The Philadelphia Flyers made their first move in the free agency period by trading defenseman Dennis Gauthier and a second round pick in 2010 to the Los Angeles Kings, for ECHL forward Ned Lukacevic and defenseman Patrik Hersley.
What at first seems like a lopsided trade, actually was a must for the Flyers who needed to clear up enough cap space to make a move while there are still free agents on the board. To get rid of Gauthier’s contract, the Flyers were forced to give LA a second round pick in 2010. The freed up space could be a prelude to the Flyers making a play for someone in free agency.
In return the Flyers get 6.02, 205 lbs. Swedish defenseman Hersley, who is big, physical and has a heavy right handed slap shot. Hersley is currently adapting to the North American game, but is very capable of being an NHL defenseman one day. The 22-year-old throws his body around with a sick enjoyment and loves to entertain with his crushing hits. But by being overly physical, Hersley doesn’t lack in defensive quality. He makes good decisions and is solid in his own end.
Also in the deal is 6.01, 182 lbs. forward, Ned Lukacevic. The 22-year-old Serbian born Lukacevic has very strong legs that provide excellent speed and balance. His skating ability has evolved him into a defensive specialist, primarily playing on the penalty kill and in defensive situations. Despite his solid defensive game, Lukacevic still has a knack for point producing. He can handle the puck well and has the speed to get in position to score, as well as a satisfactory wrist shot. At the NHL level, Lukacevic would likely just be a fourth line energy guy and defensive player.