Jordan Weal Traded to Arizona for a 6th Round Pick, D Jacob Graves
There's that bias for action, everybody.
The teardown of the 2018-19 Flyers officially begins as Chuck Fletcher makes his first trade as GM of the Flyers, sending Jordan Weal to the Arizona Coyotes for a 6th round pick and defenseman Jacob Graves, per Sportsnet's Jeff Marek. Because when was the last time the Flyers lost a deal where they traded an undersized forward to Arizona for a late round pick?
Nick Cousins says hello.
In fairness the Cousins trade wound up being pretty good for the Flyers - prospect Brendan Warren might not be anything special, but the 5th rounder the Flyers got for Cousins turned into defenseman Wyatt Wylie, who has 33 points in 42 games for Everett of the WHL. In this case, the 6th round pick isn't likely going to become much, and Graves is in the ECHL right now. A former undrafted free agent, Graves is on the final year of his ELC, and based on his standing with the Coyotes his NHL future is uncertain at best.
Weal was acquired along with a 3rd round pick for Vincent Lecavilier and Luke Schenn, and absolute fleecing by Ron Hextall. At the time, Weal was in a tweener spot. He wasn't good enough to be a regular with Los Angeles but was too good to be sent down without likely being claimed on waivers. His first season in Philly saw more of the same, but he thrived in 2016-17. After being named an AHL All Star, Weal thrived in a late season call-up, scoring 13 points in just 21 games. His reward was a 2-year, $1.75 million deal with the Flyers.
Weal's contract was viewed as a low-risk, high-reward contract. If Weal proved to be as good as that late season stretch, he would be an absolute steal, the Flyers version of Yanni Gourde or Jonathan Marchessault. Unfortunately, it seemed to be a flash in the pan. Weal was solid but unspectacular last season, scoring less than double the points in triple the games. He fell out of favor with Dave Hakstol towards the end of the year, dressing in just 1 playoff game. So far this year, he had a respectable 9 points in 28 games, but struggled to find consistent playing time under both Hakstol and Scott Gordon.
Losing Weal doesn't do much for the Flyers both short-term and long-term since his usage was so low and he wasn't too likely to re-sign in the offseason. For any Coyotes fans wondering what they're getting, Weal is a solid bottom-6 forward that can score and isn't afraid to go to the dirty areas despite his size (or lack thereof). He's better off for the wing in my opinion, but he's really good at faceoffs if you want to use him at center. It's a shame that he never worked out in Philly, but given a new change of scenery in Arizona, maybe he can thrive.
R.I.P. all my Jordan Weal puns. I'm Weally sad to see him go.