As the title specifies, today, the Philadelphia Flyers acquired Kris Versteeg from the Toronto Maple Leafs for a first and third round pick.
For the second time in two weeks, the Leafs made a big splash– trading away yet another capable veteran with a history of winning and in the process restocking their cupboards. Although both Versteeg and Francois Beauchemin were in no way the problem, their roles were luxuries on a poor Leafs team.
Most importantly, however, seems to be the addition of a first round pick, a pick they did not hold and one that should excite the entire city. In a rebuild the team must gather young assets for the future and Brian Burke did just that.
Before delving into the fantasy analysis, let’s take a look at the asset management here.
In the summer, Burke and the Leafs acquired Versteeg for Viktor Stalberg and prospects Chris DiDomenico and Philippe Paradis. Prior to that, Paradis was acquired for former first rounder Jiri Tlusty, a third line winger currently developing under Paul Maurice on the Carolina Hurricanes.
By my math that makes it Tlusty, Stalberg, DiDomenico, Paradis and Versteeg all for this first and third round pick… but at least they got a first!
In all seriousness, this deal looks like another good hockey trade– a trade which works for both teams.
The Flyers will benefit from another gritty winger on their roster, one with a Cup ring. His addition likely pushes Andreas Nodl and James van Riemsdyk and should cut into the playing time of Dan Carcillo and Nikolai Zherdev. Considering he regularly plays in all situations, like the powerplay, he could cut into time of van Riemsdyk or Ville Leino or even take a spot on the point from Andrej Meszaros or Matt Carle.
For Versteeg there seems to be a variety of lines he could play on, from one with Mike Richards to Jeff Carter or Claude Giroux. (Edit: Versteeg starts off with Richards, says Sam Carchidi of Philly.com). It goes without saying that a scoring line on Philly certainly beats the third line in Toronto.
The 24-year-old can play anywhere between the first and third line and even comes with another year at a reasonable $3.083 million cap hit. He brings another player to the Flyers who can bring something extra to the table and knows how to step up– six goals and 14 points over 22 games with the Champion Chicago Blackhawks.
Either way, it looks like the Flyers and Versteeg will be a fine match.
A first and a third round pick, even though likely closer to second and fourth round pick will get the Toronto fan-base excited come draft time, which also should be a fine match. Good hockey trade.