How do the Philadelphia Flyers look on-paper after adding two forwards at the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline?
With the clock striking three on the east coast, another NHL Trade Deadline came to a close on Monday, and boy was it an eventful one. There were a combined 29 trades made between NHL teams from midnight to 3-3:30 pm EST, with names such as Vincent Trocheck, Andreas Athanasiou, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau finding new homes. Philadelphia Flyers General Manager Chuck Fletcher contributed to that number by striking two (three on the minor-league level) separate deals in the morning, but how do they initially grade out on the surface?
Fletcher acquired forwards Nate Thompson and Derek Grant from the Montreal Canadiens and Anaheim Ducks for a total of a fourth and fifth-round selection, and an AHL player in Kyle Criscuolo. He did so by keeping Philadelphia within their cap limits, too, taking up 1.7 of a possible 2.082 million dollars in space and making use of what little money he had to work with. Surrendering very little to get two contributing NHL players is a good look on Fletcher’s end and he gets an A from me for working some magic by adding without really subtracting a whole lot.
When looking at Thompson and Grant specifically, both should do fine amongst Philadelphia’s Bottom-6. Each veteran forward is more known for their work in the defensive zone but can chip in on offense when needed be, especially in Grant’s case, who had 14 goals in limited Time on Ice minutes while receiving a high start percentage in his own end at even-strength with Anaheim.
Grant and Thompson are also versatile enough to play the middle or move over to the wing, which would allow Nolan Patrick to comfortably return to the lineup if he’s able to do so this season. Obtaining their services gives the Flyers more depth in their forward core and really, that’s all I wanted out of Fletcher at the deadline this season. With that being said, the additions of Thompson and Grant by themselves get a C+.
Though there were certainly better, more attractive pieces out on the market, Thompson and Grant will, at worst, provide the Flyers roster with solid, two-way effort in the Bottom-6. They’ll likely be fine. If not, they’re Unrestricted Free Agents at the end of the year, so the team can cut ties if things don’t work out in the near future. All in all, this was a nice second trading frenzy from Fletcher and deserves a cool B upon the first review.