Flyers acquire Versteeg

The Philadelphia Flyers acquired forward Kris Versteeg from the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday evening in exchange for two draft picks.

Heading to the top club in the Eastern Conference is the 24-year-old winger who tallied 14 goals and 35 points in 53 games for the struggling Maple Leafs this season. Going to Toronto are first-and-third round picks in the 2011 draft.

“Kris is an exciting young forward. He’s 24 years old and he’ll fit in with our group of players here,” said Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren. “He’s a quality forward that can play in a lot of different roles for your hockey team. We think he’s a guy that over the last few years, particularly in Chicago, has really blossomed into a good forward and we think he’s going to be a really good addition.”

Versteeg helped the Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup last season with a 20-goal, 44-point performance in the regular season that was augmented by six goals and 14 points during the ‘Hawks’ successful title run.

According to CapGeek, Versteeg has a cap hit of $3,083,333 and is signed through the ’12 season.

In 2008-09, the Alberta native notched a career high 22 goals and 55 points with Chicago. He also recorded 26 points in 39 total playoff games with the Blackhawks.

The Flyers state that Versteeg will wear Riley Cote’s old number, 32. He could play on a line with Mike Richards.

This trade could be a sign that Nikolay Zherdev’s time in Philadelphia is coming to a close. The winger, who is often described as enigmatic, has 15 goals and 19 points in 47 games with the Flyers this season.