Blackhawks acquire Cooper Zech from Flyers

Another Blackhawks prospect is getting a fresh start somewhere else.

The Chicago Blackhawks made another trade involving prospects on Wednesday morning, sending forward Evan Barratt to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for defenseman Cooper Zech.

The move comes about an hour after former first-round pick Nicolas Beaudin was sent to the Montreal Canadiens for Cameron Hillis.

Zech, who’ll turn 24 in December, is a 5-foot-10, 175-pound defenseman who went undrafted but signed an entry-level contract with the Flyers on July 28, 2021. He spent all of last season in the AHL with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, scoring one goal with 10 assists. Zech has not played in an NHL regular season game, but did skate with the Boston Bruins in a few preseasons (hence the photo above) before joining the Providence Bruins in the AHL.

Barratt, meanwhile, was a third-round pick (90th overall) of the Blackhawks in the 2017 NHL Draft and played collegiately at Penn State before turning pro during the 2020-21 season and joining the Rockford IceHogs. He’d spent the last two seasons there, playing in 90 games with 19 goals and 23 assists. But the projected two-way forward never found his way to the NHL during that time. The trade serves as a homecoming for Barratt, who grew up in Bristol, a borough roughly 25 miles northeast of Philadelphia.

Per the team press release, Zech will report to the IceHogs.