The summer of 2011 was a weird time to be a Flyers fan. After a goaltending carousel in the 2011 postseason, former team owner Ed Snider and former general manager Paul Holmgren decided the team needed a true number one goalie. Unfortunately, they concluded that their number one goalie should be Ilya Bryzgalov at the price of $51 million over the span of nine years.
Obtaining the rights to Bryzgalov was the first of five trades Holmgren made that summer in order to make cap space for the netminder’s contract. He then completed the Mike Richards and Jeff Carter trades before he dealt Kris Versteeg to the Florida Panthers, which gave them a draft pick that they used to coincidentally pick a Florida native Flyers’ fans may be familiar with.
The trade with the least impact on the future of the Orange and Black was the exchange of bottom-six forward Darroll Powe to the Minnesota Wild for a 2013 third-round pick. Powe was terrible in terms of puck possession throughout his six-year NHL career, but he did provide Flyers’ fans with a beautiful goal and a wonderful beatdown. He had 22 goals, 21 assists, and 130 penalty minutes in 204 games for Philadelphia before he joined his second NHL club.
Since the return for Powe was a draft pick, Holmgren didn’t have it for too long. He
had his eyes set on bulking up the blue line for a playoff run in 2012, so in February he acquired both Pavel Kubina from the Tampa Bay Lightning and one Nicklas Grossmann from the Dallas Stars. To land this big, immobile Swede who couldn’t even spell his own name, Holmgren needed to cough up a second-round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft (a pick he acquired in the deal Mike Richards’ deal) and the 2013 third-round pick he had previously acquired for Powe. Grossmann played 198 games over the span of four seasons with the Orange and Black before being involved in a pretty good deal for the Flyers immediately after the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
The Stars would hold on to this third-round pick for a little longer than the Flyers, but they felt the need to ultimately move the pick as well. In late March of 2013, Dallas obtained Joseph Morrow and a fifth-round pick in 2013, which was used on Matej Paulovic (don’t worry about it), but it came at a cost. After competing in 835 games for the Stars, Brenden Morrow (no relation to Joseph) was traded in the midst of his seventh season as captain of Dallas to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Along with Morrow (Brenden), the Stars gave up the well-traveled 2013 third-round pick.
Each team ultimately benefited very well from this trade. Morrow (Joseph) was used as a piece to help land Tyler Seguin from the Boston Bruins. Morrow (Brenden) and the 2013 Pittsburgh Penguins were swept by the Bruins during the Eastern Conference Final, but the third-round pick is still helping the Pens today.
Of the 30 players drafted in the third round of 2013, 15 have already played at least one NHL game to date and nine of those 15 have played in at least 45 games. One of those nine is Jake Guentzel, who was taken 77th overall with the third-round pick that originally belonged to the Minnesota Wild and found its way to the Pens.
Guentzel came into the NHL with a bang, as he scored two goals in his debut against the Rangers on November 21st, 2016. After he totaled 33 points in 40 regular-season games, Guentzel proceeded to have a pretty decent postseason. He scored an overtime goal to complete a hat trick in Game 3 of the Pens’ opening round matchup against the Columbus Blue Jackets, scored four goals in the Stanley Cup Final, led the entire league in goal scoring in the playoffs, and received serious consideration to win the Conn Smythe.
At the 40-game mark this regular season, Guentzel’s point total has dropped a bit to 23 points. Hopefully for Flyers’ fans he won’t produce his second three-point game against the Orange and Black this season.