2023 Flyers Draft Class: Alex Ciernik

Flyers 2023 NHL Entry Draft
NHL hockey teams participate in the second day of the draft Thursday, June 29, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)
(AP Photo/George Walker IV)

The Philadelphia Flyers selected Alex Ciernik, an LW, with the 120th overall pick in the fourth round of the 2023 NHL Entry Draft.

In 2022-2023, Ciernik spent time on Södertälje SK J20 in the J20 Nationell, Södertälje SK in HockeyAllsvenskan, and Västerviks IK on loan. In different leagues and on inconsistent teams varying in difficulty and talent, Ciernik posted 33 points (12G, 21A) in 43GP. At the 2023 IIHF World Juniors, Ciernik represented Slovakia, despite being born in Germany, scoring three points (2G, 1A) in five games.

Ciernik was known as one of the more impressive skaters in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft selection pool, despite his 21st overall rank of all European skaters per NHL Central Scouting. A talent who could’ve been off the draft board as early as the second round dropped deep into the fourth due to his 5’10” and 179lbs frame.

Despite his physical stature, Ciernik has the upside to be a top-six NHL forward. Ciernik is quick, light on his feet, and thrives in the offensive zone. His top-notch shooting abilities pull through when attacking the middle of the ice with a shooting lane.

Additionally, Ciernik has solid playmaking abilities. He uses his speed and light edges to evade defenders, creating space for himself and his teammates. Ciernik isn’t afraid to attack an open area with an accurate shot or make a direct feed for a simple scoring chance.

On the back end, in the defensive zone, Ciernik isn’t active. He can be found covering the point, resulting in minimal movement, but lacking an active stick to break up passes. While he isn’t a physical skater on defense, Ciernik is hard on the forecheck, unafraid to apply pressure to force a takeaway.

Daniel Briere and Brent Flahr searched for skaters with a high upside, taking swings at the 2023 NHL Entry Draft. His approach would provide more overall skill if he hits on these later selections, including Ciernik.

“We talked about how in the organization we wanted more pure skill, more talent to make plays and score goals. I think it was time to kind of reload in that department. If some of those guys – they could be great – but you just never know, it’s tough to project, but we’re gonna’ give them all opportunities to be the best they can be.”

Daniel Briere; 6/29/2023

Time will tell if this philosophy pays off with the 2023 Flyers Draft Class, but taking risks on skaters with a high upside is necessary for the rebuild.

(AP Photo/George Walker IV)