The Flyers came into Los Angeles with zero picks in the first and second rounds of the NHL Draft.
They left Los Angeles with 6 drafted players, and a potential starting goaltender.
While most of Friday was spent dwindling in uneventful speculation, Saturday was not only active for the Flyers but productive as well.
First the picks:
#89- Michael Chaput- C
Team – Lewiston MAINEiacs (QMJHL)
Hometown – lle Bizard, QUE
Age – 18
Height/Weight – 6″1, 194lbs
- Compares his game to that of Alex Burrows of the Canucks
#119- Tye McGinn – LW
Team – Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL)
Hometown – Fergus, ONT
Height/Weight – 6″2, 195lbs
- Amassed 69 total points (including playoffs) last season in the QMJHL
#149- Michael Parks – RW
Team – Cedar Rapids Roughriders (USHL)
Hometown – O Fallon, MISS
Age – 18
Height/Weight – 5″10, 184lbs
- Committed to the University of North Dakota
#179 – Nick Luukko – D
Team – The Gunnery (CONN)
Hometown – West Chester, PA
Age – 18
Height/Weight – 6″1, 190lbs
- Son of Flyers President Peter Luukko
#206 – Ricard Blidstrand – D
Team – AiK (Swedish Juniors)
Hometown – Stockholm, SWE
Age – 18
Height/Weight – 6″1,191lbs
- Pick from trade with Carolina (Jon Matsumoto)
#209 – Brendan Ranford – LW
Team – Kamloops Blazers (WHL)
Hometown – Edmonton, Alberta
Age – 18
Height/Weight – 5″9, 182lbs
- Amassed 65 points in 72 games for the Blazers last season
The Flyers made three deals over the two days in Los Angeles. One was trading away previously acquired rights of defensemen Dan Hamhuis to Pittsburgh for a 3rd round pick.
Flyer fans were surely up in arms after hearing this trade. Not only are the Flyers out on Hamhuis but they’ve traded him to bitter rival Pittsburgh? All-in-all it’s a smart move by Holmgren, who made his fair share of similar intelligent moves this weekend. The problem Hamhuis had wasn’t with the money or years of a potential contract, it was playing time, something the Flyers can’t promise. Word around the league is that Hamhuis may not be able to come to terms with Pittsburgh either. Vancouver seems to be his likely destination although on Saturday Holmgren stated he’s be making a call to Hamhuis on July 1st. Making one last attempt to bring him on board.
Another deal was completed with the Carolina Hurricanes. The Flyers sent center Jon Matsumoto to the Hurricanes for a 7th round pick. A pick the Flyers used to select defensemen Ricard Blidstrand. Matsumoto had spent parts of 4 seasons with the Philadelphia Phantoms of the AHL, the Flyers minor league affiliate. During those 4 seasons Matsumoto never suited up for a game with the big clue. Matsumoto was obviously someone the Flyers had given up on, and they do have a surplus at the center position.
The third and final deal, made before leaving Los Angeles was one that most Flyers fans were anticipating, a trade for a goaltender. The Flyers have come to a verbal agreement with the San Jose Sharks for the rights to goaltender Evgeni Nabokov. Nabokov who will become a free agent July 1st was told earlier in the week by the Sharks that they would not attempt to retain his services. If the Flyers and Nabokov are able to come to terms by July 1st, San Jose will receive a 7th round pick. Nabokov technically has a no-trade-clause in his contract which is still in effect until July 1st though, his agent assured the Flyers that it’s a “non-issue.” As they feel since San Jose has already stated they don’t plan on bringing his client back, that the no-trade-clause is no longer a factor.
The Flyers had been in discussions with San Jose Friday night, and the discussions were said to be about Nabokov. Also, the Flyers were linked to the Boston Bruins, who are desperately trying to trade away now back-up goaltender Tim Thomas. Apparently, Boston is trying to sweeten the pot by perhaps adding Marc Savard in a package to a team willing to take on Thomas’ contract. Earlier Saturday afternoon whispers around the league were that Thomas has waived his no-trade-clause, which means he could be headed somewhere. And just because the Flyers acquired the rights to Nabokov doesn’t mean they aren’t done looking for their future man between the pipes. I’d say practically every goalie available, including Michael Leighton, are still in the fold. Though, the Flyers would be wise to try and make things work with Nabokov. Now, Nabokov is no spring chicken, though, he’s still a viable option and still has the talent to be an elite goaltender in the NHL. Nabokov’s age may benefit the Flyers the most. He’s a veteran goaltender, who at times in his career was regarded as one of the best, if not the best goaltender in the league. Whose going to come relatively cheap if he fails. And if he doesn’t fail, that will mean the Flyers will perhaps be back in the Finals again. Trust me, the Flyers will gladly pay, then.
About the Author
Written by Mike Santa Barbara
Sports writer covering mostly Philadelphia sports for over 10 years. Work has been featured on RealGM.com, GCobb.com and Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia (CSNPhilly.com.)