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Flyers acquire Versteeg from Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs traded forward Kris Versteeg to the Philadelphia Flyers for draft picks on Monday.

In return, the Leafs get first-round and third-round draft picks in the 2011 draft.

Versteeg was sixth on the team in scoring with has 35 points (14 goals, 21 assists) in 53 games this season.

He came to Toronto in the offseason after winning a Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks last spring.

Versteeg will join a Flyers team that leads the Eastern Conference with 77 points.

"Right away I was extremely excited to join this team," Versteeg said in a statement. "They've had a lot of success this season. They had a great playoff push last year and I'm excited to try and have a good one this year.

"I like to make plays and score goals at the same time, maybe go out there and be an agitator at times, too. I'm going to try and do it all and have fun doing it."

The Flyers got a glimpse of his potential during last year's Stanley Cup final and are happy to add him to their deep lineup.

"Kris is an exciting young forward," Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said in a release. "He'll fit in with our group of players here. He's a quality forward that can play in a lot of different roles for our hockey team. He can move up and down our lineup, he can kill penalties, he can play on the power play.

"We think he's a guy that over the last few years, particularly in Chicago, has really blossomed into a good forward and we think he's going to be a really good addition to our team."

Versteeg is set to earn $3.083 million next season in the final year of his contract.

The 24-year-old Alberta native has 136 points in 223 games.

The deal is the second in less than a week for the Maple Leafs. Last week, Toronto traded Francois Beauchemin to the Anaheim Ducks for forward Joffrey Lupul.

Toronto GM Brian Burke said the third-round pick has already been offered to another team as part of a package for an NHL forward and that the Leafs' focus remains the same.

"We are going to try and add a player. We have not conceded the last playoff spot, nor will we. If we can add, we're going to," Burke said on a conference call Monday. "There's no change from our philosophy, it's just that this was the best offer that we had."

Burke said it made sense to complete the deal before the NHL's trade deadline at the end of the month. The Maple Leafs are 10 points back of eighth-place Carolina in the Eastern Conference.

"I like to get out in front of the (Feb. 28) trade deadline, set my prices and when I get my price I want to make that deal rather than get into the stampede around the deadline," he said.