A day after holding Justin Braun out of action for asset management, the Philadelphia Flyers moved the veteran defenseman just hours ahead of Monday’s 3 p.m. ET trade deadline.
Braun, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, was traded to the New York Rangers Monday afternoon. In return for Braun, the Flyers are receiving a 2023 third-round pick.
With the Rangers, Braun, 35, may have a legitimate shot at finally winning a Stanley Cup as he enters the twilight of his career. The Rangers currently sit at second place in the Metropolitan Division standings, trailing the first-place Carolina Hurricanes by just three points.
The Flyers acquired Braun from the San Jose Sharks in 2019 for a pair of draft picks (a 2019 second and 2020 third), and he turned out to be a good addition to the back end — good enough that they inked him to a two-year, $3.6 million contract extension after his inaugural season in Philadelphia.
Not known as much of scorer, Braun only logged nine goals and 41 points in 176 games as a Flyer. However, he’s been extremely reliable defensively during his stint in Philadelphia, having earned enormous minutes on the penalty kill. Ivan Provorov is the only Flyers defender with more shorthanded time on ice than Braun since the 2019-20 season.
Braun has put together a solid 12-year NHL career, appearing in 783 games since making his debut with the Sharks in 2010. He also has a fair amount of postseason success under his belt, appearing in 100 career playoff games. He and the Sharks made a nice run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2016, but, of course, they were unable to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, falling to Sidney Crosby and company in six games.
With Braun officially out of the fold, young defenseman Cam York is expected to remain on the Flyers’ roster for the final 20 games of the season. York has split his time between the Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms for much of the season, but he filled in for Braun on the top pairing with Provorov in Sunday’s 2-1 victory over the New York Islanders, and, for the most part, the duo performed well. Barring an injury, it’s fair to assume he’ll continue earning minutes alongside Provorov as the Flyers look to end their nightmare campaign on a high note.