Feb 142011
New Flyers forward Kris Versteeg

New Flyers forward Kris Versteeg

By Justin Adkins:

The Flyers have traded first and third round picks in the 2011 NHL Draft to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for winger Kris Versteeg.

In 53 games this season Versteeg has 14 goals, 21 assists, and is minus-13.  He was a member of the Chicago Blackhawks team that defeated the Flyers for last year’s Stanley Cup.  During that playoff run, Versteeg had six goals and eight assists in 22 games.

He seems happy to now be part of the team he helped defeat.

“Right away I was extremely excited to join this team,” Versteeg said in a statement released by the Flyers.  “They’ve had a lot of success this season.  They had a great playoff push last year and I’m excited to try and have a good one this year.  I like to make plays and score goals at the same time, maybe go out there and be an agitator at times too. I’m going to try and do it all and have fun doing it.”

Versteeg, 24, is in the second season of a three-year, $9.25 million contract.

Flyers’ general manager Paul Holmgren said he was excited to be able to acquire a player of Versteeg’s ability.

“Kris is an exciting young forward,” Holmgren said in a statement released by the team.  “He’s 24 years old and he’ll fit in with our group of players here.  He’s a quality forward that can play in a lot of different roles for our hockey team. He can move up and down our lineup. He can kill penalties. He can play on the power play.  We think he’s a guy that over the last few years, particularly in Chicago, has really blossomed into a good forward and we think he’s going to be a really good addition to our team.”

Versteeg was orginally a fifth round pick (134th overall) of the Boston Bruins in the 2004 NHL Draft. In 223 career games, he has scored 58 goals and had 78 assists for 136 points.

While giving up a first-round pick is a steep price, Versteeg’s offensive capabilities should serve the Flyers well down the stretch.

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