2011 NHL Draft: What Do Flyers Trades Mean for the Draft?

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistJune 23, 2011

It was on a normal Thursday morning in July of the year 2011, when the world as we knew it was shattered.

Well, that might be a little dramatic, but there was some earth-shaking moves today as the Philadelphia Flyers traded two of their biggest stars and signed a new one.

Both captain Mike Richards and sniper Jeff Carter have been traded today in what is becoming the wildest day in franchise history.

Carter was dealt first to the Columbus Blue Jackets for forward Jakub Voracek, the No. 8 overall pick this year and a third-round 2011 pick. This move is solid because Voracek is a young player who could turn into a legitimate NHL star, and the first-round draft pick in this stacked draft will be another possible star coming into the Flyers' system.

Many Flyers fans will see this as a huge offensive loss (66 points last season), but the salary-cap relief was enough to help the Flyers sign goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov.

Bryzgalov came to the Flyers via trade from the Phoenix Coyotes when they knew they couldn’t sign him long term. With Carter’s salary cleared, Philadelphia signed the veteran goalie to a nine-year, $51 million deal.

Take a breath folks; we're not done yet.

The real back-breaking deal of the day was the one that sent captain Mike Richards across the United States to Los Angeles. With Richards with the Kings, LA sent back prized prospect Brayden Schenn, winger Wayne Simmonds and an undisclosed draft pick.

The speculation over whom Philadelphia will take is bound to be as feverish today as Thursday has been. The Flyers will be looking for another defender, and they will find their man in Ontario Hockey League standout Dougie Hamilton.

Hamilton may be the steal of the draft because there is still so much room for him to develop, and he has the size (6’4”) to be a dominate shut-down defender. His defensive prowess isn’t all he has, as he scored 58 points in 67 games last season with Niagara.

While Hamilton is a great young star in the making, I still don’t know how to feel about this wild day of trades and the aftermath of destruction it has left on our collective psyches.

Must Read: NHL History: Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and the Top 100 Players of All Time

Check back for more on the NHL Draft as it comes, and check out Bleacher Report’s Hockey Page to get your fill of the NHL.

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