When an NHL team makes a trade, they don’t always realize how much of an impact it is going to make on the future of their franchise. Sometimes, a trade with the potential to help a team rebuild can completely reshape the future of a franchise without them even knowing at the time. Every team has had such a trade occur before.
In the modern era, trades such as the Tyler Seguin deal, or the infamous deal that allowed the Vancouver Canucks to draft both of the Sedins, have gone down in franchise history, a decade defining trade. The Philadelphia Flyers had one of their own that many people have seemed to forget just how impactful it was.
Back in 2011, before Jeff Carter joined the Los Angelas Kings, he wore the Flyers orange and white colours while establishing a name for himself a as a top player. During the 2010-11 season, Carter had yet another big year with Philadelphia, recording 66 points in 80 games played while wearing the “A” for his team. The Flyers had already signed him to a massive contract extension worth $58M.
That was the case over a span of eleven seasons. However, despite having one of their star players locked up for the long-term, they made a bold move at the end of the season, trading Carter at the NHL Entry Draft.
Obviously, Jeff Carter is most well known for his role in the Kings dynasty, however, he made one more brief stop before joining the team in Los Angeles. The Flyers struck a deal with Columbus at the NHL Entry Draft which has shaped the Flyers franchise to date.
In exchange for Jeff Carter, Philadelphia received rising star Jakub Voracek, the eighth overall pick and a 2011 third-round pick (28th overall). With their newly acquired eighth overall pick, the Flyers selected none other then American centerman Sean Couturier. With the 68th overall pick, the Flyers selected winger Nick Cousins. Both Couturier and Cousins have made their mark in the NHL, with Couturier becoming one of the league’s premier two-way centermen in the game.
Voracek and Couturier have each become major factors of importance for Philadelphia. Voracek has cemented his name in the Flyers history books as one of their best players in franchise history. He currently sits in 11th place on the Flyers all-time points list with 561. He’s also sixth in assists with 393, and 12th in games played, having suited up for 674 meetings.
The Czech winger is not done yet and will continue to climb up the franchise standings. Couturier, on the other hand, is still improving with each passing year. The Canadian exploded in 2017-18 when he recorded his career high 76 points.
But even before he found his offensive stride in the NHL, Couturier made a name for himself thanks to his defensive play. In his first five NHL seasons, he finished in the top-10 in Selke votes, having done so twice, including in his rookie year. Last season, Couturier finished sixth in Selke voting, and the year before that, he fell just short of the award to Anze Kopitar.
Although the Philadelphia Flyers haven’t won the Stanley Cup with either Voracek or Couturier, you can’t simply question the impact the two have had on the organization. Without them, the Flyers hockey club would surely not be as good as they are now. Both players have certainly cemented themselves into star assets in the NHL. Any trade that brings you two of your top players is certainly one to remember.