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Flyers Officially Fleeced Avalanche in Sean Walker Trade



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Sean Walker played in 63 games for the Flyers this season. (Photo: AP)

The Philadelphia Flyers traded defenseman Sean Walker and a 2026 fifth-round pick to the Colorado Avalanche on March 6 in exchange for forward Ryan Johansen and a 2025 first-round pick. Initially, the decision brought some criticism up against the Flyers, as they had acquired a draft pick in next year’s draft, and at the cost of one of their own draft picks and a salary cap dump in Johansen.

Just over three months later, the Walker trade seems to have panned out just fine for the Flyers.

In his short time with the Avalanche, Walker was good, but not great. The 29-year-old pending free agent had seven points in 18 regular season games, though his average ice time dropped nearly two full minutes from what he was getting with the Flyers.

In the playoffs, though, Walker was less effective. The former Flyers rearguard had an on-ice goals percentage of 30.8%, which ranked 94th out of the 166 defensemen that appeared in a game during the 2024 Stanley Cup playoffs. It’s worth noting that his on-ice expected goals percentage was 54.5%, which implies Walker might have been a victim of bad luck at both ends of the ice.

On the other hand, no other Avalanche defenseman placed outside the top-60 in on-ice goals percentage.

Overall, Walker finished with zero points in 11 playoff games this year and wasn’t necessarily a difference-maker as the Avalanche’s No. 5 defenseman. And, for the price of a second-round exit at the hands of the Dallas Stars, the Avs have forfeited their first-round pick in a 2025 NHL Draft that is generally expected to be deeper and better than the 2024 NHL Draft. Players like James Hagens, Porter Martone, Roger McQueen, Caleb Desnoyers, Michael Misa, Filip Ekberg, and Adam Benak figure to command significant draft plaudits this time next year.

The Flyers will, amazingly, have two first-round picks in each draft.

As for Walker, the right-shot defenseman is expected to be a coveted piece on this year’s free agent market. Likely destined for a big contract, the Keswick, Ontario native could be playing for his fourth team in three seasons in 2024-25.

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