NHL Draft prospects: Skaters the Flyers could target in a trade up into the top-10

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

In the first edition of our series here examining potential Flyers draft targets, we looked at the Top-ranked North American Skaters that will be available at the 2024 NHL Draft in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 28. Without a dramatic turn of events, those players will be long gone before Daniel Briere steps up to the microphone to announce his first selection at the Sphere. 

Picks 6-10 Present Legit Trade-Up Opportunity for the Flyers

In addition to the 12th overall pick in the draft, the Flyers will also be selected in one of the final two positions of the first round. That pick comes via the Florida Panthers from the 2022 trade deadline deal that saw former Flyers captain Claude Giroux visit South Beach for a few weeks. Owen Tippett was the prospect in the deal, while the future 1st rounder is almost a current-day draft pick.

The Flyers may also have access to a high second-round draft selection via the Columbus Blue Jackets as part of the acquisition cost for defenseman Ivan Provorov last summer. Columbus will have until one hour after the first round to inform the League (and Philly) if they will be keeping the #36 pick which is the 4th pick of round #2. If the Blue Jackets keep their selection, the Blue Jackets 2025 second-round pick would transfer to Philadelphia. During his press conference earlier this week, Briere stated the Flyers are “preparing like we’ll have the pick”.

In trade talks, Briere has some ammo to utilize with several selections to move if he wants to climb the draft board. Those options include current roster players, the Flyers’ two first round picks (#12 & #31 or #32), potentially #36 from Columbus and #51 in the 2nd round. Finally, a third round choice at #77 finishes off Philly’s draft slots inside the Top 100 draft picks.

Below are some players that could still be available on the draft board should the Flyers decide to move up from #12 overall. 

#6 Trevor Connelly – 6’1 – Left Wing – Tri-City (USHL)

Trevor Connelly had a solid season in his second USHL season with the Tri-City Storm. The 18-year-old winger improved from 47 points to 78 points in his draft season. Trevor’s game hinges on speed and game-breaking talent, however, there are questions about his maturity that may give some NHL teams hesitation in selecting Connelly with a top-10 pick. Connelly’s foolish third-period major infraction at the 2024 World Juniors cost the U.S. dearly as his penalty led to three Canada goals from the man advantage. Canada defeated the U.S. for the gold, 6-4.  

#7 – Sam Dickinson – 6’3 – Defenseman – London (OHL)

Sam Dickinson was a joy to watch during the 2024 Memorial Cup for the London Knights. While I was primarily focused on the play of linemate Olive Bonk, Dickinson’s talent was on clear display in the tournament. It was pretty hard not to notice the high-IQ blueliner and his smooth skating skills. Sam was the conductor of the London Knights powerplay attack finishing with 28 points with the man advantage. Dickinson never seemed rattled during the biggest moments available in Canadian hockey, and that poise should serve him well at the NHL level. 

#8 – Berkely Catton – 5’10 – Center – Spokane (WHL) 

A speed demon with wheels for days, Berkely Catton is an undersized pivot with a premier offensive skill set. Catton placed 4th overall in the WHL after scoring 116 points over 68 games for Spokane. Another dazzling skill for Berekly is his plus face-off ability as Catton won over 50% of his draws this season against the best pivots the Western Hockey League has to offer. Berkeley has the potential to be a short-handed specialist following his league-leading 7 shorthanded goals in 2024. 

#9 – Tij Iginla – 6’0 – Center – Kelowna (WHL) 

The son of Hockey Hall-of-Famer Jerome Iginla, Taj brings hockey instincts that can only be learned through the osmosis of living life alongside an NHL-playing father. While some scouts question if he has an elite skill in his toolkit, Iginla showcased offensive potential with 84 points in 64 games to lead Kelowna. Taj was an important part of Canada’s Gold Medal win for Canada totaling 6 goals and 6 assists at the 2024 IIHF Under-18 Championships.

#10 – Michael Hage – 6’0 – Center – Chicago (USHL) 

Philly Sports Network’s Haley Taylor Simon completed a full profile on the center from Chicago of the United States Hockey League. You can check out her piece here. 

AP Photo/George Walker IV