What is already more than a trend, the Flyers added yet another tough guy to their team. Today, the team traded defensive prospect Michael Ratchuk to the Columbus Blue Jackets for right wing Stefan Legein.
Legein was a second round pick (37th overall) in 2007 after back to back 100 PIM seasons in the OHL. He showed some scoring touch in the OHL, netting 135 points in 109 games over his last two campaigns there, but has only 4 points and 4 PIM in 34 career AHL games.
In return the Blue Jackets received Michael Ratchuk, a second round pick (42nd overall) in 2006, with 85 AHL games under his belt. Last year, he managed 17 points in 77 games, finishing a minus-7 on the year.
Legein, you may find out by Googling him, "retired" from hockey at the age of 19. Puck Daddy did a story on the strange retirement in which this bit of information was mentioned:
Portzline offers another theory: Legein came back from a shoulder injury last season and wasn't the same guy, either as a player or a person. He wasn't in great shape at Columbus developmental camp, and didn't stand out there either. "Right now, they've been told only that he's 'lost the passion' needed to play the game," writes Portzline. He also gets this quote from Howson: "We knew there were issues with Stefan going back to last spring. We've talked through it with him and we haven't had any success."
Interesting. After returning, Legein had one goal in 26 games. This year, he's off to a better start with 2 goals and an assist in 6 games. Needless to say, this looks like the Flyers taking a chance on a guy. Here's the scouting report on Legein from Hockey's Future:
Blessed with blazing speed, the
native plays a game tailor-made for the new, less-restrictive NHL. His work ethic and dedication to improving his game have been lauded by coaches, teammates, and scouts alike. Oakville, ON
As far as Ratchuk goes, Phantoms reporter Tim McManus reported that he was a healthy scratch for both games this past Saturday and Sunday. If the team wasn't going to play Ratchuk, taking a chance on a forward doesn't appear to be a bad idea.
Lastly, the SBNation Blue Jackets blog, The Cannon, had this to say about Legein in their Draft Preview:
Legein had a promising junior career with Niagara of the OHL, being a part of two Team Canada world junior teams in the process. This past summer however, Legein announced that he was retiring from hockey. There are many rumors out there as to why he made that decision, but this past January he returned to hockey joining the Syracuse Crunch. He is still a solid prospect, who can play in the bottom six an agitator with scoring ability, but he has a long way to go to regain the trust of the CBJ brass.
After the jump, a few YouTubes for you.