NHL trade rumors: Mattias Ekholm will require high price at deadline

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Jordan Hall
·2 min read
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At this point, is there any chance Flyers would pursue Ekholm? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Leading up to the April 12 NHL trade deadline, we're looking at potential targets on the market and why they may or may not fit the Flyers' plans.

Mattias Ekholm

Scouting report

Ekholm has been considered one of the prized attractions on the trade market.

The lefty-shot defenseman is top-pair caliber and plays big minutes. Ekholm is first on the Predators in shorthanded minutes per game (2:49) and plus-minus (plus-11), while ranking third in minutes per game (22:46) and even-strength points (14).

He's not the most physical defenseman, but he does a lot of other things well to prevent goals. In 572 career games, the big Swede has 50 goals, 163 assists and a plus-82 rating.

Projection

There was a time when Ekholm was the talk of the market. Some Flyers fans had become enamored with him.

Much has changed.

The Flyers have gone 7-11-3 and allowed 4.05 goals per game since the start of March. The odds are stacking against them for a playoff berth. Meanwhile, Nashville has won 11 of its last 13 games and currently holds a playoff spot in the top-heavy Central Division.

Understandably, the Predators will ask suitors to pay a high price if they're going to part ways with Ekholm. The Flyers landing him now looks highly unlikely, unless they pull off a considerable shakeup and really want Ekholm for next season. He has one more year left on his deal. But another caveat: they'd have to protect him in the July expansion draft. And protecting him would come at the expense of a young player, either on defense or at forward.

Again, it would require a decent shakeup. This one feels like a long shot.

More targets

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