The Philadelphia Wings performed three trades spanning over the past two days. These trades range from acquiring a young goalkeeper to shipping away one of the best scorers in the game. We’ll break down each trade and its impact.
The Philadelphia Wings performed their first of three trades with the Minnesota Swarm trading for goalkeeper Evan Kirk in exchange for the Wings’ 2015 and 2017 first round selections. The 26-year-old goalkeeper was drafted sixth overall in the 2011 NLL collegiate draft out of Colgate has spent two years in the NLL, both with the Swarm. During those two seasons he has posted a 7-7 record as a goalkeeper, a 12.08 goal allowed average, and a .771 save percentage. For being a two-year player in the league and seeing limited action, these stats are rather positive.
We will never know how this trade turns out until we see who the Swarm will select with their two future first round selections. However, breaking it down, this trade could easily turn out to be the best for the Wings.
The Wings current goalkeeper is Brandon Miller. Miller started 15 games for the Wings last season posting a 7-8 record with a 12.12 goal allowed average and a .768 save percentage. Goalkeeper was one of the weaker positions for the Wings last season and the addition of Kirk is only going to help. Kirk’s career statistics are very similar to Miller’s last seasons. Kirk is still developing as a player in the pros and was not rushed into a starting position. He will add a competitive nature to the Wings and their selection of starting goalkeeper. Even if he is not named the starter come week one, it will add pressure to Miller knowing if he slips up just once, Kirk will be there on his heels.
The second trade was one that may come back to haunt the Wings. The Wings shipped Drew Westervelt and their 2014 fourth round pick to the Colorado Mammoth in exchange for midfielder Ryan Hotaling, two second-round picks on Monday’s colligate draft (12th and 18th overall), and a first round selection in 2015. The Wings get back one of the first-round picks that they sent to Minnesota in this deal. This allows them to maintain picks and continue to get younger. They also get two early picks with the twelfth and eighteenth overall picks in the upcoming draft. These two picks could land some solid talent for the Wings.
Again, this trade won’t be deemed as good or bad until the picks are in. Ryan Hotaling played in five games last season for the Mammoth scoring just one goal. He also took 123 face-offs winning 50 for a 40.7 winning percentage. However, the meat of the trade is all in the picks. The Wings gave up two first-rounders in their deal for Kirk and needed to do something to get some back. They also add two early picks for this upcoming season which can play huge. The Wings, even without Westervelt, have one of the most appealing rosters in the NLL with names such as Kevin Crowley, Kevin Buchanan, Paul Rabil, and Brandan Mundorf. Adding Kirk and two more earlier picks in the year’s draft may put this team into title-contenders.
The final trade that the Wings performed was sending two 2014 second-round selections to the Buffalo Bandits in exchange for Luke Wiles. The 31-year-old Wiles, a forward, has spent his last two seasons in Buffalo. However, he was drafted and spent the most part of his early career in Philadelphia. Wiles has a less-productive year last seasons for the Bandits posting 21 points in twelve games played last season. Just the season before, he lead the Bandits in goals. Despite being 31 now, Wiles still has what it takes to get the ball into the back of the net even at the professional level. He’ll be a great veteran addition to the Wings who look like their stocking up for the season to come.
The Wings get some wheeling-and-dealing and now have some new players to look forward to putting on their jersey. With the trades they performed, they look like their looking forward to the season ahead in hopes of bringing a championship to Philly. However, they still added a few picks for further down the road.