It has been confirmed that the Flyers have traded speedy AHL defenseman Michael Ratchuk to the Syracuse Crunch for 20-year old forward Stefan Legein.
The trade works out simply because Columbus is stacked with young forwards and needs to re-supply puck-moving defenseman, while the Flyers are stacked with young defenseman and could use more young talent at forward.
Legein, a former second-round selection in 2007, is known for his speed and gritty play. At only 5’10, 180 lbs., the Oakville, ON native has been goalscorer at every level prior to pro, scoring 84 goals and 71 assists in 228 junior games. He also tallied 315 penalty minutes during that span. He is known to be an excellent team guy and a winner.
After being drafted in ’07, Legein refused to attend Blue Jackets’ training camp saying that he didn’t love hockey anymore. To the surprise of many, including his father and the Columbus organization, Legein said that he was retired. After working at a pizza place for a year, Legein missed the sport and returned to Columbus.
Legein has struggled to ease into the pro level, scoring just three goals and an assist in 32 games played.
“Stef never asked to be trade, to his credit,” Columbus general manager Scott Howson told the media. “But I think he felt somewhat leery of how his teammates and the organization felt about him because of what he did.
“This is something that he probably feels will be good for him.”
Once a promising defensive prospect and second round pick in 2006, Ratchuk fell by the wayside due to questionable defensive issues and eventually more defensive depth coming into the system. One of the smoothest and quickest skaters in the organization, Ratchuk was known for his occasional end-to-end rushes. Ratchuk played 85 games with the Phantoms, scoring just six goals and 14 assists during that span.