Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer: Nashville Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm may be the most interesting top-four defenseman that would be a fit for the Philadelphia Flyers. He has a friendly contract with one year left after this season at $3.75 million.
Issues would be that he’s left-handed and the Flyers may prefer a right-handed defenseman and that it would lead to some difficult expansion draft questions.
It would likely take a high draft pick and a good prospect to acquire Ekholm.
Pierre LeBrun reported that the Flyers have been looking to replace Matt Niskanen ever since he decided to retire. Ekholm could definitely help fill that void for the Flyers.
Though he’s left-handed, he played on the right side last season when Ryan Ellis was out. believes he could be more than capable to play on right side for the Flyers. thinks that his limited time on the right side may be a concern.
One of the reasons the Predators would consider moving Ekholm is for the Seattle Kraken expansion draft they may be wanting to protect Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis and Dante Fabbro. The Flyers would also have expansion concerns as they may want to protect Ivan Provorov, Travis Sanheim and Philippe Myers – all are under 25 years old.
O’Connor thinks the Flyers will look to acquire a top-four defenseman who is on an expiring contract.
Good comparables are the Los Angeles Kings trading Jake Muzzin (first-round pick and two prospects) and Alec Martinez (two second-round picks). LeBrun wondered if the Flyers could include Shayne Gostisbehere somehow.
Even if the Flyers only had Ekholm for two months, giving up two second-round picks isn’t an exorbitant cost.