|Photo from NBC|
The Philadelphia Flyers have acquired defenseman Justin Braun from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for a 2019 2nd round pick (41st overall) and a 2020 3rd round pick.
The Flyers lack defensemen on the right side, even after trading for Matt Niskanen (they gave up Radko Gudas in the process). Braun is a defensive defenseman that will play bottom six minutes. The main negative for the Flyers is his $3.8 million cap hit. They now have about $30 million in cap space, with RFAs Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny, Travis Sanheim, Ryan Hartman, Scott Laughton and Justin Bailey, plus UFA Kevin Hayes. Provorov, who hasn\’t missed a game since entering the league on Opening Night in 2016-17, will probably get more than the $4.5 million teammate Shayne Gostisbehere got two years ago. Speaking of Gostisbehere, he could be traded for more help on either offense or the right side, or just picks. If no trades are made, which is unlikely, Braun could play with Gostisbehere on the second pairing.
Braun, 32, scored two goals with 14 assists for 16 points in 78 games last year, but was a -14. In his NHL career, all in San Jose, the former 7th round pick has scored 24 goals with 130 assists for 154 points in 607 games.
The Sharks need to free up cap space, especially after signing Erik Karlsson to an eight year, $92 million deal ($11.5 million AAV). They obviously want to bring back captain Joe Pavelski and former captain Joe Thornton, who are both UFAs. Gustav Nyqvist, Joonas Donskoi and Tim Heed are also UFAs. Timo Meier, Kevin LaBanc and Joakim Ryan are RFAs, and the Sharks now have just over $16 million in cap space, so they probably won\’t be able to keep everybody, especially not Donskoi or Nyqvist. Getting a second and a third for Braun is a good deal.