Center Brayden Schenn was traded to the St. Louis Blues by the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday for forward Jori Lehtera, the No. 27 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft and a conditional pick in the 2018 draft.
With the No. 27 pick, the Flyers selected center Morgan Frost. Philadelphia earlier selected center Nolan Patrick with the No. 2 pick.
Schenn had 55 points (25 goals, 30 assists) in 79 games for Philadelphia this season, and his 17 power-play goals were tied for first in the NHL with Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals. He was the No. 5 pick in the 2010 draft by the Los Angeles Kings.
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"He's a good player," St. Louis general manager Doug Armstrong said. "He's . He fits into the age group of the guys we're building around (Vladimir Tarasenko, Jaden Schwartz, Colton Parayko and Alex Pietrangelo). A real good player. He's got a nice contract for three years ($5.125 million against the NHL salary cap each season, according to CapFriendly.com). We're excited to have him."
Schenn played center and left wing in his six seasons in Philadelphia. Armstrong said coach Mike Yeo will give him a shot at center.
Trading Schenn will make Patrick's path to the NHL a bit easier.
"It was one of those that just kind of came out of nowhere," Philadelphia general manager Ron Hextall said. "Wasn't like we were shopping Brayden. But this deal came along, and we really like the draft next year, we like the late pick this year, we like Jori. Just kind of a deal that made sense."
Frost, 18, was No. 31 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters. He had 62 points (20 goals, 42 assists) in 67 games for Sault Ste. Marie of the Ontario Hockey League this season.
"He's an extremely intelligent player," Hextall said. "That's his No. 1 asset. Really smart, reads the ice well. Got a very deft touch moving the puck. Good two-way player. Showed up real good in the [NHL Scouting Combine fitness] testing, which is only a little piece of it. We believe it's a kid with an awful lot of upside. He's got good speed, but he really dissects the game better than most players."
Lehtera, 29, had 22 points (seven goals, 15 assists) in 64 games for St. Louis this season.
Hextall said he envisions Lehtera as a utility forward who can fill a number of different roles, including penalty-killing, similar to center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, who the Flyers lost to the Vegas Golden Knights in the NHL Expansion Draft.
"He's got a well-rounded game," Hextall said. "He can play on the wing, he can play in the middle. We like the player. Gives the coach more options."
The Blues have the option to defer the 2018 pick to 2019 if it is in the top 10.