CHICAGO — In a deal that "came out of nowhere," the Flyers traded winger Brayden Schenn to the St. Louis Blues on Friday for veteran center Jori Lehtera and two first-round picks, including a conditional choice in 2018.
With the first-round pick (27th overall) they acquired Friday, they selected 5-foot-11, 170-pound center Morgan Frost.
Frost, ranked as the 49th-best prospect by draft analyst Craig Button, had 20 goals and 62 points on 67 games for Sault Ste. Marie last season.
"There are very few guys where our whole staff likes the guy, and our whole staff liked this guy," general manager Ron Hextall said of the speedy Frost. "He's an extremely intelligent player and reads the ice well. Good two-way player who showed up good in the testing."
Hextall said the 2018 pick has conditions, that St. Louis has the option of keeping it if it's a top-10 selection, If St. Louis keeps the 2018 pick, the Flyers will instead get a first-rounder from the Blues in 2019, along with a third-rounder in 2020.
Lehtera, 29, a Finland native who was selected by St. Louis in the third round of the 2008 draft, had seven goals and 22 points last season. Hextall said he plans to keep him and that he can also play wing.
"He gives the coach more options," Hextall said, adding that Lehtera has some experience on the penalty kill.
With the addition of Nolan Patrick and the 6-2, 212-pound Lehtera, the Flyers are overloaded with centers. Three years ago, Lehtera had his best season, collecting 14 goals and 44 points.
Schenn, who turns 26 on Aug. 22, was one of the Flyers' most productive players the last two seasons, scoring 26 and 25 goals, respectively. He played center and wing throughout his six-year career with the Flyers but spent most of this season as a winger.
"It's not like we were shopping Brayden, but this deal came out of nowhere," Hextall said. "It made sense."
Added Hextall: "Whenever you trade a player it's hard. Brayden played well for us; he played hard for us, but you have to do what's best for the franchise."