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Flyers trade for Sharks defenseman Justin Braun, giving up draft picks

Sam Carchidi, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Hockey

The Flyers continued to remake their defense Tuesday.

Four days after they acquired Matt Niskanen from Washington, the Flyers traded two draft picks to San Jose for veteran defenseman Justin Braun.

"He is a high-character, quality defender who will bring a steadying presence to our team," Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said.

The Flyers sent their second-round pick (41st overall) in this weekend's draft and a third-round 2020 selection to the Sharks.

It was a deal that countered the strategy used by former GM Ron Hextall, who tried to stockpile draft picks for the future.

Fletcher's focus is clearly on building for the present.

 

Braun, 32, a stay-at-home defender who shoots right-handed, has spent his entire nine-year career with San Jose. He had two goals, 14 assists and a career-worst minus-14 rating last season, the sixth straight year he averaged more than 20 minutes per game.

A Minneapolis native, Braun said it was a "little shocking" to be traded "but at the same time, it's exciting. It's something new, something different."

Braun, who is friends with the 32-year-old Niskanen and Flyers left winger James van Riemsdyk, said he was looking forward to playing in front of young goalie Carter Hart, saying "he looks like the real deal."

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Braun, who played at the University of Massachusetts, has appeared in 84 Stanley Cup playoff games, the second-highest total in San Jose history among defensemen. He helped the Sharks reach the Western Conference finals this season, and played in three conference finals and the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.

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