Grading Chuck Fletcher’s first Draft as Flyers General Manager

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It was a scene of happiness as Cole Caulfield was still on the board, but out came Commissioner Gary Bettman to announce a trade, “The Philadelphia Flyers have traded the 11th pick to the Arizona Coyotes, for the 14th pick and the 45th pick of this year’s draft.” You could hear a pin drop. However, Chuck Fletcher then said, “With the 14th pick of the 2019 draft the Philadelphia Flyers select Cam York.” To hear the Flyers fans go crazy with “Let’s Go Flyers” chants in Vancouver, it really sent chills down your spine.

The Flyers shocked some with the pick of York from the USNTDP Junior Team in the USHL at number 14. They needed to recoup their Defensive system, and this was one way to do it. There were weeks of speculation over who the Flyers would take with the 11th pick, in particular, all that changed after the trade with the Coyotes. It was either going to be Peyton Krebs, Cam York, Alex Newhook, or Cole Caulfield. Moreover, the Flyers faithful started hearing the possibility of the orange and black trading the pick for an immediate NHL player. This led to a ton of trade speculation, with rumors swirling left and right. We can finally put that all to rest now, as we don a new era of Flyers hockey.

The young, slick LHD in Cam York is great in the Defensive zone. He plays in all situations the coaching staff asks of him, and York plays with an aggressive edge. Moreover, this slickster in York transitions well out of the zone, and his skating is pretty solid. York’s vision really ranks off the charts, and his passing is just crisp, tape to tape. This pick in York is a high valued one, and one that will pay huge dividends in the future. He really reminds of Brian Leetch, York is that talented. York has committed to the University of Michigan for the 2019-20 season.

Hopefully, the Flyers will benefit from a puck moving Defenseman in York. This selection was a great start to the draft for the Flyers, who are apparently in a “Win-Now,” mode according to Fletcher. The proud orange-clad fans deserve this selection. They have supported the Flyers through the thick and thin, and it’s time the fans start reaping some of the benefits.

Fletcher also managed to recoup a 2nd round pick that was involved in the Justin Braun trade, and boy did Fletcher deliver once again. He traded up to the 34th pick with the Nashville Predators, in exchange for the 45th and 65th picks (as the Flyers had 2 picks in the 3rd round). Fletcher made a bold move and acquired an offensive machine in Bobby Brink.

Bobby Brink (Left), and Cam York (Bottom Right) Photo Credits: Zack Hill

Brink is so offensively gifted. This kids vision and hockey IQ ranks off the charts. Brink is a natural goal scorer as he tallied 35 goals with the Sioux City Musketeers. He landed into the second round based off his size (5′,8″), and skating ability. Brink’s skating isn’t the best, but he will get to improve that at the NCAA level, as he has committed to the University of Denver in the Fall.

The best thing that Fletcher did was keep the Expansion Draft in mind. He selected Cam York with the 14th selection for a reason: The Flyers will most likely protect Travis Sanheim, Ivan Provorov, and Philippe Myers in the upcoming expansion draft, following the 2020-21 season. As it stands right now, most notably Samuel Morin, and Shayne Gostisbehere will be exposed. The Flyers will have to replace either Defenceman, so York might have to fill that void if necessary. This was an off the radar selection, but a bold-right selection.

Another under the radar move(s) that Fletcher did well was restocking the Defensive cupboard. With York, RHD Ronnie Attard, and LHD Mason Millman the Flyers back-end in their farm system is restocked properly. He added a righty in there, as well, and hopefully, this pans out in the future. The Flyers haven’t focused on Defense at the draft within the past few years, so this draft was a good way to restock that area of need.

The Right-Wing position was also focused on by Fletcher. Losing Wayne Simmonds left a gap on the right wing, but fortunately, the Flyers do have many prospects in the system that can play either wing. However, Fletcher did manage to select Right-Wingers in Brink, Egor Serdyuk, and Bryce Brodzinski. These draft picks afford the Flyers to play prospects in their natural positions in the future. Will they all these prospects workout? No, but some will, and they will be able to play in their natural position in doing so.

Fletcher also selected a solid Goaltender in Roddy Ross from the Seattle Thunderbirds, with the Flyers second pick in the sixth round. Ross stands at 6’2,” so he takes up a good portion of the net. It’s always nice to select a Goaltender, as you never know (Look at the 2018-19 season). Fletcher realized that, and snagged a really solid netminder.

Overall, Fletcher had a great draft. He restocked areas of need, mold bold moves in moving up and back, to acquire future talent. Fletcher did all this with keeping the current crop of prospects. It was very Hextall-esque, and for Fletcher’s efforts, his overall draft grade is a B+. One thing is certain Flyers fans, the future is bright in Flyerland.

 Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

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