Just last week, General Manager Ron Hextall made perhaps the shrewdest trade of his tenure by trading Luke Schenn and Vinny Lecavalier to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a 2016 third round pick and prospect Jordan Weal. Considering Schenn’s free agent status at the end of the season and the albatross that Lecavalier’s contract had become, the trade would have been a win for Philadelphia by simply acquiring a draft pick and because of the immediate and future salary cap relief they received. The fact that the team also received a young player in return makes the deal one that could help the Flyers in the very near future.
So who exactly is Jordan Weal?
Weal, 23, is a diminutive playmaking center that has produced everywhere he’s played. Drafted in the third round by the Kings in 2010, the North Vancouver native was selected in a class headlined by Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin. Weal’s draft stock took a hit in large part due to the fact that he was an undersized kid (5’10, 180), but his talent was too tantalizing for Los Angeles to pass up. Upon graduating from the Western Hockey League, he spent three seasons rounding out his game with the Kings AHL affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs.
Just last season, Weal put together an impressive campaign with the Monarchs, averaging just a shade under a point-per-game pace with 69 points in 73 games. He led the team through the playoffs that season as well, adding 22 playoff points in 19 playoff games.
This season, Weal has seen just 10 games of NHL action as there was nothing left for him to gain by going back to the AHL.
Ultimately, Weal was victim of a numbers game with a team as deep as the Kings. Since Los Angeles is pressing for another Stanley Cup, a young player like Weal can very easily get lost in that shuffle. For teams in the Kings circumstance, lineup decisions are very much rooted in what wins hockey games, instead of maybe catering to the development of younger players.
In Philadelphia, the 23 year-old will have the opportunity to earn ice time as the Flyers did not possess the depth that other teams do. Weal brings some needed playmaking ability and skill to the Flyers bottom six, that much is certain. He describes himself as a hard worker and a good two-way player that’s efficient in all three zones.
Overall, sometimes all a player like Weal needs is the chance to prove that he belongs. He’ll get that chance with the Flyers.
For more on Jordan Weal, check out the prospect profile video below from Fox Sports West.