The Philadelphia Flyers have traded the negotiating rights to Ilya Bryzgalov by trading forward Matt Clackson, the Flyers third round pick in the upcoming 2011 NHL Entry Draft, and a conditional draft pick to the Phoenix Coyotes.
Bryzgalov was considered to be the top goaltending free agent on the market. Last season Bryzgalov had a record of 36-20-1, a goals against average of 2.48, and a save percentage of .921. He is a former teammate of defensemen Chris Pronger and Sean O’Donnell.
With the move the Flyers will not have a draft pick in this year’s draft until the fourth round thanks in part to the Pronger trade as well as the Kris Versteeg trade back in February.
Clackson was a former seventh round pick in 2005 and is considered to be a fourth liner at best at the NHL level.
According to CSNPHILLY.COM, Bryzgalov will command a four year deal around $5 million per season. If that is the case the Flyers will definitely be trading partners at the upcoming draft. Without a draft pick in the first three rounds means that the Flyers will look to grab first and second round picks for players currently on the roster.
Jeff Carter’s name has been floated around to move up very high in the draft, preferably for someone in the top five. The main reasoning for trading Carter is to not just get the Flyers under the cap to sign Bryzgalov but the Flyers need to get younger on defense.
A couple of possibilities are the Flyers could target Adam Larsson or Dougie Hamilton, two players who scouts think can step right into the NHL next season. With Pronger’s back an issue and Kimmo Timonen makes the most money on defense and like Pronger he is 36 years old. The need to get younger on defense in a hurry is critical for the Flyers future on the blueline. Other trade assets are Versteeg, Scott Hartnell and Matt Carle.
Despite the fact that the Flyers won’t have a pick in the first three rounds, Philly fans might still be tuning in on Draft Day, which starts two weeks from Friday in St. Paul.