The Philadelphia Flyers announced that they have acquired 6'0", 192-pound right wing Matt Ellison and a third round pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for forward Patrick Sharp and right wing Eric Meloche, according to General Manager Bob Clarke.
"We felt that with all the injuries we have had that Matt (Ellison) would bring more versatility to our lineup," said Clarke in making the announcement. "He can play center and wing. We always felt that Patrick (Sharp) was a better center. We have lots of centers, even though we have some injuries right now. We just felt that Matt was a better fit for our team, although we realize that we gave up a good young player."
Ellison, 21, has recorded three goals and nine assists for 12 points and 17 penalty minutes in 26 games for the Blackhawks this season. In 36 career NHL regular season games over two seasons with Chicago (2003-04 and 2005-06), Ellison has registered three goals and 10 assists for 13 points and 17 penalty minutes. During the 2004-05 season, he registered 14 goals and 37 assists for 51 points and 44 penalty minutes in 71 regular season games for Chicago's American Hockey League affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals. He led the Admirals in assists and was second on the team in points.
A native of Duncan, British Columbia, Ellison split the 2003-04 season between Chicago and Norfolk. He posted an assist in 10 games for the Blackhawks and recorded 35 points (14G,21A) and 115 penalty minutes in 71 games for Norfolk.
During the 2002-03 season, Ellison played for the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League. He led Red Deer in goals (40) and points (96). Following the 2002-03 season, he was named WHL Rookie of the Year and Canadian Hockey League Rookie of the Year and to the WHL Second All-Star Team. He was originally drafted by Chicago in the fourth round (128th overall) of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.
Sharp, 23, recorded five goals and three assists for eight points and 10 penalty minutes in 22 games for the Flyers this season. In three seasons for the Flyers (2002-03, 2003-04 and 2005-06), Sharp registered 10 goals and five assists for 15 points and 67 penalty minutes in 66 games. He was originally drafted by the Flyers in the third round (95th overall) of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.
Meloche, 29, posted three points (1G,2A) and 16 penalty minutes in 10 games for the Flyers' AHL affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms, this season. In two seasons with the Phantoms (2004-05 and 2005-06), Meloche recorded seven goals and 13 assists for 20 points and 118 penalty minutes in 73 regular season games. He was signed as a free agent by the Flyers on July 14, 2004. He has appeared in 61 career NHL regular season games over parts of three seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins (2001-02 through 2003-04), registering 17 points (8G,9A) and 32 penalty minutes.