Flyers Weekly Mailbag: Looking ahead to the Draft and Free agency


With the NHL Draft slated in just about three short weeks. The hockey world will begin to find out if the Flyers have taken a major step forward in terms of their rebuild. Will they trade both picks to move up in a well stocked 1-10 Draft or stay put for picks 14 and 19? The real answer is no one knows.

Ron Hextall is, “King Hextall,” in terms of drafting. Moreover,  he’s a wizard at selecting hidden gems in the latter rounds of the draft. This years Flyers draft will be unlike any others in recent memory. Welcome to the show Flyers fans, and welcome to what will hopefully become, “Miracle on Broad Street,” in a few short years hopefully. Without further delay, here are our answers to your questions.

Michael you’re simply the man. Love your thought analysis week after week. Your support is amazing. Gary Bettman made Vegas successful. That’s the rhyme, and that’s the reason. The way the NHL implemented the expansion rules is a huge compliment to the greatest game on earth. Bettman made sure Vegas succeeded, and he did one heck of a job at doing such.

With that being said the coaching staff, and George Mcphee have done a phenomenal job, as well, in making Vegas successful. Mcphee brutalized some General Managers into making drastic panic moves that included trades for picks. The locker room seems tight-knit, and that’s a credit to the Vegas coaching staff. Moreover, let’s also give some kudos to some big time vets in James Neal and Marc-Andre Fleury. You made a great point Michael they wanted it. It’s a feel good success story with so many different headlines.

Michael, I wrote an article earlier in the week stating the Flyers should sign undrafted free agent Ivan Kosorenkov to an ELC, thus allowing him to get some seasoning with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms next season. The Flyers have seen success with undrafted free agents, such as Tim Kerr, Philippe Myers, and Mike Vecchione. Moreover, the orange and black should do it before teams like their divisional rivals in the Washington Capitals, or the Pittsburgh Penguins do so, with both of those teams being against the cap.

Kosorenkov would be an ideal undrafted free agent signing. He blasted 36 goals, and tallied 46 assists for a total of 82 points in 63 games played. C’mon Hexy let’s go…sign the man.

Mbailey I loveeeee this question. You’re a die-hard Flyers fan, well a Philly fan in general. You’re the man. Bryan Colangelo’s Twitter experience has to be one of the most intriguing stories in the world of sports in sometime. Mainly because it’s so weird, it has everyone finding themselves glued to story.

It’s very typical for players and general managers in all sports to have burner phones for interview purposes. However, I pray to God Ron Hextall doesn’t have a burner account. Who really knows right? All we can say is, now we know why some famous people don’t have Twitter accounts. It can be very addicting, as we’re finding out through Colangelo. I love the humor in your question.

Anthony you’re an amazing person, and an awesome writer for the philly influencer. Thanks so much for your support. Even though, Dougie Hamilton is an elite young Defenseman. The Flyers may not have to give up a blue chip Defenseman in order to receive him. Fortunately, the Calgary Flames don’t have a pick in the 2018 NHL Draft until the 4th round. Moreover, they’re currently looking to move some players to move higher in the draft. Another factor that plays into the Flyers hands is the Flames lack depth at the Forward position. A trade could look like:

Flyers Send: Wayne Simmonds, 2018 First Round Pick #19, and a 2018 5th Round Pick (143). The Flyers have 2 5th round picks in this draft.

Flames Send:

Dougie Hamilton

Mwolf you’re an awesome Flyers fan. Your knowledge of the team is through the roof. I think this is the year the Flyers make a bold move to acquire an elite player because of the stockpile of young prospects down on the farm. If the Flyers don’t want to get into a bidding war for impending free agent John Carlson, then a trade for Dougie Hamilton will do. The Calgary Flames are currently chomping at the bit to move up in this year’s draft, and they lack depth at the Forward position.

This is just one possibility that Ron Hextall could weigh the value of the current stockpile of young prospects, and then uses it to his advantage. Moreover, this year should be the year the Flyers show the hockey world they mean business by becoming true contenders. One way to do that is by adding a top pairing RHD Defenseman to pair with Ivan Provorov.

MJW thanks for your support, and I can honestly see your passion of being a Flyers fan. You’re the man. Flyers fans are one of the most passionate fan bases in all of the NHL. They sure love their team through the good times and the bad. The Let’s go Flyers chant isn’t going anywhere, as it shouldn’t. If some chant off cue with it, then we have to take the good with the bad. Eventually, it all comes together in unison.

Matt you’re a die-hard Flyers fan. It shows in this post. You bleed the orange and black on a daily basis. Your great. If John Tavares is still a free agent when the free agent market opens on July 1st, then absolutely the Flyers should make a run for him, starting at 10-11 million dollars per season. However, I personally believe Tavares resigns with the New York Islanders.

Rob you’re the man. Can’t say enough about you my friend. You’re a die-hard of the orange and black. Thanks so much for the kind wishes for the new flyers fan. It means a lot, and it goes beyond words. He will be groomed into a Right Winger in the future my friend.

For the Flyers to draft an immediate impact player. They would have to find a way to move within the top 6. RHD Noah Dobson might be NHL ready outside the top 6. But, even that’s a stretch. It will be interesting to see how the drafting “Guru,” in Hextall proceeds with this draft. An Interesting side note from the The Carolina Hurricanes are now fielding offers for the second pick shockingly. If I’m Hextall, I’m using my burner phone trying to move up to snag Zadina or Svenchinkov.

Ciaran your passion for the sport of hockey is awesome. You’re a diehard Flyers fan as you eat, breath, and love the sport of hockey. Thanks for your support, you’re a great person. Wayne Simmonds will more than likely be used as a trade chip this off-season, if his stock hasn’t dropped after the surgery. With saying this, I’m not proposing a trade by any means, nor have I heard of any credible rumblings. I believe Simmonds will have a monster rebound season much like Claude Giroux, and Sean Couturier did this past season. At 100%, Simmonds is a beast and a force to be reckoned with, as he’s a vital part to the Flyers success.

It’s great you mention the top Power Play Unit. If I’m Dave Hakstol I would keep Nolan Patrick on the top unit, and move Simmonds back to the top unit, in favor of Jakub Voracek. It would be a breath of fresh air for the top unit. Simmonds would provide the net front presence to have that unit flourishing at a high rate once again.

Something has to change on the top unit, as it’s too predictable. Voracek to me seems to think pass first while on the top unit. Just shoot when you have the open shot anything can happen to the puck on its way to the net.

Ustimenko was born in Belarus, but represents Russia internationally by playing in the MHL (Russian Juniors), rather than the pro level. This is better for his development in a sense that he plays regularly, as opposed to a backup role. For the 2017-18 season, while playing for the MHK Dynamo he tallied a 1.81 GAA, and a .929 Save Percentage in 53 games played.

Ustimenko is vying for a starting role for Russia for the 2018-19 World Junior Championships. With that being said, there are no indications at the moment from the Flyers that they would like to hinder his successful development by bringing him to North America.

Flyers you’re the man. Your knowledge of Flyers hockey, and hockey in general is through the roof. You’re an even better person to boot. Assuming the Flyers stay at 14 here’s the wish list:

Jesperi Kotkaniemi

Joel Farabee

Joe Veleno

Vitaly Kravtsov

Bode Wilde

Barrett Hayton

Assuming the Flyers keep pick 19 here’s the wish list:

Bode Wilde (If he drops)

Rasmus Sandin

Gregori Denisenko

Ki’ Andre Miller

Rasmus Kupari

Ken you’re the man. I loveeeee this question. You’re a die-hard Flyers fan, and you bleed all Philly sports. Bryan Colangelo’s Twitter experience has to be one of the most intriguing stories in Philadelphia sports in quite sometime. Mainly because it’s so weird it has everyone finding themselves glued to story.

It’s very typical for players and general managers in all sports to have burner phones for interview purposes. However, I pray to God Ron Hextall doesn’t have a burner account. But, who really knows right? All we can say is now we know why some famous people don’t have Twitter accounts. It can be very addicting, as we’re finding out through Colangelo. I love the humor in your question, so keep then pumping.

Boss you’re a person that simply loves his hometown team in the orange and black. A trusted source of information, and a good person to boot. The one good thing that I have found with interviewing almost every prospect in the Flyers system is that the majority of our Centers are versatile. Meaning they can play both Wing and Center. Most CHL Centers, are now being groomed to play both positions. Here’s a list that may stay at Center in no particular order:

Mikhail Vorobyev…he’s a solid two-way Center.

German Rubtsov

Could play Wing in no particular order:

Morgan Frost (Depends on Vorobyev)

Connor Bunnaman

Pascal Laberge

Phil Varone

Corban Knight

Mike Vecchione

Tanner Lacynski

Olle Lycksell

Radel Fazleev

If you would like to see your questions submitted in our weekly mailbag. Just submit your question on our Facebook page or on Twitter using #Flyersmail. This mailbag will continue throughout the off-season. Just because the season is over, we don’t stop here at this site. Thanks to all the fans for another great mailbag, and Let’s go Flyers. Without your support we wouldn’t be here today.


Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports