In a swap of minor-leaguers, the Flyers acquired right winger Stefan Legein from the Columbus Blue Jackets' farm system Tuesday for defenseman Michael Ratchuk.
The 5-foot-10, 185-pound Legein, who briefly walked away from the sport last year, will report to the Flyers’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms.
Legein, 20, was selected by Columbus in the second round (37th overall) of the 2007 draft. He had two goals and one assist in six games this season for the Blue Jackets’ AHL affiliate, Syracuse.
In 26 games for Syracuse in the 2008-09 season, Legein recorded a goal and four penalty minutes. He made his professional debut with Syracuse during the 2007-08 Calder Cup playoffs, when he went scoreless in two games.
Before starting his professional career, Legein played three seasons for the Mississauga/Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League. In 153 games from 2005-06 to 2007-08, he recorded 74 goals and 54 assists for 128 points and 296 penalty minutes. He was an alternate captain for Team Canada’s gold-medal-winning squad at the 2008 World Junior Championships.
While with Syracuse last year, Legein left the team for a few months.
''Really, I just lost my desire to play hockey,'' Legein told TSN. ''It started to happen after the (2008) World Junior Championship. I hurt my shoulder and I couldn't play for three months. It was during that time I just sort of lost my passion to play. I just got away from the game and I didn't feel great about coming back.''
But in time, he returned.
Ratchuk, 21, was selected by the Flyers in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2006 NHL draft. He has appeared in 85 regular season games for the Phantoms since turning pro at the end of the 2007-08 season, and has recorded six goals and 15 assists. He has recorded two assists and two penalty minutes in nine playoff games.
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After Tuesday's practice in Voorhees, veteran forward Danny Briere said the Phillies remind him of the Flyers because of all the weapons they have.
"There’s no doubt in my mind that we’re kind of built the same way,” he said. “They don’t just rely on one guy. It’s kind of the same thing here.”
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After playing just one game in 11 days, Thursday begins a stretch when the Flyers play three games in four days _ and four games in six days. They play host to Boston Thursday on Dollar Dog Night.