Why the Flyers should avoid dealing Travis Sanheim at all costs

With the NHL Draft right around the corner in nine short days. The event has Flyers fans around the Philadelphia region pumped, and ready to rock and roll. With this years draft being a very deep draft in terms of prospects. This draft has the billing to help the orange and black in a variety of areas in the future. Will they select or move up for a Right-Handed Defenseman, draft a Winger, or draft a versatile Center with picks 14 and 19? Truth is, no one knows as the drafting guru in Ron Hextall is one of the most unpredictable General Managers in all of hockey.

It’s no secret that the Flyers have one of the deepest farm systems in the entire NHL. Hextall has been stockpiling draftee after draftee over the course of the past four years. If the Flyers are looking to move up in the draft (Depending on how far they want to move up). It may require trading a blue chip Defenseman, many prospects, and many picks. With all costs one player the Flyers should refrain from trading is a young gifted Defenseman in Travis Sanheim.

What a solid season it was for the young Sanheim. It most certainly wasn’t the easiest transitions into the NHL for the young Defenseman. At one point Sanheim sat 9 out of 10 games in December and January with the Flyers, and was eventually sent to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for playing time on January 23, 2018. Sanheim didn’t disappoint for the Phantoms as he registered one goal, and 15 assists in 18 games played. He knew he had to be better with the puck, to which it would also help the team with transitioning out of the Defensive zone. Sanheim looked every bit of the determined player he was back in training camp, when told me in an interview, “Get excited. It’s a good team here. Good young guys, and good guys have returned. We’re gonna have a good year.”

Sanheim finally returned to the Flyers lineup against the Winnipeg Jets on March 10. He registered one shot on goal, and was a plus 1 in the 2-1 victory. Sanheim looked re-energized, and more determined to stay up for good with the big club. All rookies make mistakes, and well for Sanheim thank God he appeared to have learned from them.

This young gifted Defenseman in Sanheim made the most of his NHL opportunity when he was given the chance to do so. For the season, Sanheim registered a solid 2 goals, 8 assists, and was only a -6 in 49 games played with the orange and black. Yes, he made mistakes and turned the puck over 36 times in his rookie season (As Expected). However, Sanheim was also very good at times, as well. These are some of the growing pains that a team goes through when they are committed to playing the youth. It’s how the young guns learn, they learn through trial and error.

The former Hitmen product, Sanheim gained valuable experience with the orange and black in his rookie season. Sanheim proved to be a valuable asset to the Flyers young defensive core, and left little doubt he should be an NHL mainstay for years to come. At times he seemed to look like an elite shutdown defenseman, and at times he appeared to be a rookie. However, Sanheim still managed to compile pretty good stats in his rookie season by logging 15:35 in ice time, registered 35 blocks, 8 takeaways, and 36 giveaways in 49 games with the big club.

To prove Sanheim’s value even further for the Flyers. Finally, let’s look at the Corsi% (EV) from this past season, from best to worse according to hockey-reference.com:

Trahis Sanheim- 53.5%

Radko Gudas- 51.8%

Shayne Gostisbehere- 51.5%

Brandon Manning- 50.0%

Ivan Provorov- 49.3%

Andrew Macdonald- 45.7%

Robert Hagg- 44.7%

This young Defenseman from Manitoba, CAN, Sanheim shouldn’t even be thought of for a trade this off-season. Moreover, this also includes the thoughts of trading him with the Expansion Draft looming in 2020 (With the impression that Sanheim won’t be protected). Sanheim possesses so much skill, and value for the orange and black. He can be at the very least a solid top four pairing Defenseman in the NHL, thus trading him would set us back a few years.

The Flyers are thin on the blueline in terms of Defensive prospects, given the unfortunate injury to prospect Samuel Morin. So why move this young stud in Sanheim for an unproven prospect in the Draft? Why take a step back for an unproven player? Sanheim has the will to succeed at a high level, and the sky is the limit for this young stud. One thing is certain Flyers fans, the future is bright in Flyer land.


Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Jamey Baskow, 34, Flyers Guru, Sports Enthuiast
Follow me on Twitter@JameyBaskow

10 thoughts on “Why the Flyers should avoid dealing Travis Sanheim at all costs

  1. Real Flyers Fan,

    Listen Gregg respects you as do I. I know he does. I respect your opinion. I appreciate your read either way. Sanheim was benched and sent to the Phantoms rightfully so. However, in his last 19 games of the Regular Season he was fantastic. He learned from,his mistakes, and finished with the highest corsi for all Flyers Fegenseman at 53.3%. Moreover, Hagg was benched in the playoffs for who??? Sanheim. Sanheim is a top 4Dman. If one D has a lot to prove next year its Hagg. He may not make the roster depending on Myers. Sanheim is a top 4 Dman. Why trade a Dman. when we are thin at the position a la Morin.

  2. Real Flyers Fan,

    Thanks for the read I appreciate it. This article was on point. You cannot sit here and tell me he wasn’t better defensively in his last 19 games, as opposed to his first stint. Case and point he finished with the highest corsi on the flyers defense with a 53.3%. I agree with his first 30 games he wasn’t that good, but mind you he’s a rookie. There’s a reason Hagg was benched in the playoffs as opposed to Sanheim. Moreover, he had one bad game for the Phantoms in their extended playoff run, so let’s let him go. The Marlies are one of the best teams in AHL.

    Your feelings is exactly why I would hate Myers to makethe big club right out of camp. If he makes some mistakes (Their going to happen) he’s a rookie, then your ready to say lets trade him, get rid of him. I mean no player is perfect. How do you feel about Jake and his cross ice passes that lead to 8 turnovers a game? One last question that I have if Carter Hart makes his debut, and say it doesn’t go according to planned in,say 15 games played are you ready to trade him too? I mean are we back in the Holmgren era. We traded Bob for Bryz basically, so how did that work out. We lost faith in Patrick Sharp, but yet he became a perennial 30 goal scorer for a period of years. Patience is virtue, and patience with Sanheim paid off, as he is now a top 4 D pairing Dman.

  3. This article is brutally bad and wrong. Travis Sanheim needs to learn how to play defense. Period.

    He’s a defenseman who focuses on offense and skates well but is a disaster defensively, prone to turnovers (many at the worst possible time), and is horrible on the PK.

    He was so bad during the season for the Flyers at one point, that Hakstol benched him for 9 straight games before sending him to the Phantoms.

    For the Phantoms, in the playoffs after the Flyers were eliminated, he again showed how bad he was defensively and turnover prone as one of his turnovers was directly responsible for a Phantoms loss.

    The truth about Sanheim is he has a long way to go. Much longer than this deceptive article would lead one to believe and if I’m the Flyers, I wouldn’t hesitate in the slightest to trade him if the right deal comes along.

    1. If you ARE a real Flyers fan as your screen name suggests, why don’t you just post under your REAL name? It’s so easy to be a negative troll when you hide behind anonymity, but when you do, your opinion matters little.

      Travis Sanheim is an outstanding, highly skilled 21 year old as a rookie defenseman this past season, had some early challenges. In the second half of the season and in the playoffs, he played very well. I attend the games and have seen many young Flyer’s defensemen and rookies break in with the NHL. I would say Sanheim’s performance was excellent considering defense is the toughest area of the game and extrely challenging. Be patient, Sanheim is a nice player.

      1. My real name has nothing to do with my point. You say he is outstanding. Where? No other rookie in the Hakstol regime has been benched for 9 straight games and then got their bags sent packing to the Phantoms.

        This was a coach, mind you, who saw fit to play Brandon Manning over Sanheim. That’s how bad Sanheim was.

        I’ve been a Flyers fan since 1968 and probably attended more Flyers games than you have in a lifetime.

        So to me, you’re the troll. Outstanding you say lmfao. He’s so far from where the Flyers need him to be it’s not funny.

  4. Gregg,

    Thanks for the read and your support my friend. Travis is a young gifted Dman like you said. Trading him would set us back a few years in terms of grooming another blue chip Defenseman. We know what we have in Sanheim, unlike Morin and Myers as they have really NHL experience (Except for a few games for Morin). Morins injury to me I’m sure has Hexy thinking keep Sanheim.

    I have watched video after video of Liam Foudy. I’m impressed. Really he has a shot cause Ymyou kniw, as well as, I Hexy is the drafting guru. One of the most unpredictable so who knows who he will draft. Every player to me is on the table.

  5. Scott,

    Thanks so much for the read and support. The main reason I wrote this article was because I was receiving a lot different variables from Flyers fans. They support me, and there were also some writers like Brandon Sommerman that prosposed a trade using Sanheim as a trade chip. Its ashame I had to write this in this fashion, as its unlike me to just throw it out there. But, it was a need.

    In regards to the expansion draft. The same people proposed using Sanheim as a trade chip because of the expansion draft looming. Some are jimping the gun saying the Flyers would protect Ghost, Provy, and Myers, thus leaving Sanheim out of the equation. However, as I stated in the article Myers, and Morin are unproven. So, again it wouldn’t be wise trading a player that has NHL experience.

    1. Jamey, one final thought on the possibility that GM Ron Hextall DOES trade one of the young defensemen on the roster to move up in the draft. Not because he wants to, but because Hextall has to. Think forward two years from this week. Seattle will be “stealing” one very good player from each team in another expansion draft. Since the Flyers can only protect three of the following players: Provorov, Gostisbehere, Sanheim, Myers and Hague, it might be beneficial to trade one of them and draft a replacement defenseman this year, or next. Whoever the Flyers draft, that player would be exempt from the expansion draft, with less than two years of pro playing time by the time the draft takes place.

  6. I didn’t think trading Sanheim was a consideration. Especially if it’s just for draft picks, not that anything would surprise me, but unless there was an elite player coming back, why would they? I also don’t see how a pending expansion would be an issue. Assuming the rules are the same as last time, who else would you protect once you get past Provy and Ghost? Seems like you are reaching for stories in the dead zone before the draft.

  7. Jamey, I like to read articles about many of the Nhl’s teams to find out what they’re thinking. Edmonton’s press put out an article a few weeks ago about trading their tenth pick in the draft for one of five defensemen in the league and as you may know, Travis Sanheim is on the Oiler’s list.

    I agree with you, Travis Sanheim is extremely talented and he is just coming into his own as a great two way player. He has size, speed, great on ice vision and is an outstanding passer with a great shot. Ron Hextall has no othe player like him. Gostisbehere is the offensive force, Provorov is the defensive guru with nice offensive upside and Sanheim is the puck handling dynamo who can create in all three zones.

    I don’t think trading Travis Sanheim makes sense. I also believe the Flyers will get either two very good prospects at picks 14 and 19, or trade both to get a great pick in th e top ten. Great article Jamey. Stay on this story.

    By the way, I am hoping Ron Hextall is going for Liam Foudy with one of the picks. I would pick this kid at 14.

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