2024 Flyers Trade Block: Sean Walker

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Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Sean Walker (26) vies for the puck against New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023, in Elmont, N.Y. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

The 2024 NHL Trade Deadline is under two months away. Daniel Briere already stated the Philadelphia Flyers won’t make trades for the sake of making them, despite their position in the standings.

“We’re not going to make trades just to make trades. If there’s something that makes sense that we feel makes us better for the future, we’ll strongly consider it. The one thing that I won’t be doing is, I won’t be trading prime assets just to make a run.”

Daniel Briere; 1/24/2024

At the deadline, the Flyers won’t be buying. They are staying the course of their rebuild despite being in a playoff spot. They have players on the roster who’ve drawn attention around the league for a while because of their ascension in the standings.

Sean Walker, a 29-year-old defenseman, is the most popular player drawing interest. He’s been very impressive since arriving in Philadelphia last June. Walker is a popular target because he can generate offense with a right-handed shot.

A skilled, right-handed defenseman is a rare commodity in the NHL. The addition of Jamie Drysdale on the Flyers’ roster and a plethora of right-handed defensive prospects in the system crowds the room.

In the final season of a four-year contract, Walker could be en route to a team needing a right-handed defenseman with quality skills as a playoff rental. Anthony DiMarco cites the Flyers are ‘holding firm’ on a first-round return for Walker.

On the proverbial trade block, which teams could approach Briere to negotiate for Walker?

Toronto Maple Leafs

Unsurprising. The Toronto Maple Leafs are always mentioned in trade rumors. Brad Treliving is at the helm and knows the back end needs improvement to compete for the Stanley Cup.

Signing John Klingberg in the summer failed. He missed all but 14 games. Nikita Zadorov was linked to the Maple Leafs but dealt to the Vancouver Canucks. Chris Tanev is another option for Toronto.

Walker is ideal. He brings a low cap hit on an expiring deal with more skill along the blue line. He is reliable on both ends and can contribute to special teams. If Treliving wants a reliable rental, Walker makes sense.

The Maple Leafs have a first-round pick in the 2024 NHL Entry Draft.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Per DiMarco, the Tampa Bay Lightning have Walker on their radar. In an up-and-down season, the Lightning are third in the Atlantic Division.

When Victor Hedman isn’t available, the blue line is thin. Mikhail Sergachev, the second-best defenseman on the roster, went on LTIR on January 4th. Erik Cernak dealt with multiple injuries this season. Though the team had recent success, they could profit from adding Walker to round out the defense.

Tampa Bay doesn’t have a first-round pick until 2026. In 2024, they won’t make their first selection until the third round, barring any future trades. If they’re eager to add Walker, their first-round pick in 2026 would be the earliest offer, but would Briere want to wait two years?

Edmonton Oilers

Remember when the Edmonton Oilers were trending downward earlier this season? They forgot, too. The Oilers are on a 16-game winning streak heading into the 2024 NHL All-Star Break.

Kris Knoblauch turned Edmonton around. Is their success sustainable in the playoffs? Goaltending and defense always fail the Oilers in crunch time.

Walker would boost the top four. Evan Bouchard is gaining steam in the Norris Trophy conversation and could benefit from Walker. His two-way ability would alleviate defensive breakdowns.

Edmonton has a first-round pick for the next three seasons. If Ken Holland believes they can break Canada’s curse and be the country’s first Stanley Cup winning team since 1993, Walker might be the right option.

New Jersey Devils

Talk about a team with high expectations. The New Jersey Devils had an impressive season in 2022-2023, but 2023-2024 is rough. They’re sixth in the Metropolitan Division and fifth in the Eastern Conference wildcard picture.

Losing Dougie Hamilton to injury didn’t help. They still haven’t found anyone to replace that gap, although Simon Nemec has performed well since his recall.

Walker would slot nicely into the Devils’ lineup. He would be an upgrade on the penalty kill with Hamilton absent, and he fits into the pace players like Jack Hughes and Jesper Bratt prefer.

New Jersey has the draft capital Briere wants. If Tom Fitzgerald thinks his team can make a playoff push after the 2024 NHL All-Star Break, adding another defenseman, like Walker, should be at the top of his list.

(AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)