Former Blackhawks forward Kris Versteeg was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday for the Flyers’ first and third round selections in the 2011 Draft.
That’s right… Versteeg will now call home the ice upon which he held the Stanley Cup above his head for the first time.
Looking back now, Blackhawks fans have already started barking that Chicago GM Stan Bowman didn’t get enough value when he traded Versteeg to Toronto last summer. In that trade, the Blackhawks received a package of three players: Viktor Stalberg, Philippe Paradis and Chris DiDomenico.
Did the Blackhawks really get shafted when they traded Versteeg?
Consider the value Toronto is getting back from the Flyers. Philly is, arguably, the best team in the NHL right now and just got better. The picks Toronto received will probably be higher than 25th in each round; not exactly a full replacement for the first rounder Toronto GM Brian Burke sent to Boston in the Phil Kessel trade. But it still gets Toronto back into the first round and adds a middle round pick that Burke could flip into another asset.
How have the players the Hawks received performed relative to a first and third round draft pick?
Stalberg, who has been in the NHL all season, has shown flashes of ability but the overall hasn’t been able to stick anywhere above the third or fourth line all year. He has eight goals and eight assists in 52 games this year.
DiDomenico, who will turn 22 on Feb. 20, is still recovering from a leg injury and has dealt with a number of health issues this year. He began the year in Rockford (AHL), where he tallied only one assist in 19 games before being demoted to Toledo (ECHL). Since joining the team in Toledo, however, he has picked up his game and has 15 points (three goals, 12 assists) in 17 games.
The prize of the summer trade for Chicago may have been Paradis.
Paradis, 20, has been with Prince Edward Island (QMJHL) all season and has been dominant. He has 47 points (21 goals, 26 assists) in 50 games. Originally drafted by Carolina 27th overall in 2009 - one pick ahead of the Blackhawks, who then selected Dylan Olsen - Paradis is with his third organization in less than two seasons but the left winger has been near a point-per-game all year in juniors.
So did the Blackhawks do well with what they received from Toronto for Kris Versteeg? Only time will tell. We haven’t seen DiDomenico or Paradis in the NHL, and Toronto hasn’t used either of the picks they received.
End Note: The Blackhawks organization has 5 of the top 59 picks in the ’09 Draft – Nick Leddy (16 by MIN), Paradis (27 by CAR), Olsen (28), Jeremy Morin (45 by ATL) and Brandon Pirri (59).