NHL trade deadline day is one of the most exciting days of the year. Though for the Philadelphia Flyers, the 2023 TDL could be rather uneventful. They have two big ticket players that are likely to get dealt during the offseason in Ivan Provorov and Kevin Hayes, but considering their cap hit and the fact both have term remaining on their deals, it’s unlikely they are trade deadline moves.
So that leaves the pending free agents as the best trade chips the Flyers possess, and they’re relatively underwhelming if they’re looking to stockpile picks heading into the loaded 2023 draft. Which players likely get moved and what can they expect to get back in return for their most notable assets?
James Van Riemsdyk
Prediction: Second round pick OR third & fourth round pick
After the Flyers couldn’t give JVR away during the 2022 offseason, he enters the trade deadline ready to be moved again, and the big question will be what any team will be willing to give up for the 33-year-old forward? He’s got 21 points in 31 games this season after missing a stretch of time back in November with a broken finger. It’s possible some team desperate for offense could give up a second rounder for JVR, but it’s more likely they get a pair of slightly lesser picks instead.
There’s quite a few higher-end forwards that will potentially be dealt on deadline day such as Brock Boeser, Valdimir Tarasenko, Patrick Kane and Timo Meier which could possibly push JVR down a tier and lower his value. If this was a year with limited options, maybe they’d be able to squeak a higher pick, but it feels unlikely.
Prediction: fifth round pick
The Flyers got a third round pick from the Rangers for Justin Braun at the trade deadline last year. This time around, however, Braun is playing far less minutes than he was last season, and he looks every bit of 35-years-old. He could still be a serviceable third pair RHD for a defensively sound squad, but his days of wild west insanity on the blueline like the Flyers provide are over. He’s been apart of nine postseasons during his NHL career and could bring some nifty veteran leadership in that role as well. His price tag may be rather low, but there’s going to be at least a handful of teams who line up for his services on deadline day, making him easy to move.
Prediction: fourth round pick
The Flyers have talked about redundancy in the past, and with the addition of Nic Deslauriers last summer, it has felt like Zack MacEwen has been on borrowed time since. He hasn’t had a bad season per se, but his ceiling isn’t that high either. He does have four goals and nine points in 46 games so far this season, along with 54 penalty minutes, which is third on the team.
He’s a great energy guy that any team looking for a bit of toughness in their bottom six could greatly benefit from that’s still a restricted free agent at season’s end. Like Braun, they should ultimately have no problem moving MacEwen, but his trade value probably isn’t all that high.
Prediction: fifth round pick
Patrick Brown certainly exists alright. He missed the first month of the season with recovering from an offseason back surgery. When he returned he reclaimed his place on the fourth line. He’s second lowest among the regular team members in average TOI with only Nic Deslauriers below him and sees very little time on the penalty kill and even less on the powerplay.
The Flyers got a fourth rounder for Derick Brassard last season, and a fifth round pick for Michael Raffl in 2021, so these random dopth players can bring something in return, but it more than likely won’t be worthwhile.
The Flyers will more than likely listen to any offer for either Kevin Hayes or Ivan Provorov, but given their bigger AAV’s and the term remaining on their respective contracts, chances are neither get moved on deadline day when the cap could be too difficult to navigate. Morgan Frost may be the only other player on the roster who could be trade fodder as a pending restricted free agent, but his recent turn in the right direction could inspire the Flyers to keep him for another year or two in order to squeeze as much on-ice value they can out of the guy before parting ways with the 23-year-old.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: nhl.com