Panthers Swing a Trade With Rangers; Acquire F Casey Wellman for 2014 5th Rounder

The Florida Panthers have made another offseason move, this time trading for forward Casey Wellman from the New York Rangers for a 5th round draft pick in 2014:

Wellman had 2G/5A in 14 games with the Minnesota Wild last season and 4G/9A through 41 career games over the last three seasons. Wellman played mostly right wing in his three separate stints with the Wild while skating more as a center with the Houston Aeros, the Wild's AHL team.

I look at this trade as a move not unlike the one that secured Mike Santorelli in a Panthers sweater a few summers ago. Like Santorelli, Wellman was a bit buried in the organization despite putting up nearly point-per-game numbers in the AHL. Wellman might not have a breakout season for Florida(given he even makes the roster), but at very least he'll replace lost scoring power with the San Antonio Rampage.

Continued after the jump.

For whatever reason, I don't see this as a move for the Rampage. The 3rd/4th line last season was often times shaky and unreliable, and at times really needed some youth. Wellman may have been thrown into the games as a RW based on where the available roster spots were, but given a good training camp and time to adjust to a full NHL schedule, he and

Shawn Matthias

could swap spots depending on the seasons and potential both have next year. Wellman could make a 30 point player. Hey, he was nearly a .5 P/G player with the traditionally offense lacking Wild. Given a chance, I think he ceiling is more than that of a career AHL journeyman.Wellman's stats, courtesy of Alex:

2009-10 MIN 22 12 1 3 4 -2 12:03 0:40 0:03 0.1 0.2 -0.3 0.0
2010-11 MIN 23 15 1 1 2 -1 10:38 0:58 0:05 -0.3 0.1 0.0 -0.2
2011-12 MIN 24 14 2 5 7 -4 12:44 1:23 0:00 0.8 0.1 0.0 0.9

Official team release:

SUNRISE – Florida Panthers Executive VP & General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that the club has acquired C Casey Wellman from the New York Rangers in exchange for Florida’s fifth round selection in the 2014 National Hockey League Entry Draft.

"Casey is a young, highly skilled forward who adds more depth to our team," said Tallon. "He can play both center and right wing and we feel he has the ability to play in a top line role within our team. We look forward to his contributions to our club."

Wellman, 24, has played in 41 career NHL contests, all with Minnesota (2009-2012), registering 13 points (4-9-13). He appeared in 14 games with the Wild last year recording seven points (2-5-7) before being traded to New York on Feb. 3.

The Brentwood, CA native also split the year playing for both Houston (AHL) and Connecticut (AHL) scoring 23 goals with 24 assists in 57 games played. In nine Calder Cup playoff games with Connecticut, Wellman ranked tied for the club lead with nine points (4-5-9). He has played in 99 career AHL games for Houston (2010-2012) and Connecticut (2011-2012), scoring 37 goals with 82 points.

The 6-foot, 175-pound forward played two seasons (2008-2010) of college hockey at UMass-Amherst (Hockey East), ranking second on the club in overall point scoring each year.