Chuck Fletcher has made his first trade as Flyers general manager and boy is it one that really moves the needle.
The Flyers have sent Jordan Weal to the Arizona Coyotes for defenseman Jacob Graves and a sixth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. Jeff Marek tweeted the following on the deal, and then the Flyers confirmed with the addition of Graves in the deal.
Graves, 23, is a right-shot defenseman currently with the Coyotes’ ECHL affiliate.
Hearing Jordan Weal to Arizona for a 6th rounder.— Jeff Marek (@JeffMarek) January 11, 2019
OFFICIAL: The #Flyers have acquired defenseman Jacob Graves and a sixth round draft pick in 2019 from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for forward Jordan Weal. https://t.co/l2f6ncgXhs— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) January 11, 2019
Weal, 26, has three goals and six assists for nine points in 28 games for the Flyers this season. The center has in and out of the lineup for the better part of the last three years, though he did get in 69 (nice) out of 82 games just last season. But with Sean Couturier, Nolan Patrick, Scott Laughton, and (somehow) Jori Lehtera playing down the middle Weal was often left to the press box.
He was acquired by then-GM Ron Hextall along with a third-round pick (Which became Carsen Twarynski) back in 2016 in the deal that send Vincent Lecavalier and Luke Schenn to the Los Angeles Kings.
The diminutive forward has posted favorable possession metrics since arriving in Philadelphia, carrying a 53.5% Corsi For combined in the last three years. Despite his ability to generate solid metrics, the results never really were there (19 goals, 23 assists in 124 games) for a player more suited for top-six minutes but playing often on the third or fourth lines in Philadelphia.
Fletcher is poised to subtract from a team that is currently 30th in the standings and has a less than 5% chance at a playoff berth. Next up on the trade block could conceivably be Wayne Simmonds and perhaps Jake Voracek if the Flyers’ brass wants to really shake things up.
If in fact the Flyers do get a sixth-rounder for Weal, their draft history in that round has produced some interesting names for the franchise like Rick Tocchet (1983), Dennis Seidenberg (2001), Patrick Maroon (2007), and Zac Rinaldo (who the Flyers got a third-round pick from Boston for).