budaj is also an unrestricted free agent.

"In Semyon Varlamov we are acquiring a highly-touted NHL goaltender," said Avalanche general manager Greg Sherman. "At 23 years old, he is regarded as a solid and talented netminder by our staff. We definitely feel we have addressed our top priority this offseason and for many years to come."

Varlamov was a first-round pick in 2006 and made his debut for the Capitals during the 2008-09 season. He then made a name for himself by backstopping Washington to a first-round victory over the Rangers in the 2009 playoffs, helping the club rally from a 3-1 series deficit.

However, Varlamov has appeared in just 53 games over the past two seasons. In 59 career NHL games, he has a record of 30-13-12 with four shutouts and a 2.39 goals-against average.

In 27 games this past season, he compiled a record of 11-9-5 with two shutouts and a 2.23 GAA.


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