The 2019 NHL Entry Draft is one day away. One can only hope that the Flyers haven’t traded away all their draft picks so I have something to talk about. This edition of “Flyers Prospects Mailbag” is incredibly brief with only two questions. Regardless, I hope you enjoy.
If Ron Hextall was still the General Manager, my answer would be yes. Obviously, he is not. I do not think that Chuck Fletcher is focused on moving up in the draft at all. He is not going to part with pieces that he can use in a trade to obtain NHL-ready talent at this juncture. This summer, it’s not about building for the future. It’s about building for right now. Fletcher will look to deal the 11th-overall pick for an NHL roster upgrade. If that fails, he will just stand pat and pick up a pretty good prospect in that spot.
The simple answer is they will have to wait. I do not think that the NHL was in the cards for either Yegor Zamula or Isaac Ratcliffe next season anyway. Ratcliffe would be more of a mid-season call up and is still a candidate for just that depending on how his rookie year with Lehigh Valley is going.
On the other hand, Morgan Frost and Joel Farabee could have a real shot at the third line wing spot for the Flyers next season. Obviously, if Chuck Fletcher addresses that role through either trade or free agency, either prospect would have to put together a head-turning performance during training camp and preseason to make the Flyers. I do believe that both young players are still candidates for mid-season call ups though.
Giving these young players more time to develop is not a bad thing. Frost, Farabee, and Ratcliffe will benefit from time to progress their games in Lehigh Valley. The same can be said for Zamula in the WHL. The key for Fletcher is not to bring in too many veterans with a lot of term on their contracts. It would be a shame to clog roster spots down the road.
Thank you so much to all of the people who provided questions for Flyers Prospects Mailbag! If you missed out this week, keep an eye on Twitter for my next request for your prospect questions.
Mandatory Credit: Derrik Bobb
John Gove covers prospects within the Philadelphia Flyers farm system for Philly Sports Network. Follow him on Twitter at @JohnPGove.