NHL draft-day trades

The Flyers dealt goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky to the Blue Jackets in exchange for draft picks on...

The Flyers dealt goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky to the Blue Jackets in exchange for draft picks on Friday. (TIM SHAFFER/Reuters file photo)

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:18 AM ET

PITTSBURGH - The Columbus Blue Jackets got the ball rolling at the NHL draft by acquiring goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky from the Philadelphia Flyers Friday morning.

The Jackets gave up three draft picks for the 23-year-old, including the 45th pick, the 117th pick and a fourth-round pick in next year's draft, one they had acquired from the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for forward Antoine Vermette.

Columbus has been looking for a solution in net after finishing last in the league with 3.13 goals allowed per game last season.

Steve Mason was the 33rd-ranked goaltender in the NHL, with a 3.39 goals-against average and a .894 save percentage. Journeyman Curtis Sanford started 32 games for the Blue Jackets last season.

Bobrovsky comes with no guarantees. He was the 37th-ranked goaltender after falling to backup in Philly when the Flyers signed Ilya Bryzgalov to that nine-year, $51-million deal. Bobrovsky had a promising start to his NHL career two years ago, when he posted a 28-13-8 record as the Flyers starter with a .915 save percentage and 2.59 GAA. His save percentage fell to .899 last season when he was demoted and he had a 14-10-2 record.

Now the Blue Jackets will let Mason and Bobrovsky battle it out.

"(Bobrovsky) has won in the league. He had a great first season, he's won over 40 games in the league. I think he has the potential to be a very good NHL goalie. He's still a young goalie," Columbus general manager Scott Howson told reporters Friday morning. "We now have two NHL goalies who have a chance to be No. 1 goaltenders and we're going to see how it plays out."

In other deals:

• The Washington Capitals acquired point-producing centre Mike Ribeiro from the Dallas Stars for prospect forward Cody Eakin and a second-round pick Saturday, 54th overall.

Ribeiro has topped the 50-point barrier the last eight seasons. He had 18 goals and 63 points last year and the Caps have been looking for a productive No. 2 centre behind Nicklas Backstrom since 2009.

Ribeiro, 32, has one year left on a deal that has a $5 million cap hit.

Eakin, a good skater, was drafted in the third round in 2009. He had four goals and eight points in 30 games with Washington last year.

"Cody Eakin is a young, competitive player who we've had our eye on for some time," Dallas general manager Joe Nieuwendyk said in a statement. "He plays a solid two-way game and epitomizes the 'hard to play against' mentality we're building our team around. Cody's future is bright, and we're excited to add him to our club."

• The New York Islanders obtained Lubomir Visnovsky from the Anaheim Ducks for for a second-round pick in next year's draft.

Visnovsky, 36 before next season starts, saw his production drop this season -- six goals and 21 assists in 68 games -- after leading NHL defenceman in scoring two years ago with18 goals and 50 assists.

Visnovsky will have a cap hit of $5.6 million next season, though his actual salary is $3 million. That's a good fit for the Islanders, who will struggle to get to the salary floor.

• In a late deal Friday night, the Coyotes repatriated defenceman Zbynek Michalek, acquiring him from the Pittsburgh Penguins for defenceman Harrison Ruopp, goaltender Marc Cheverie and a 2012 third-round draft pick (81st overall).

Ruopp, 19, played for the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League (WHL) this past season after he was drafted 84th overall to the Coyotes last year.

Phoenix GM Don Maloney said the plan is for the Coyotes to pair Michalek with outstanding young defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson to form the Coyotes' top defensive pair.

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca

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