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Ranking each Flyers 2019 draft pick by how cool their names are

A rose by any other name would NOT smell as sweet.

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

With a heavy heart, I have to announce that it is only July.

Late July, sure, but July nonetheless, and that means we still have to sit here, twiddling our thumbs, swinging our feet, for an entire two and a half months before hockey season begins. I confess that I consider my years to be cleanly divided between Hockey Season (H.S.) and Offseason (O.S.), although I am neither a professional reporter nor involved in any such way with the sport, beyond matters of the heart and soul. I just miss hockey—and I’m also a loser. Whom amongst us, right?

Fortunately, we are just a month removed from the draft, which means there is at least one hockey-related event on the forefront of our minds. You have seen many a take about how the Flyers did in this draft (and generally, the reviews from critics have been positive), and you may have taken it upon yourself to lay back with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and enjoy a highlight reel or three.

Of course that is a respectable choice to make; you’re well within your rights to “care” about “potential talent” coming into our “prospect pool” for the “future of the organization.” But what about intangibles? What about subjectivity? If you’re the analytical type, you’re inclined to think that such things are unimportant, but for that you are sorely mistaken. This is why Broad Street Hockey gives me a platform. I’m built for this type of content, and we all suffer for it.

In Romeo and Juliet, the titular Juliet Capulet once soliloquized, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” No disrespect to Shakespeare, whether he be a man or woman or a congregation of many different people or if he existed at all (an argument for another day, likely involving an impassioned Steph Driver), but this is a bunch of baloney. Absolute hogwash.

Let’s look deeper into this. What are some hockey names that stand out to you? Wayne Gretzky. Bobby Clarke. Claude Giroux. Gordie Howe. Bobby Orr. Claude Giroux again. These names are powerful, they’re punchy, they’re fresh. Each of them follow a three-syllable cadence and the simplicity of that is immeasurable. What if any of these guys had been named like, Walter Friedland? That’s such a weak name. Puny, insignificant. That guy could’ve had a million goals, and that name would still be pathetic.

With each draft class, as upper-middle class hockey families name their kids increasingly-obscure things, we are treated to a slew of unique hockey names. Some of them are bold, full of impact, prepared to tackle a media storm or Pierre McGuire’s affection. Others are not so cool. Sad for them.

I’ve decided we need to look over the Flyers picks from the 2019 draft and rank them, not by talent or promise or what-have-you, but by how absolutely sick their names are. You want this to be the type of name you wear on your sweater, the type of name that gets your veins throbbing when you hear it thundering through the Wells Fargo Center, something that carries with it unfathomable energy. You want to be able to boast about this guy on Twitter. Who boasts about a guy named Jeremy Schmidt? That dude sounds like a loser.

There’s some criteria I will be governing by, which will be a mystery to both you and me, and yet unquestionable in its wisdom. Let’s begin.

#7 — Mason Millman (103rd)

Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images

With their sole fourth round pick, the Flyers selected Mason Millman from the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit. He seems like a fairly competent defenseman with high upside potential. Unfortunately for him, his name sucks.

Be honest with yourself. Say this guy makes the team, and he’s pretty good. Would you still want to wear Millman on your jersey? Would that not be a little bit embarrassing? Despite any prowess he may display on the ice, his name only inspires weakness, and I’m skeptical that any opposing team will consider him a threat. He sounds like a guy you could easily handle by simply pressing your palm to his forehead and watching his arms flail about in either direction, to no avail.

I don’t like this name. It’s not cool. It’s not interesting. I don’t even want to touch on Mason because I think that is equally wimpy. Combining the two is a one-two punch of mediocrity.

I’m sure the fellow is fine at hockey. I don’t doubt that he’s a nice guy, or whatever, as I consider most professional athletes to be nice-until-proven-asshole. I just don’t think I’d be proud to hear Jim Jackson boast that name on a broadcast, even if he scores the goal of the season, even if he scores an unassisted game-winning goal in a playoff series.

When I hear Mason Millman, I think of an older guy who’s been working the same boring office job for twenty years, who may be incredibly friendly, but whose life inspires sympathy. He always has Werther’s Original candies in a near-rusted drawer in his cubicle. He asks you if you’d like one every day as you pass him, and you politely decline.

#6 — Ronnie Attard (72nd)

Hickling Images

The Flyers selected a boy named Ronnie Attard in the third round. He is another defenseman, weighing in respectably at 207 pounds and towering at an impressive 6’3. His name is just not good.

I feel like this is a study in how significant a surname can be. When you start off with saying it out loud, you first hear the name Ronnie, a promising two-syllable tempo ending in a traditional -y sound. It’s classic and yet modern. He forewent the piteous Ronald and settled on something far more intimidating. I love it. I have no complaints here.

However, it falls off right at the end there. The last name throws off the whole vibe. Attard rounds out the whole name at four syllables, which while perfectly symmetrical, is not the ideal amount of beats. You want three or less, or five or more. The former is punchy and strong, while the latter feels elegant when it rolls off the tongue . This is why Russians always have the coolest names. No one could disagree that Alexander Ovechkin whips.

I just feel like there’s no joy in saying Attard. It doesn’t sound exciting. This is yet another name I would be embarrassed to stitch onto fan apparel. He could be great, he could be a key piece for the future, but I know I’d be seeing some people clown on him on social media, inventing cruel nicknames and such, and I don’t like giving people that kind of power. We should avoid that at all costs. Look what happened to Sidney Crosby.

#5 — Bryce Brodzinski (196th)

Rick Olson

This is a name I would call ‘just okay.’

Bryce Brodzinski is a right wing forward whose accomplishments mostly include what he’s done for his high school team in Minnesota, with a small sample size of his performance with USHL’s Omaha Lancers. In the seventh round, you typically assume that GMs are closing their eyes and pointing at a list at random, but we won’t know until we know. That’s the fun part.

Anyway, let’s talk about his name. It’s fine. It’s whatever. Unlike the aforementioned Ronnie Attard, whose surname takes him down several notches, it’s the first name Bryce that lowers the value of this hockey name.

Now, I don’t mean to diss the Bryce’s of this world. I was just as excited as any peripheral Phillies fan when we landed Bryce Harper and his incredible hair. It’s not really that Bryce is a bad name, but that it just isn’t a good one. It’s middling; a controversial choice for any parents with a fella on the way. You’re gambling with that one.

While the name starts off weak, I think it is heightened immediately with the addition of Brodzinski. Let’s get this out of the way—any last name that ends in a variation of a-ski sound is purely powerful. There’s something about the way that feels on the tongue. Sound that out in your mouth, feel the way it occupies the space in your lungs. It just rocks. There’s something about it. I love it.

As a whole, the name comes out to another displeasing four syllables, which lessens the impact of the -ski sound, and earns this guy the mediocre ranking I have given him.

#4 — Roddy Ross (169th)

Allen Douglas


The Flyers took their first and only goaltender of the draft in the sixth round, a wholesome Saskatchewan boy boasting an impressive .940% save percentage in 22 games with SMHL’s Tisdale Trojans (as a side note: that hockey team name also rocks). The Flyers have a pretty solid group of goalies in the prospect pool, but this kid could very well rise to the top. I like to have faith in people.

As far as his name goes, this is when the list starts to trend towards the positive. Roddy Ross is a perfectly good hockey name based on my algorithm, and I’d be very content to hear his name on a starting lineup.

Let’s start off with the obvious: Roddy is a wonderful first name. I researched this guy many times, wondering if this could possibly be a shortened name for something longer and more complicated, and I was simply thrilled to find that it isn’t. His parents just straight-up named him Roddy. They held an infant in their arms, and named him Roddy. They raised a toddler named Roddy. They lovingly sent Roddy off to school, took Roddy to hockey practice, and signed Roddy up for his juniors team. This is enthralling.

Once again, this is a name ending in that sweet -y sound, with two syllables to boot. It doesn’t get much better than that.

The last name of Ross only does this guy favors. Its short, brisk sound inspires confidence. It isn’t obnoxious to see on the back of a sweater. It has class, simplicity, and strength. I appreciate this name. There’s very little I can complain about here.

#3 — Egor Serdyuk (165th)

Denis Morin/Tigres de Victoriaville

Folks, we’ve got a Russian.

This right-winger is a little on the shorter side, coming up just shy of 6 ft. He recorded 65 points (25 goals, 40 assists) in 63 games with the Victoriaville Tigres of the QMJHL, the most points by any rookie in the league that year. He looks like a nice gamble for a sixth round pick.

I feel, based on some of the things I’ve said before, I almost have to defend myself for where I’ve ranked this guy. It’s true that his name tallies in at the lowly four syllables, a rhythm of which there is none. There’s no exciting -ski at the end of his name. He should, realistically, have dropped further on this ranking.

I just have one thing to say: his fucking name is Egor.

I don’t care how many syllables he has. I don’t care about that at all. Egor is enough for me. To start, the spelling of it stands out. You expect the I and it does not come. A pleasant surprise. A reversal of expectations. Second, his name is Egor, and that name carries with it an immense grit. Something about it whips ass. It rules. It’s perfect.

Now, you roll right into Serdyuk. The fact that it’s on the shorter side of a Russian name docks him just a point or two, but don’t be fooled by that. This name would look so cool on team merchandise. You would be proud to wear it. You’d be proud even just to see it written down, or typed out, whichever. No one could dunk on this name. Anyone would be a fool to try.

The only thing that could make this name better is if he dropped the last name altogether and just went by Egor, like Cher or Beyoncé before him. This is something he should consider.

#2 — Cam York (14th)

Rena Laverty/USA Hockey

This is the star of the draft, obviously. Cam York was chosen in the first round, which makes him the clear favorite of the organization to make the team in the future. He’s a defenseman with high offensive capabilities, making him pretty perfect for what the Flyers have been prioritizing lately. And his name? Oh, you guys.

If this fellow had decided to stick with Cameron, he would be further down this list, if not near the bottom. However, ingeniously, he rid himself of the humble -eron and shortened his first name to just one beat. That was the best decision he could have made to aid him in the ranking on this list.

It’s not just the first name, though, and it’s not even just the last name. On their own, Cam and York are just average names, neither of them particularly special or exciting. There have been many hockey players named Cam. What’s so interesting about that? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Yet we are not judging names independently of each other—we’re looking at the whole package, the entire meal deal. We’re thinking about seeing the name etched onto the Stanley Cup. We’re thinking about starting lineups, internet arguments, All-Star Game announcements. For that, we have to say the whole thing out loud. We have to feel it in our mouths.

Cam York.

It’s two syllables.

One punch. Two punch. Bam.

It hits you, one after another. A name this simple crackles with potential energy. Truthfully, I find two-syllable names to be incredible, and I’m biased to swing that direction no matter the case. It’s true that this decision is almost entirely dependent on those two syllables. But can you blame me? It’s perfect. You need not waste any time saying this name. It both can roll easily off the tongue and also be spat with venom. It’s versatile. It’s unquestionably sick. I love it more than I can bear.

You can just imagine hearing this name in the Wells Fargo Center. CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM YOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRK. Stretching it out, savoring the sound. No unnecessary consonants in the way. No twisting, complicated vowel sounds. This is an incredible name. There’s nothing else to say.

#1 — Bobby Brink (34th)

Dan Hickling

Oh, my God. I mean, oh my God. Who allowed this? Which hockey demigod gave Mr. and Mrs. Brink the permission to bestow such a name on a mere infant? Was a baby even prepared to harness its raw power?

Bobby Brink is a right-winger who was selected in the second round. Although it’s important to note that he racked up 68 goals in 43 games with the USHL’s Sioux City, it’s equally crucial to point out that he is extremely tiny. Excitingly, I am taller than him. He’s only 5’8. This makes the whole thing even more thrilling.

When you look back at the list of significant hockey names, you will see many a Bobby. Is this because it was a popular name in prior generations? You could certainly say that. Yet it’s just as easy to assume that the name itself suggests royalty. Sure, it could be both, but I lean towards the latter.

The first name alone is already beyond satisfactory. The hauntingly beautiful two syllables. The breathtaking sound of the -y. These are both things I have stressed numerous times, and when you combine them, the forces that be hold their breaths in anticipation. Everyone is waiting, wires stretched taut, shivering, both in awe and afraid of what may come next.

Then, it hits you. A harsh gust of wind, a crashing tidal wave, a train barreling down the tracks. You knew, and you didn’t know.


Fuck. Look at that name, even just by itself.

As a surname in general, it’s already pretty badass. Of course, it’s one syllable, but that isn’t even the half of it. The word brink is a sound brimming with energy. The br- in and of itself is a great sound, and being followed by -ink (a raw, unique set of letters) rounds it out to a near-perfect one-syllable word.

It goes even deeper than that. If the word itself is perfect, it is made even more perfect by being a hockey name. This isn’t a ranking based solely on the names itself—that wouldn’t be nearly as relevant. It’s about hockey names, the type of title that is made even more incredible by its designation to a hockey player. If you met, say, a Patrick Roy in the real world, at your day job or whatever, you wouldn’t give a shit at all. That’s not important to you; you guys are Starbucks baristas making minimum wage. Who cares. Who even notices.

Bobby Brink is the type of name you can see in some good company. It falls under the ever-enjoyable rhythm of two syllables. Pause. One syllable. It’s a beat you can dance to. You can close your eyes and feel it pulsating in your skull.

I would be hard pressed to find anything I could truthfully gripe about here. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that it would be difficult for me to find a hockey name from this draft class I like better. This is not an invitation for you to suggest some to me, as I will only double down further if any of you freaks try to prove me wrong. I’m solid in my choice.

Bobby Brink, you’re born to be a star.