Thunderbolt in Florida! The Panthers have traded Quebecer Jonathan Huberdeau and several other elements to the Calgary Flames in return for Matthew Tkachuk.
If Tkachuk goes alone to the Southeastern United States with a simple fourth-round conditional pick, Huberdeau will be accompanied by defenseman MacKenzie Weegar, forward Cole Schwindt and a choice of first round, confirmed the Alberta club.
Tkachuk, a 24-year-old athlete who was a restricted free agent, took advantage of the trade to sign the bottom of an eight-year contract, averaging $9.5 million per campaign. He is coming off his best career season, having amassed 104 points in 82 games. He has 382 points in 431 career games, all with the Flames, who had their sights set on him as the sixth overall selection in 2016.
« Matthew is a physical and tenacious competitor with unique skills, » Panthers general manager Bill Zito said in a statement. He continually contributed to generating offense and quickly became one of the youngest and most talented players in the National League. We are excited to add such talent to our roster.”
For his part, Huberdeau also had the best season of his career, with 115 points in 80 games, good for a tie for second place in league scoring in 2021-2022, along with Johnny Gaudreau. Chosen by the Panthers with the third round of speaking in 2011, the native of Saint-Jérôme has 613 points in 671 career games.
For his part, Weegar has established himself as a quality offensive defenseman in the last two years, during which he has amassed a total of 80 points in 134 games. In 306 career games, all with the Panthers, who picked him in the seventh round (206th overall) of the 2013 draft, he blacked the scoresheet 121 times.
« On behalf of the entire Florida Panthers organization, we would like to thank Jonathan and MacKenzie for their contributions both on and off the ice during their time in Florida, » added Zito. They became exceptional athletes and human beings.”
The two men will also spend the last year of their respective contracts in 2022-2023. Huberdeau should pocket $5.9 million, while Weegar should receive $3.25 million.
For his part, Schwindt is a 21-year-old prospect who was able to play three games with the Panthers in 2021-22, not picking up any points. However, he had 40 points in 72 games in the American League.