Flyers Add More to the Blue Line

Wednesday, June 25, 2008 ·

Yesterday, the Flyers acquired defenseman Janne Niskala in exchange for penalty-minute accumulating forward, Triston Grant.

Niskala is a 6 foot, 200 lb defenseman who had 44 points in his first season of hockey in North America. Niskala's 19 goals tied him for second among AHL defensemen.

Niskala is a little on the older side for a prospect because he is already 26. However, from 2000 to 2007 he was playing in Europe with 3 different teams during that span. In 2006-2007, he led the Swedish Elite League defensemen with 19 goals and 30 assists, totaling 49 points.

Niskala was also a member of the bronze-winning Finland team in last month's IIHF World Champships. According to the Tennessean, Niskala appeared ready to play for the NHL, but because of Nashville's blue line depth, he was caught in the numbers game.

I like the moves that Holmgren has made at more and more depth to the blue line. Last year, the Flyers saw plenty of injuries at the defensman positions and they need every little piece of depth they can find. Who's to say that Steve Eminger or Janne Niskala do not become some diamond in the rough type of player? Well, I suppose a lot people say that.

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