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Flyers looking to add another 1st-round pick

Photo Credit: Heather Barry

Every single day that we wake up and are experiencing the Philadelphia Flyers actually rebuilding feels alien. You’re telling me that the Flyers want to focus on the future and are actively shopping their current best players because they realize they don’t fit their timeline? You want me to believe you when you tell me that they are proactive enough to gather up all the picks and prospects they can, instead of signing a big-name free agent? The Flyers? The Flyers?

General manager Daniel Briere made this current path even clearer during a pre-NHL Draft press conference on Thursday. Among other chat about prospects and potential moves surrounding next week’s event where all the NHL’s executives are in one single, large room, Briere revealed that they want to add another first-round pick, to go along with their two already.

“We’d like to, we’d like to,” he said. “That’s not a secret. We’d like to add. Like Brent said, there’s some depth in this draft. If we have the chance, yes, we would like to add in that gap between 22 and 87.”

The Flyers will be picking seventh overall, and earlier in the summer acquired the 22nd overall pick from the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Ivan Provorov trade. Unfortunately, because of former GM Chuck Fletcher’s decision to acquire defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen two years ago, they do not have a second-round pick.

As Briere mentioned, that means there is a 65-pick gap between selections for his team and a whole lot of talent will be gone during that time.

“If someone wants to give us another pick, we’d gladly take it,” Briere said. “We’re having discussions with different teams. I’d probably say it’s not likely, but we’re definitely looking at every avenue and I would love to give another jolt to our amateur scouts to dive in even deeper in our list. We’re trying, no doubt about it, but you need a dancing partner, as well, so I don’t know if it’s realistic.”

The Flyers have enough talent on their roster that they are willing to part ways with this summer, to get at least one more kick at the can in the first two rounds of the upcoming draft. Whether it is the St. Louis Blues’ 25th and 29th overall selections or the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 28th, both teams should be willing to part ways with those for Travis Konecny’s services (in addition to other future assets). Scott Laughton is also getting attention and a first-round pick for someone that provides so much for a team’s forward group isn’t too outrageous to think about. Hell, even if the Flyers retain half of Kevin Hayes’s salary, a late first-round pick or an early second-rounder shouldn’t be out of the question.

There are – in Briere’s own words – multiple avenues for the Flyers to take to fill that gap between those picks. And considering what talent could be available in the 25-45th overall range, we would be once again excited to have another top prospect in Philadelphia.

“But it is a deep draft,” Flyers assistant general manager Brent Flahr said on Thursday. “We’re confident we’re going to get a good player at 22 and if we add more picks, we’re confident we’re going to get some good players throughout the early rounds. Our guys spend a lot of time trying to identify guys for late-round picks, as well.”

Starting the rebuild with three first-round picks would certainly be something and could jolt the Flyers’ prospect pool into something remarkable.