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February 16, 2023

Flyers trade rumors: On James van Riemsdyk interest and draft capital

Who's interested in JvR and what should the Flyers be looking for in return?

On Monday, NHL insiders Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek broke down what they knew about the current trade rumors surrounding the Flyers on the "32 Thoughts" podcast

There is interest in James van Riemsdyk as the March 3 deadline approaches.

As a veteran winger on an expiring contract, the 33-year old can still very much be a boost to a playoff team as a net-front presence capable of cleaning up rebounds and redirecting traffic, and the Winnipeg Jets, Minnesota Wild, and Vegas Golden Knights were named among the teams believed to be looking into him. 

On Thursday, in the written form of "32 Thoughts," Friedman added that Dallas appears to be in the mix for van Riemsdyk as well and reiterated that Travis Konecny and Nick Seeler are other names that have been asked about though not ones the Flyers have any real urgency to move. 

Wrote Friedman:

21. James van Riemsdyk’s interest appears to include Dallas, Minnesota, Vegas and Winnipeg. I don’t believe Philadelphia has any real desire to move Travis Konecny unless it’s a whopper of an offer. The Flyers are looking, however, for centres.

22. As mentioned on the pod, I’ve heard there’s been some talk around Nick Seeler. I can see it: nice contract for another year; low-maintenance guy who plays hard on your third pair. But I don’t believe the Flyers are in a hurry to do that, either. [Sportsnet]

On that bit about centers, the Flyers are definitely in need of more up the middle, but neither van Riemsdyk – at the end of a five-year deal at $7 million per – or Seeler would return anyone of note. Konecny theoretically could, but it's more likely than not he'll stay put for a while barring a serious overpay as Friedman stated. 

Kevin Hayes and Ivan Provorv could still be on the block as well, but rumors around them have quieted down of late, and in Hayes' case, his contract would be a much tougher move.

That really just leaves van Riemsdyk, and maybe Justin Braun for a late-round pick, with the highest probability of getting dealt, and in that case, draft capital is what general manager Chuck Fletcher should really be looking at. 

Charlie O'Connor over at The Athletic broke down what a realistic return would be for van Riemsdyk, and it's a thorough and contextual look at what the Flyers should be aiming for. But the TL;DR is this: a first-rounder is really far-fetched, a second-round pick is great and likely the best possible outcome, and a third is passable, while anything lower would be a tough one to swallow. 

Heading toward the draft, however, the Flyers should probably prioritize that second, because they don't have one stemming from the Rasmus Ristolainen trade two summers ago.

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