Philadelphia Flyers Mock Draft: Briere goes bargain hunting for familiar faces

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 enter the 2024 NHL Entry Draft in Las Vegas, holding two selections in the first round on Friday night. The NHL’s annual event will occur from the desert with Philly Sports Network’s Haley Taylor Simon with heels on the ground. Philadelphia arrives with 9 total picks over the seven-round NHL draft. Daniel Briere enters his second draft in the pilot seat for the Flyers with options to move up the draft board from #12 overall.

Flyers Not Lacking Selections in 2024 NHL Draft

For a quick refresher, the Flyers hold two first-rounders (#12 & #32), and up to two second selections at #36 (up to Columbus) and #51. The remaining picks are the third round (#77), fifth round (#148 & #150), sixth (173 & 177) and seventh (#205). 

Personally, I feel there is enough to move up the draft board pending a slide of a particular defenseman from the London Knights that Philadelphia should pay the premium to move up for. I will be using the Draft Pick model from Simon Fraser University from Fall 2022 to do my best to replicate what it might take for Breire to move up the draft board. 

Philadelphia Flyers general manager Daniel Briere, left, and Ivan Fedotov pose with Fedotov’s Flyers jersey during an NHL hockey press conference, Friday, March 29, 2024, in Voorhees, N.J. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

First Round #7 – Sam Dickinson – Defense – London (OHL)

Proposed trade:
PHI receives #7 (SFU value = 629 points) 
OTT receives #12 & #77 (SFU value = 530 pts + 154 pts = 684 points) 

Given the available picks at their disposal at the current time, I feel this is a fair deal for both sides with perhaps a slight edge towards Ottawa. The value point difference (-55) according to Chart A is approximately a 6th-round pick. I would think Philadelphia would be fine leaving that on the table to complete a move up the draft board.

While it is impossible to predict who is available at that point, my selection is a well-scouted defenseman from the London Knights, Sam Dickinson. I wrote about the 6’3 blueliner’s smooth skating skills on Monday. With 2023 draft selections Oliver Bonk and Denver Barkey up front for the 2024 OHL Champions, there is no chance scouts didn’t notice Dickinson’s play. He could also fill a critical need for Philly down the road – a powerplay quarterback to orchestrate the man advantage with Michkov in town.   

First Round #32 – Yegor Surin – Center- Loko Yaroslavl (MHL)

With an opportunity to dip back into the Russian hockey season, the Flyers will take one of the youngest players in the draft. Yegor, or Egor, is an August 2006 birthday, leaving him only 30 days from being eligible for the 2025 NHL Draft. In Russia’s top junior league, Surin finished with 53 points, which was 2nd for skaters in the MHL under the age of 18-years-old. Surin would represent a Scott Laughton-style first-round pick.

Second Round – #36 – Sam O’Reilly – Center – London Knights

Daniel Briere indicated during his press conference last week that Philadelphia is “preparing like we’ll have the pick.” Therefore, we will roll with that mindset and return to London to grab a center who had a surprising OHL rookie campaign, Sam O’Reilly. The 6-foot-1 center finished third in rookie scoring for the OHL with 56 points over 68 contests. Concerns over his speed and skating could drop him out of the first round, and Briere’s squad will be overjoyed to take him early in the 2nd round.  

Second Round – #51 – Cole Hutson – Defenseman – USNTDP

I really am not sure if Cole Hutson is still available at #51, but I could see him slipping to #51 as an undersized 5’10 blueliner. Most projections have the USNTDP somewhere in the mid-40s, however, some publications have him in the last 20s. TSN’s Bob McKenzie ranks Hutson at #47 which is close enough for me to make this selection. Huton gives me massive Shayne Ghostishbere vibes. Hutson scored 51 points in 51 games for the US National U18 team. Cole is the younger brother of Montreal Canadiens defenseman, Lane Huston, who was 2nd round pick (#62) in 2022. 

Third Round – #77 – (traded to Ottawa w/ #12 overall) 

This pick was traded away on Friday night in my fantasy world to select Sam Dickinson. I am still delighted with the turn of events. Good luck to the Claude Giroux’s Ottawa Senators at #77. So, we move along to the fifth round as the Flyers do not currently own a fourth-round pick in 2024.

Fifth Round – #148 – Eric Burger – Defense – Rogle BK (SHL)

This 5-foot-11 left-handed blueliner scored 51 points in 46 games in the Junior Swedish Hockey League. In the fifth round, Danny Briere is probably hungry and a Burger selection sounds pretty good for a Saturday afternoon in Las Vegas. As far as hockey skills, Eric Burger’s potential would be bottom-pairing in the NHL with added speed and strength. 

Fifth Round – #150 – Mikhail Yegorov – Goalie – Omaha (USHL) 

The available goaltenders likely might not need to pay attention until the fourth or fifth round at the  2024 NHL Draft. With no one particularly inspired by this year’s crop of netminders, the Flyers use their pick from Los Angeles to select the top-ranked North American goalie, Mikhail Yegorov. The 6-foot-4 netminder will play at Boston University next season. 

Sixth Round – #173 – Peter Repcik – Center – Drummondville (QMJHL) 

For the first pick in the sixth round, Danny Briere again leans on scouting already in place for a Flyers prospect. Alexis Gendron attended the Memorial Cup with Drummondville of the QMJHL, and Philly scouts feel there is value in adding Peter Repcik in this spot. With the front office preaching culture, getting players who have previously established relationships is usually a smart move. 

Sixth Round – #177 – Austin Moline – Defense – Shattick-St. Mary’s Prep (High School – MN)   

The 181st-ranked North American skater by NHL Central Scouting, Moline’s 6’4″ frame and right-handed shot are enough to entice Briere to select the hometown Las Vegas-born defenseman in the sixth round. High school prospects are always tough to project; however, Minnesota High School hockey is arguably the most competitive in the States. 

Seventh Round – #205 – Ruslan Gazizov – Left Wing – London (OHL)

The third time in the NHL draft will be the charm for Ruslan Gazizov. For Philadelphia, the seventh round is a perfect chance to a risk on the 192nd-ranked skater who entered the season unranked in the top 200. Similar to Dickinson from the first round, Flyers scouts had plenty of eyes on him leading to a late-round lottery ticket on the winger from London. 

AP Photo/George Walker IV