The deep just got deeper.

The Washington Capitals, who lead the NHL standings, acquired veteran defenceman Tom Gilbert from the Los Angeles Kings Wednesday in exchange for a conditional fifth-round draft pick in 2017.

Gilbert will report to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League.

The 34-year-old Minnesota native registered five points (one goal, four assists) in 18 games with the Kings this season before falling out of favour with the big club. He cleared waivers on Feb. 2 and collected an assist in five games with the Ontario Reign of the AHL.

L.A. only receives a fifth-round pick if Washington wins two or more playoff rounds this spring and Gilbert plays in 50 per cent or more of the Capitals' total post-season games, according to reports.