Last week, the NHL trade deadline came and went. The Flyers made a few minor acquisitions of note but were also rumored to be in on some of the big names like J.J. Pageau (who ultimately went for a 1st, 2nd, and conditional 3rd round picks). Who did they get? What does it mean? Let’s take a look at who the Flyers brought in as they continue their strong play in the second half of the season.
Trade 1: Flyers acquire Nate Thompson from the Montreal Canadiens for a 5th round pick in 2021.
Nate Thompson is a 35-year-old fourth-line center who has bounced around the league quite a bit. Thompson has been moved at the deadline many times, usually to a contender to help beef up their penalty kill and organizational depth. Thompson is a strong character guy who is loved by this teammates. In many ways, I’m sure the Flyers’ brass sees him as a potential Chris Stewart replacement in this regard. However, similar to Stewart, Thompson has struggled a bit at 5-on-5 over the past few seasons. Giving up a 5th round pick isn’t much, and he may help the penalty kill, but also don’t be surprised to see him sit out some games in the press box. Thompson is a depth piece, and nothing more.
Trade 2: Flyers acquire Derek Grant from the Anaheim Ducks for a 4th round pick and Kyle Criscuolo.
In Grant, the Flyers have a solid middle-six forward who can play all forward positions. Grant, in my opinion, is one of the most underrated players in the NHL. Grant can score, play on the penalty kill and powerplay. He had 14 goals on a depleted Ducks team and could easily see that number increase on a deep Flyers squad. Grant is a solid pick-up and giving up an AHL forward and a 4th round pick isn’t much to help boost their playoff chances.
Trade 3: Flyes trade Jean-Francois Berube to the Columbus Blue Jackets for future considerations.
More than anything, this trade showed Chuck Fletcher’s faith in his prospect depth. Berube was brought in as a stop-gap to play solely in the AHL this year, surely as a means to help prospects Kirill Ustimenko and Felix Sandstrom to the North American pro game. Ustimenko had an excellent start to his pro career in the ECH, so much so that Fletcher saw it fit to move out Berube and bump up Ustimenk to full-time in the AHL. Sandstrom has struggled somewhat in his pro debut but potentially bringing over one of Samuel Ersson or Ivan Fedotov next season means the Flyers have a ton of possible AHL/ECHL options for this and next season.
Overall, the Flyers did not give up much to help boaster their playoff chances and possibly even a playoff run. Thompson and Grant should help the penalty kill and allow some pressure to be taken off some of the youngsters like Joel Farabee.