Will the Flyers select a center with the 12th pick?


Philadelphia Flyers general manager Danny Briere spoke to the media earlier this week about his plans for the 2024 NHL Entry Level draft, which is a week away. Briere clarified that he would take the best player available regardless of the position, with the Flyers’ pick being 12th overall. However, even though Briere would bring the best player regardless of their position, he made it known that the Flyers needed centers. 

Another significant aspect of Briere’s strategy is his openness to trading up or down, depending on the opportunities during the draft. This flexibility could allow the Flyers to secure a top-tier center, even if most top defensive prospects are picked early. 

Flyers' GM Daniel Briere, Laperrière
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. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Even though Macklin Celebrini will still go first overall to the San Jose Sharks, there are still plenty of good centers left on the draft floor. 

A name that needs to be talked about more is Michael Hage. The 6’1 center out currently playing with the Chicago Steel has been putting up impressive numbers this past season with 33 goals and 42 assists in 54 games. With projections coming out, Hage seemingly goes anywhere between the early teens and mid-20s. While the Flyers need to select the best player available, the predictions are changing daily. 

Berkly Catton is another center that will be a hot topic for centers in the draft. Catton, who currently plays for the Spokane Chiefs, had an awe-inspiring season with 68 games, putting up 54 goals and 62 assists, tallying 116 points.

With these players being a few names that Philadelphia could select, it seems more and more unlikely that staying at 12 will result in the best player available being a center. The centers in this class are similar to the defensemen; they are talented, but there are few top talents expected to fall past the top 10 in the draft.

Luckily, Philadelphia has the Florida Panthers first-round draft pick, which could be 31st or 32nd overall. They can use this pick to get a center if that’s what the team wants, but as for the 12th overall, there’s a good chance the best player available will be a winger.