Flyers drop to fifth in NHL draft lottery

Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher

      In what amounted to a somewhat disappointing evening for the Flyers, the team dropped one position in Tuesday night’s NHL draft lottery, falling from fourth to fifth.

      The Flyers, who finished with the fourth-worst record in the NHL this past season, were jumped by the New Jersey Devils, who finished second in the lottery behind Montreal, which had the worst record in the league. Arizona took third and Seattle fourth.

      This will be the highest draft position for the Flyers since they jumped from 13th to second overall in the 2017 lottery. With that pick they took forward Nolan Patrick, who was dogged by injuries during his tenure here and now plays for the Vegas Golden Knights.

      The top five 2022 projected prospects, according to Craig Button of TSN.ca, are:

      >1. Shane Wright, C, Kingston Frontenacs/OHL.

      >2. Logan Cooley, C, USA Hockey National Development Team.

      >3. Joakim Kemell, LW, SM Liiga/Finland.

      >4. Juraj Slafkovsky, LW, TPS/Slovakia.

      >5. Simon Nemec, D, Nitra MHC, Slovakia.

      Wright is pretty much a consensus No. 1 on most scouting lists. He’s been compared to Boston’s future Hall of Fame center Patrice Bergeron. He produced 32 goals/94 points this past season.

      Cooley is headed to the University of Minnesota. He had 27 goals/75 points in 51 games, including three goals/10 points in the U18 championships in which USA took the silver medal.

      Kemell is getting over significant shoulder injury. Had six goals/18 points for Finland’s U18 bronze medal team. Has been compared to Filip Forsberg.

      Slafkovsky did his best work at the 2022 Winter Olympics, with seven goals in seven games, leading his team to the bronze medal at Beijing.

      Nemec also stood out for Slovakia at the Olympics. Among his team’s top offensive backliners with 25 assists in 39 games.

      The NHL Entry Draft will be held at the Bell Centre in Montreal, July 7-8.

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Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.