Instant analysis: Flyers trade goaltender to the Rangers

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With the clock winding down in a 6-3 win at home over the Chicago Blackhawks, the New York Rangers announced a trade. What move could demand an announcement of such timing?! Just how big was this move?

The Philadelphia Flyers traded goaltender J.J Berube to the Rangers in exchange for future considerations (an elite player by all accounts).

The 28-year old signed a one-year deal with the Flyers in 2019 off the back of an AHL campaign where he went 21-22-0 with a .896GAA. A career-AHLer, he has a winning record of 111-66-24, with a .909 save percentage.

The 28-year old spent this season with the Phantoms, where he posted a 12-11-7 record, with a 2.56 GAA, and a .906 save percentage in 29 appearances.

Why did the Flyers make this move? In addition to the trade, the Phantoms reassigned rookie goalie Kirill Ustimenko from the Reading Royals. The 21-year old made his AHL debut earlier this month, saving 38 shots and earning an impressive win. When you combine this with an eyebrow-raising 19-4-5 record and a .919 save percentage, you can see why the move was made. He currently ranks sixth in the ECHL in wins, save percentage, and GAA.

Ustimenko was originally a third-round draft pick by the Flyers back in 2017 and has been clawing his way up the ranks ever since, breaking the record for most shutouts in the MHL and earning a bronze medal with Russia at the U-18 World Junior’s back in 2016.

It will be interesting to see how he progresses with the Phantoms, giving him a consistent run of exposure to the AHL.

Photo Credit: Alex Mcintyre

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