As January comes to an end, all NHL fan eye’s turn to the trade deadline. For the Philadelphia Flyers, it’ll likely be a quiet year as the team attempts to make the playoffs for the second time in three years.
While it’s hard to fathom the Flyers trading more than three players maximum before Feb. 27, to celebrate the trade deadline, I’ve ranked all of the players on Philadelphia’s roster by their trade value. The biggest factors taken into consideration include age, cap hit and term on their respective contracts.
21. Andrew MacDonald, Years left: 3, Cap hit: $5 million, Age: 31
MacDonald is having maybe his best season in the orange and black since being acquired in 2014, but that’s still at a #5 defenseman pace. Mix that with his cap hit and the Flyers would have to pay someone to take on the former Islander. On the bright side, with just two years left after this season, the contract is moving away from being one of the worst in the league.
20. Jori Lehtera, Years left: 2, Cap hit: $4.7 million, Age: 30
General manager Ron Hextall took on Lehtera to get a second first-round pick from the Blues in the Brayden Schenn trade this summer and it’s easy to see why St. Louis was so adamant about getting rid of him. Lehtera’s barely a fourth-line player anymore and making top-six money. Like MacDonald, it would cost Philadelphia to move him.
19. Dale Weise, Years left: 3, Cap hit: $2.35 million, Age: 29
Weise makes the biggest impact of the clear bottom three players on this list, but his contract is too long to be worth anything in a trade. He can still be a fourth-line player, but he’s signed to a deal for a third-line skater. Still, it’s nowhere near as debilitating as Lehtera’s or MacDonald’s.
18. Mark Alt, Years left: 1, Cap hit: $650,000, Age: 26
Alt’s a seventh defenseman at best, which every organization needs. But every organization already has one of their own, meaning Alt wouldn’t bring back more than future considerations or a low draft pick.
17. Brandon Manning, Years left: 1, Cap hit: $975,000, Age: 27
In the Flyers’ organization, Manning is deemed important, but bottom-pairing defensemen are a dime-a-dozen. As a trade deadline pickup, he does hold some value for insurance. If he was traded, he’d only bring back a fifth or sixth round pick, but it’s something.
16. Taylor Leier, Years left: 1, Cap hit: $806,558, Age: 23
Leier has a lot going for him. He’s young, fast and under a team-controlled contract for years to come. But like Manning, he’s not a special player. Most organizations have players that fit Leier’s mold. I’d compare the 23 year old’s worth to Nick Cousins, who was paired with Merrick Madsen for a fifth round pick and prospect Brendan Warren this past summer.
(Guest Ranking) Matt Read, Years left: 1, Cap hit: $3.625 million, Age: 31
Read isn’t on the Flyers roster, but he’s the player in the organization most likely to be dealt. He has just this year left on his contract and Philly could retain some to make him more appealing. As a depth penalty killer, Read could return a fourth or fifth round pick.
15. Valtteri Filppula, Years left: 1, Cap hit $5 million, Age: 33
Last season, Filppula was acquired by Philadelphia for pennies. But that was when he had a year remaining and needed to be protected in the expansion draft. Now that he has just months left on his deal, the Finn would be an attractive depth center with plenty of experience for contending teams. If a bidding war was created over him, Filppula could bring back as high as a third rounder.
14. Robert Hagg, Years left: 1, Cap hit: $894,167, Age: 22
Hagg begins the real ascent of trade value in players. The Swede will never be more than a stay-at-home defenseman, which limits his value, but it’s definitely a role most teams require. Hagg has some holes in his game that if he clears up will increase his worth, but this is where he’s at right now.
13. Michael Raffl, Years left: 2, Cap hit: $2.35 million, Age: 29
I debated over putting Hagg over Raffl, but just two years ago at the trade deadline, there were reports teams were offering two second-round picks for the Austrian winger. His deal is slightly higher now and there’s more years on it, but teams can probably still see Raffl’s underrated worth.
12. Brian Elliott, Years left: 2, Cap hit: $2.75 million, Age: 32
Elliott’s had a little bit of a rebound with the Flyers this year after a poor season with the Calgary Flames in 2016-17. Acquiring a starter at the trade deadline has never worked to much success, but in the offseason, Elliott would probably be a hot commodity for goalie-stricken teams. In the summer of 2016, he was dealt to the Flames through the Blues for a second and third round pick. The extra third-rounder may be a tad too rich, but a second doesn’t sound out of reach.
11. Jordan Weal, Years left: 2, Cap hit: $1.75 million, Age: 25
Weal got off to a slow start this year but is showing the same promise he did last year over the past few weeks. This past summer, teams showed how valuable he is when the former King met with four before free agency. On a short, team-friendly deal, clubs would be willing to pay for the winger.
10. Scott Laughton, Years left: 2, Cap hit: $962,500, Age: 23
Some will argue that Laughton should be lower on this list. He plays on the fourth line after all, but the ones ranked below him have hit their potential or won’t reach much higher. The 2012 first round pick has shown more than just flashes of being capable of third-line minutes. If groomed properly, he could even be due for second-line duties.
9. Radko Gudas, Years left: 3, Cap hit: $3.35 million, Age: 27
Among hockey fans — and probably some NHL teams — Gudas doesn’t have a glowing reputation. However, his advanced stats numbers have always been strong and a right-handed, top-four defenseman making less than $4 million a year isn’t easy to find.
8. Travis Konecny, Years left: 2, Cap hit: $894,167, Age: 20
Before the season, I wasn’t sure where Konecny’s trade value would fall around the NHL. He had a solid rookie season, but didn’t show the promise of some upper-tier youngsters like Mitch Marner, Brayden Point or Charlie McAvoy. The London, Ontario native has changed that reputation quickly with his promotion to the top line, though. He has just 22 points in 49 games, but 12 have come in his last 13 showing he can make an impact with the top players.
7. Jake Voracek, Years left: 7, Cap hit: $8.25 million, Age: 28
Voracek would surely make his $8.25 million salary — or more — if he reached the open market, but it’s the term that holds back his value a bit. Six seasons beyond this one for a 28 year old is a large pill to swallow for a lot of teams. However, the Czech has proved last season was a fluke and is carrying the Flyers second line.
6. Wayne Simmonds, Years left: 2, Cap hit: $3.975 million, Age: 29
There’s an argument that Voracek should be above Simmonds — the former Kings’ deal is short and Voracek makes more of an even-strength impact — but it’s hard to beat that cap hit and Simmonds brings a unique skill set. Power forwards are a dying breed in the NHL and the 29 year old is maybe the most premier in the league. The opportunity to negotiate a contract that’s less than $8.25 million could make Simmonds more valuable than Voracek, also.
5. Nolan Patrick, Years left: 3, Cap hit: $925,000 (with bonuses), Age: 19
Patrick’s trade value has dropped since his draft day, for sure. A major injury and slow start will do that. However, he’s improved mightily over the past month — especially defensively — as he continues to recover from the summer abdominal surgery. If this list is done next February, I’d expect Patrick to be ranked higher.
4. Claude Giroux, Years left: 5, Cap hit: $8.275 million, Age: 30
Giroux is having one of the best bounceback seasons in the league and may put up the best numbers of his career, but he’s 30 and his deal extends four years past this one. It’s not an albatross by any means, but it’s also not as easy to deal with as the next contract on this list. If Giroux was available, a top prospect and a first round pick wouldn’t be out of the question.
3. Shayne Gostisbehere, Years left: 6, Cap hit: $4.5 million, Age: 24
Frankly, this contract by Hextall doesn’t get enough credit. Gostisbehere is a top-pairing defenseman, one of the best offensive blueliners in the league and he’s signed for less than Andrew MacDonald on a six-year deal. Teams would be lining up and giving plenty of assets to acquire the American blueliner.
2. Sean Couturier, Years left: 5, Cap hit: $4.33 million, Age: 25
Couturier has gone from fans arguing whether he’s a second line center to full-fledge top line pivot. He may score close to 40 goals this season, accumulate 70 points and earn a nomination/win the Selke Trophy all while making less than $5 million a season. On top of that, his deal runs until 2022. Some teams may question if this season is an aberration, but he’s always contributed strong advanced stats numbers and at-worst, is a two-way second-line center.
1. Ivan Provorov, Years left: 2, Cap hit: $894,167, Age: 21
Provorov may not be the best player on the team right now, but one day he will be. He’ll also be one of the toughest things to find in the NHL — a franchise defenseman. He may have only shown signs of it so far, but it’s very clear that one day the Russian blueliner will be able to make an impact on each game he plays in. Even right now, it’s hard to pick out a whole game where Provorov had a bad contest. And for any naysayers that may have existed because of his mediocre advanced stats, Provorov has proved them wrong since he was paired with Gostisbehere. Simply put, it would take a lot to pry Ivan Provorov away from Philadelphia.