Picking up where he left off on Friday night, Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher continued his willingness to make bold trades early in Round 2 of the NHL Entry Draft in Vancouver on Saturday.
Fletcher, who traded down from No. 11 to No. 14 overall on Friday night to add a No. 45 pick in the second round, quickly packaged that No. 45 with the No. 65 and sent those picks to Nashville for the No. 34 overall.
With that No. 34 pick, Fletcher grabbed right wing Bobby Brink, who was rated No. 20 by International Scouting Services and No. 27 by The Hockey News.
Brink, who doesn’t turn 18 until July 8, hails from Excelsior, Minn. The right-handed shooter is listed at 5-foot-10, 165 pounds.
He played last season for Sioux City of the United States Hockey League.
Brink was the USHL’s forward of the week three straight weeks before the playoffs began.
His 1.58 points per game were tops in the USHL for regular players and if not for one lengthy injury probably would have won the league scoring title.
Brink was also the MVP at the World Junior A Challenge, leading his USA team to the gold medal.
After the draft ended at Vancouver’s Rogers Center, assistant general manager Brent Flahr sounded pleased with the way things went.
Landing Brink might have been a bit of a coup.
“We had him slotted higher,’’ Flahr said. “We knew he wasn’t going to last very long in the second round. We paid the price to move up to get a player of his caliber but we were happy to do that.’’
Brink says that watching the Flyers trade up for him meant a lot.
“It feels really good that they wanted me,’’ Brink said. “The fact they were willing to trade more to get me was really cool.’’
Having been slotted as high as 20th and falling to 34th should provide some added incentive.
“Obviously there’s extra motivation,’’ he said. “Getting passed on like that. You just have to keep getting better to get to the next level.’’
Believe it or not, his middle name is “Orr,’’ as in the legendary Bobby Orr.
“My dad was really into hockey growing up,’’ Brink said. “He was a big Bobby Orr fan growing up, so he decided to name me after him.’’
One drawback on Brink’s resume might be his skating.
“His skating is different,’’ Flahr said. “He’s not the biggest body but he’s extremely smart, skilled, very competitive. He picked apart a USHL league which is hard to score in. He came right out of high school and dominated. He’s got great edges, slippery but he’s not a burner.
“I think his skating is always in the right spot and it doesn’t seem to impact him at this point. He’ll be the first to tell you he has to get quicker at the next level (pro hockey) but at this point in his development we don’t see an issue.’’
Brink has committed to play for the University of Denver next season.
In the third round, the Flyers took defenseman Ronnie Attard, a big defenseman who played for Tri-City in the USHL. He was passed over for two drafts, so he probably has some extra motivation to prove the scouts wrong.
“He’s a late bloomer,’’ Flahr said. “That happens in junior hockey. He’s a big body, competitive kid. He has an edge and a big-time shot. Sometimes it takes some time. He found his confidence.’’
Flyers’ draft thumbnails
(Name, Age, Position, Height, Weight, Team, League, Scouting Report)
>Round 1 (14 overall): Cam York, 18, D, 5-foot-11, 176 pounds, USA NTDP. Projects as potential NHL second-pair D. Set league single-game record for backliners with seven points.
>Round 2 (34th overall, acquired in trade with Nashville): Bobby Brink, 17, RW, 5-foot-10, 165, Sioux City, USHL. His 1.58 points per game led all regular players. Scouts compare him to Joe Pavelski.
>Round 3 (72nd overall): Ronnie Attard, 20, D, 6-foot-3, 208, Tri-City, USHL. Passed over in last two NHL drafts; worked on his skating and scored 30 goals, earning him USHL player of the year honors. Headed to Western Michigan.
>Round 4 (103rd overall): Mason Millman, 17, D, 6-foot-1, 175, Saginaw Spirit, OHL. His coach, Chris Lazary, says his hockey IQ is off the charts.
>Round 5: No selection (traded to Winnipeg).
>Round 6: (165th overall): Egor Serdyuk, 18, RW, 5-foot-11, 165, Victoriaville, QMJHL. Had 25 goals last season. Scout says: “Smart, always goes to right spots.’’
>Round 6: (169th overall): Roddy Ross, 18, G, 6-foot-2, 180, Seattle, WHL. Strong numbers for the Thunderbirds – 16-5-2, 2.76 goals-against average.
>Round 7: (196th overall): Bryce Brodzinski, RW, 18, 6-0, 196, Blaine High School, USHS. Scout says: “Ultra-quick release. Improved his ability to move puck.’’