What was expected to be a busy day trade-wise in the NHL ended up being a slow one, but we did get one deal. It was a relatively minor deal, but a trade nonetheless, as the Arizona Coyotes and Philadelphia Flyers made an exchange:
ARI sends 5th round pick and Brendan Warren (Univ of Michigan) to PHI for Nick Cousins.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 17, 2017
ARI also receiving Harvard goalie Merrick Madsen from PHI along with Cousins.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 17, 2017
Warren is a winger with 27 points in his 73 career games at Michigan. Madsen is a 21-year-old goaltender out of Harvard. The former seems to be an organizational guy, while the latter… well, weirder things have happened with goaltenders. There is a piece over at Dobber Prospects on Madsen here.
What this does for Philadelphia is likely free up some ice time for Jordan Weal. It probably doesn’t give him a focal point of the offence – Travis Konecny and Brayden Schenn will remain in the top-six – but it should at least give Weal a chance to stick on the third line. Whether he does or not is another matter entirely. Of course, with Weal being an unrestricted free agent, he may not even be on the roster in the fall. Regardless, the immediate fantasy impact of this trade for Philadelphia is minimal.
The impact for Arizona, however, is a bit more important for Nick Cousins. Cousins hasn’t had much in the way of high rates of production at five-on-five, but in his minimal time at the NHL level, he has seen his shot rate increase each season. He led the team in shots per minute last year, and among the 351 forwards with at least 500 minutes played last year, he finished in the top 20 percent of the league. Considering Arizona’s troubles scoring last year, which stemmed from their inability to generate shots, Cousins could help in this regard.
This all depends on the role he’s given, of course. The Coyotes have a lot of young wingers that may get preferential treatment as far as ice time is concerned like Max Domi, Clayton Keller, Brendan Perlini, and Lawson Crouse. Cousins could line up down the middle, but if not, he could find himself in the bottom half of the roster.
Like most players that aren’t in the elite tier, Cousins’ usage will determine his value. If he can skate with their higher-skilled players in the top-six, he could have some value in deeper leagues next year. If not, he will have very little at all.
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