The Philadelphia Flyers coveted a top-9 forward and got their guy, acquiring 24 year old winger Kris Versteeg from the Toronto Maple Leafs, inexchange for a 1st and 3rd round pick in 2011.
“Kris is an exciting young forward,” GM Paul Holmgren said in a released statement. He’s 24 years old and he’ll fit in with our group of players here. He’s a quality forward that can play in a lot of different roles for your hockey team. He can move up and down our lineup. He can kill penalties. He can play on the power play. We think he’s a guy that over the last few years, particularly in Chicago, has really blossomed into a good forward and wethink he’s going to be a really good addition to our team.”
Versteeg, 24 (5-13-86), was a fifth-round selection of the Boston Bruins (134th overall) in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. In 53 games for Toronto this season, Versteeg has posted 14 goals and 21 assists for 35 points.He was acquired by Toronto on June 30, 2010 in a five-player trade with the Chicago Blackhawks.
Versteeg was part of Chicago’s Stanley Cup championship team last season, contributing 20 goals and 24 assists for 44 points in 79 regular season games and adding six goals and eight assists for 14 points in 22 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
In Philadelphia, Versteeg goes back into a perfect kind of role he was in Chicago where he wasn’t asked to carry the offensive load. He should also flourish in the Flyers uptempo offensive system.
At first glance some will say that a 1st and 3rd round pick is steep for a player of Versteeg’s caliber. However, the Flyers are a win-now team and the upcoming draft is a mediocre one at best and this is the year that many believe is the year to move mid and late first round picks for immediate help.
The Flyers also acquired a 2011 3rd round pick from the Penguins last year at the 2010 draft in exchange for the negotiating rights to Dan Hamhuis, which helped them in this deal.
Several teams had interest in Versteeg, including the Pittsburgh Penguins.