Flyers keeping their options open in NHL Draft’s first round

Flyers GM Daniel Briere

      Last year’s decision to select Russian forward Matvei Michkov with a first-round pick in the NHL Draft worked out so well for the Flyers, they have to feel pretty good heading into Friday’s first round of this year’s draft at the new Sphere in Las Vegas.

      Just this week general manager Daniel Briere learned Michkov was able to get out of the last two years of his contract with the SKA Club and will be able to join the Flyers for possible play in the NHL this season.

      The Flyers actually have two first-round picks, having also secured the one formerly owned by Florida. But since the Panthers recently won the Stanley Cup, that pick will be 32nd (and last) in the first round.

      This marks the eighth time in Flyers’ history they have had two selections in the first round.

      Philadelphia may also have two second-round picks, including their own at No. 51 as well possibly having that of the Columbus Blue Jackets at No. 36. The Blue Jackets can either pass that pick to the Flyers this year or take the option of doing that next year. Columbus can wait until one hour after the first round ends before informing the Flyers of their intention.

      In addition, the Flyers do not have a fourth-round pick but they do have two fifth-rounders (Vegas at No. 148 and Los Angeles at No. 150, plus two sixth-rounders (their own at No. 173 and one which belonged to St. Louis at No. 177).

      Briere sounded rather excited about his team’s draft chances for this year and 2025 at a recent press conference in the Flyers Training Center, Voorhees, New Jersey.

      “We have 10 picks this year, we have 10 picks next year,” Briere noted. “We had two firsts last year, two this year and two next year. Those are really critical drafts for us.

      “When you’re doing a rebuild, especially now in the (salary) cap era, it’s really tough to go out and sign free agents. Those (the drafts) are what we’re hoping will be the base for us moving forward. They’re critical drafts – there’s going to be a really strong focus on those.”

      One shouldn’t rule out the possibility of a trade or two to acquire even more draft picks.

      “If we have the chance to acquire more picks, it has to make sense,” Briere said. “We might be looking to move up with certain picks, (or) we’re looking to move back. If we move up, we might have to give up a pick or two, but if the value is worth it to move up and pick a player we really love, we’ll jump on it.

      “On the flip side, if there’s a clump of players we feel comfortable with, we might try to move back to acquire more assets either later in the draft or next year. Everything’s on the table for us.”

      /n

     SHORT SHOTS: The Flyers have selected 529 players in their 56-season history. . .For the first time in NHL Draft entry-level history, Philadelphia owns the 12th overall pick. . .The Flyers have chosen a forward with three of their last five first-round picks, as well as nine of their last 12. . .Philadelphia has had 13 first-round draft picks in the last 10 drafts, six of which were selected in the top 15: D Ivan Provorov (2015, No. 7), F  Nolan Patrick (2017, No. 2), F Joel Farabee (2018, No. 14), D Cam York (2019, No. 14), F Cutter Gauthier (2022, No. 5), and F and Matvei Michkov (2023, No. 7).

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About Wayne Fish 2473 Articles
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.