What an exciting Draft it was for the Philadelphia Flyers last night. With the team struggling when it comes to the salary cap and bringing in talent to shape the future of the team, this draft may be one of the most important of the past few years. That’s without the urgency of playoff Hockey that our new coach now faces. So, how did they do? We grade all of the first round picks here!
Pick 7: Ivan Provorov, Defenseman.
The good news is that the Philadelphia Flyers picked up who could turn out to be the best defenseman in the entire draft class. Hextall said he would draft the best player available and he did just that. The young russian has a much bigger offensive game than other potential pick Noah Hannifan. Sure, Hannifan may be a better skater, but the intimidation levels are far lower. Provorov is a big defenseman, His sheer size and strength alone are incredible assets that has helped him move higher up the projected draft order in recent weeks. It was kind of a surprise to see him left on the board when pick 7 came around as many thought he would be drafted higher. The Flyers got an absolute steal. His penalty minutes are low in his previous league and he contributed greatly to the PK department. He also ended his season with 61 points and 15 goals.
It’s not the answer to all Flyers fans prayers, the team still lack in the wing and forward departments. But this man was WAY too good to pass on. He may well become the franchse Defenseman in this organisation, his talent is unreal and whilst his NHL Debut is unknown, we can sure be excited about what he’s going to do on the ice.
Pick 24: Travis Konecny, Winger.
Following the success of picking up a Russian tank, the Flyers had an ace up their sleeve when it came to their 29th pick. They traded away said pick and their 61st overall to the Maple Leafs. This moved them to the 24th pick in the draft as it became clear that Hexy had his eye on someone in particular. That man was right-winger Travis Konecny from the Ottawa 67’s.
This draft seemed like a miracle to Flyers fans at this point as like his new teammate, Konecny was was projected to go much earlier. But, Hexy picked up on it and in return picked up a very rapid forward with great puck control. As Hextall eluded to in an interview following the pick, Konecny is a true talent with a great work ethic. At just 17 he was a team captain and was also ranked the 14th best skater in the final NHL Scouting Rankings. He ended his season on 68 points and 29 goals. The Flyers needed some depth when it comes to wingers, this may be the best solution imaginable.