Flyers trade Kase, acquire Rizzo and a 2025 fifth-round pick

Flyers' GM Daniel Briere
FILE – Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team newly appointed Special Assistant to the General Manager, Daniel Briere, arrives for a news conference in Philadelphia, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022. The Flyers have named long-time television analyst Keith Jones team president of hockey operations and have removed the interim tag from general manager Danny Briere’s title. Jones was a surprise choice Thursday, May 11, 2023, after he spent the last 23 years as an analyst for Flyers telecasts on NBC Sports Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

The Philadelphia Flyers sent David Kase to the Carolina Hurricanes for Massimo Rizzo and a 2025 fifth-round pick.

Rizzo, 22, was a seventh-round selection (216th) by the Hurricanes at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. The only prospect chosen after Rizzo was the ‘Mr. Irrelevant’ of 2019, Jeremy Michel.

He is the only Flyers prospect on the 2023-2024 University of Denver roster. A season ago, he took a step forward, totaling 46 points (17G, 29A) with a +24 in 38 games.

With the Hurricanes, Rizzo didn’t sign an entry-level contract. If Daniel Briere makes an offer, Rizzo will sign with his first NHL team.

Standing at 5’11” and 174lbs, Rizzo is an undersized forward with high hockey IQ. He gets open without the puck and creates space with it. Rizzo could add more speed and strength to his skating, but his two-way tendencies make the University of Denver tougher to play when he is on the ice.

Before the Flyers bought out Tony DeAngelo, his name intertwined with Rizzo. Briere was willing to retain salary to send DeAngelo back to the Hurricanes in exchange for Rizzo and a draft pick. However, the NHL intervened, taking issue with DeAngelo returning to Carolina within a year of Chuck Fletcher acquiring him, citing cap circumvention.

Kase, 26, was a fifth-round selection (128th) by the Flyers at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. He wasn’t consistent in the NHL and AHL, regressing from his peak 2018-2019 season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and his longest stint with the Flyers in 2019-2020.

Kase appeared in seven NHL games between 2019-2021, scoring a game-winning goal, his only contribution to the scoreboard in Philadelphia, in a 4-1 victory versus the Anaheim Ducks. In 110 games with the Phantoms, Kase managed 51 points (18G, 33A) before returning to Czechia with HC Sparta Praha.

Recent Fifth-Round Picks

The prize in the trade was the 2025 fifth-round pick. Lately, the Flyers found varying success with some of their fifth-round selections.

In the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Noah Cates was selected 137th overall. He had a recent breakout season with the Flyers, becoming one of the better two-way forwards in the NHL.

Sam Ersson, at the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, went 143rd overall. He recently signed a two-year extension after an impressive AHL season and a 6-3-0 record in 10 NHL starts.

At the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, Elliot Desnoyers was selected 135th overall. He made his NHL debut under John Tortorella and will contend for a roster spot this summer at the 2023 Flyers Training Camp.

Before last season, Alex Bump was the Flyers’ 133rd overall selection at the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. He is rising in the prospect pool, standing out at the 2023 Flyers Development Camp. He was a commit to the University of Vermont but is now entering the NCAA transfer portal.

Most recently, Carter Sotheran was the 135th overall selection at the 2023 NHL Entry Draft. His physical, two-way presence impressed with the Portland Winterhawks in the WHL, where he will return next season. Sotheran could potentially crack into a Philadelphia lineup in seasons to come.

Fifth-round prospects are projects that take a few seasons before discovering NHL potential. The recent history of the Flyers’ fifth-round selections reinforces positivity in their AHL development with Ian Laperriere. Essentially, Briere regained the 2015 value Ron Hextall spent on Kase.

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)