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.
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)