Blue Jackets pick up Umberger, 4th rounder for 1st, 3rd round pick

Updated: June 20, 2008, 9:36 PM ET
Associated Press

OTTAWA -- The Philadelphia Flyers traded versatile forward R.J. Umberger to the Columbus Blue Jackets during the first round of the NHL draft on Friday night.

R.J. Umberger

Umberger

The Flyers received the Blue Jackets' first-round pick (19th overall) and Columbus' third-round selection (67th overall). Philadelphia also sent its fourth-round choice (No. 119) with Umberger to Columbus.

Umberger, 25, can be a restricted free agent on July 1 and the Flyers were having difficulty re-signing him because of the salary cap. Philadelphia is trying to create room to reach a deal with another restricted free agent, forward Jeff Carter.

Umberger had his best season as a professional in 2007-08 with Philadelphia, recording 50 points (13 goals, 37 assists) in 74 games. In the playoffs, Umberger led the Flyers in goals with 10 and was second in points with 15 in 17 games.

Umberger will be in familiar surroundings in Columbus, having attended Ohio State University. He will also be reunited with Blue Jackets head coach Ken Hitchcock, who coached him for parts of two seasons with the Flyers.

Originally drafted in the first round in 2002 by the Vancouver Canucks, Umberger never signed with the Canucks, sitting out an entire season due to a contract dispute. When Vancouver couldn't sign him, they traded him to the New York Rangers, who never attempted to sign him. He was signed by the Flyers in 2004.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press