The Philadelphia Flyers did not have a hangover after an exciting round one of the 2023 NHL Entry Draft in Nashville, TN. Daniel Briere faced the rest of the NHL Entry Draft but did not enter with a second-round selection.
That changed rather quickly.
Briere traded up. He sent a 2023 sixth-round and a 2024 second-round pick (from the Los Angeles Kings in the trade that sent Ivan Provorov over to the Columbus Blue Jackets) to the Chicago Blackhawks to select Carson Bjarnason.
Standing at 6’3″ and 186lbs, Bjarnason went 21-19-6, including three shutouts, with a 3.08GAA and 90%SV in 47 games. His workload increased from 23 games in 2021-2022 to 47 in 2022-2023, allowing Bjarnason the opportunities to improve his craft and build more stamina between the pipes. He improved behind an unsteady defense.
“We were a young team [Brandon Wheat Kings], but it was an exciting year for us. Moving forward, it will be great. I’m thankful for Brandon; they’ve helped me so much to get to this point. Big shout out to all my teammates.”Carson Bjarnason; 6/29/2023
He just turned 18 years old. Bjarnason has off-puck awareness and overall hockey IQ that leap off the paper, making him the fourth G to be selected in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft. He spoke about his growth in the crease:
“Breaking the mold from my technicality, I think it’s just the poise and the aura I carry. In the net, I think I have a calm sense of aura and a certain stoicism to my game.”Carson Bjarnason; 6/29/2023
Bjarnason also experienced the U18 World Juniors, representing Canada. In the U18 World Juniors, Bjarnason went 4-2-0 with a 3.51GAA and an 84.9%SV in six games, concluding with a bronze medal. He wasn’t the starting goaltender in the bronze medal game, leaving after the first period in the game prior. He couldn’t solve Sweden, which wrecked his stat line at the U18 World Juniors from day one.
The Flyers have several good G prospects in their system, which will be key in the ‘new era of orange.’ At the toughest position to predict at the NHL level, one who ranked at the top in North America in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft isn’t a bad selection.
(AP Photo/George Walker IV)