By: Wes Herrmann (@Wes_Herrm)
The Philadelphia Flyers began trimming down their forward corps Friday night by dealing Nick Cousins and goalie prospect Merrick Madsen to the Arizona Coyotes for left wing prospect Brendan Warren and a fifth-round pick. Bob McKenzie is reporting that the fifth-round pick is for the 2018 Draft.
In the past month, the Flyers have added the second-overall pick, who will likely turn into Nolan Patrick or Nico Hischier, and signed prospect Oskar Lindblom, adding already to their deep forward ranks. Cousins was an odd-man out frequently at the end of last season and seemed to be falling farther down the depth chart.
Flyers general manager Ron Hextall instead took the opportunity to turn Cousins, who is a restricted free agent and needed a new contract, into something. Warren was a third-round pick in the 2015 Draft, but has saw his numbers dip this past season at the University of Michigan, where he’s a teammate of Flyers prospect Cooper Marody. Warren scored 17 points his freshman year, but followed that with just 10 in the 2016-17 season.
Philly also gave up prospect Madsen in the deal, which may be the biggest surprise in this trade. The Harvard netminder was drafted in the sixth round in 2013, but had goals-against averages above .923 over the past two seasons for the Crimson.
It was reported by several pundits that Madsen was unlikely to sign a deal with the Flyers given their impressive prospect depth at the position.
However, this may not be the end of Flyers deals before the 5 p.m. roster freeze Saturday for the expansion draft. Tim Panaccio, of CSN Philly, tweeted that the Cousin rumors could have been “part of something bigger,” but wasn’t specific if it was that deal or another one.
Either way, Flyers fans may want to keep a close eye on the team as the expansion draft and roster freeze comes closer in the NHL.
Image Credit: CSNPhilly.com