Photo: Icon Sportsware/Getty Images
The Philadelphia Flyers acquired right-wing Cam Atkinson from the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday in exchange for right-wing Jakub Voracek on Saturday. Atkinson, 32, has four seasons left on a contract that carries a $5.875 million cap hit (and includes a 10-team no-trade list) while Voracek, 31, has three seasons remaining on a deal that pays him $8.25 million per season.
Atkinson recorded 15 goals and 34 points in 56 games with the Blue Jackets last season. In 627 career NHL games, all with the Blue Jackets, Atkinson has posted 213 goals and 402 points. In addition, he has recorded 10 goals and 26 points in 35 career Stanley Cup Playoff games.
Cam Atkinson, acquired by PHI, is an offence-first winger who kills penalties. He made his name as a goal scorer but he’s really struggled in that area in the past two seasons. #AnytimeAnywhere pic.twitter.com/2iD3I2tRhG
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) July 24, 2021
The best season of Atkinson’s career came in 2018-19, when he set career-highs in goals (41), assists (28), and points (69) in 80 games.
With the addition of Atkinson, the Flyers change up their forward group after finishing the 2020-21 season 15th in the NHL with an average of 2.86 goals-per-game, 18th with a 19.2% power-play rate, and 30th with a 73.1% penalty-killing efficiency. Atkinson averaged 2:10 per game on the power play and 1:45 on the penalty kill last season.
The Flyers acquired left-handed defenseman Ryan Ellis from the Nashville Predators in exchange for center Nolan Patrick and right-handed defenseman Philippe Myers last Saturday and right-handed defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen from the Buffalo Sabres on Friday in exchange for the 13th overall pick in Friday’s 2021 NHL Draft a second-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, and left-handed defenseman Robert Hagg. The team finished last season 13 points behind the New York Islanders for the final Stanley Cup Playoff spot in the East Division last season.
Voracek, 31, was exposed to the Seattle Kraken in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft this past week after posting nine goals and 43 points in 53 games last season. In 968 career regular-season games with the Blue Jackets and Flyers, Voracek has recorded 216 goals and 738 points. The best season of his career came in 2017-18 when he set career-highs in assists (65) and points (85). In 49 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, Voracek has recorded nine goals and 28 points.
The Blue Jackets, who drafted Voracek seventh overall in 2007, improve their scoring group after their average of 2.39 goals-per-game last season was tied with the Sabres for the third-worst in the NHL and 15.4 power-play efficiency ranked 27th. Voracek averaged 2:36 on the power play last season. The Blue Jackets finished last in the Central Division with 48 points via tiebreaker.
The Flyers now have $12,460,477 in cap space with left-handed defenseman Travis Sanheim (restricted free agent), goaltender Carter Hart (RFA), and left-handed defenseman Sam Morin (unrestricted free agent) up for contract this offseason while the Blue Jackets have $25,992,471.
On the Blue Jackets’ side, left-wings Patrik Laine, Alexandre Texier, left-handed defenseman Jake Bean, and right-handed defenseman Andrew Peeke can become restricted free agents on Wednesday.
The Blue Jackets traded right-handed defenseman Seth Jones in addition to the 32nd overall pick in Friday’s draft and a 2022 sixth-round pick to the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night in exchange for right-handed defenseman Adam Boqvist, the 12th overall pick in Friday’s draft, a 2022 first-round pick, and the 44th overall pick on Saturday. They also acquired Bean from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for the 44th overall pick.
By Harrison Brown