Breaking: Ducks & Flyers Pull Off Trade Involving Two Recent Top 6 Picks

The Philadelphia Flyers and Anaheim Ducks have pulled off a stunning deal featuring two top prospects. The Flyers obtain the former No. 6 pick, defenseman Jamie Drysdale plus a draft asset, while the Ducks receive Philly's No. 5 overall pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, forward Cutter Gauthier.

The Flyers also receive a second-round selection in the 2025 NHL Draft.

It appears that this deal was essentially forced on Philly by the 19-year-old Gauthier, who apparently wasn't interested in playing in the Flyers organization. 

Flyers GM Daniel Briere said to reporters after the trade this evening that Gauthier actually told them at the 2022 Draft that he was "built to be a Flyer, he wanted to be a Flyer.” Something obviously happened in the interim, as Briere said that when Gauthier came back from the 2023 World Championships, he let them know that he would rather move on to another organization. 

One report even suggests that Flyers brass flew to Sweden to meet with Gauthier and didn't even get a meeting. Yikes.

He is currently at Boston College where he's having another strong offensive season with 13 goals in 17 games, following a 16-goal, 37-point season in 32 games last year. He turns 20 later this month.

For the Ducks, acquiring Gauthier has been nearly two years in the making. 

Per Insider Pierre LeBrun, Anaheim GM Pat Verbeek tried to make a deal to move up in the 2022 Draft to get a Top 5 pick to acquire Gauthier, but couldn't pull it off. 

Drysdale, the Toronto product, has played just 10 games for the Ducks this season due to a lower-body issue, notching five points in 21 minutes of ice time a night in those ten contests. He also had injury problems last season, missing all but eight games due to a torn labrum.

He'll likely move into a top-four role on the Flyers defense, with some power play time in the offing as well. 

Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports