TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning
have acquired defenseman Alexandre Picard
and either a second or third-round pick from the Philadelphia Flyers
in exchange for center/left wing Vaclav Prospal
, Executive Vice President and General Manager Jay Feaster announced. If Philadelphia qualifies for the 2008 Eastern Conference Finals Tampa Bay will receive Philadelphia’s second-round pick in 2009, and if they do not the Lightning will receive Calgary’s third-round pick in 2009.
“Alexander Picard is a young prospect with good size and excellent hockey sense who has played in the NHL,” said Feaster. "We believe he has a significant amount of upside in his future. In moving Vaclav Prospal
we wanted to add to our organizational depth, and by acquiring both a young defenseman and a future draft pick we were able to achieve that goal."
A native of Gatineau, Quebec, Picard has played in 53 games with the Philadelphia Phantoms
of the American Hockey League this season and ranks second on the team, first among defensemen, in points with 38. His eight goals and five power-play goals also lead all Phantom defensemen. Picard represented Philadelphia at the 2008 AHL All-Star Game and recorded one assist. He has established AHL career highs this season in goals, assists and points.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound defenseman has played in 134 career AHL games recording 16 goals and 74 points. He has played his entire three-season AHL career with the Phantoms. He has also played in two career Calder Cup Playoff games.
Picard has played in 72 career NHL games with the Flyers, tallying three goals, 22 points and 23 penalty minutes. On February 1, 2007 against the New Jersey Devils
he posted five assists which set a Flyers record for most assists by a defenseman and most assists by a rookie in a single game. He became just the second rookie defenseman in NHL history (Gary Suter, CGY, 6 vs. EDM on 4/4/86) and just the third player in Flyers history (Eric Lindros, Bobby Clarke) to accomplish the feat.
The 22-year-old was drafted by Philadelphia in the third-round, 85th overall, at the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. He played in 255 career junior games with Halifax and Cape Breton of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and recorded 31 goals and 122 points.