The Philadelphia Flyers hold the second overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, but, as normal, rumors begin to swirl on draft day. General Manager Ron Hextall has been linked to moving the number 2 pick for a player the orange and black know all to well.
Rumors have been swirling that Philadelphia Flyers General Manager Ron Hextall has been fielding offers for the second overall pick. From Colorado to the newly formed Las Vegas Golden Knights, the possibilities are endless. The major piece in play is goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who was recently selected from the defending Stanley Cup Champions and interstate rival, Pittsburgh Penguins.
Philly is clearly hurting in net when it comes to solid goaltending. Even though Steve Mason caught a bad rap sheet (when he played solidly besides a few flimsy goals), he wasn’t that bad. They’re caught in a bad spot when they’re too competitive to accumulated consistent top picks, but aren’t competitive enough to be a threat to Lord Stanley’s cup.
Hexy is currently playing the waiting game with his two top prospects Anthony Stolarz and Carter Hart. While Hart is two or three years away from being a consistent NHL player, Anthony Stolarz is proceeding to take the next step to take control of the helm for the Flyers. Now, this is where things get tricky.
With the addition of Marc-Andre Fleury, it could halt the growth of Stolarz while actually making him regress. While there is always good competition to go on in the league to push one another, there is also a sense that Stolarz could feel Hexy is losing faith in his goaltender pipeline. This isn’t including that any deal with Fleury will involve our second overall pick.
In a draft that features two players who aren’t deemed “superstars” like their peers who came before them such as Jack Eichel, Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine, and some guy named Connor McDavid. That McDavid fellow just brought home the Hart, Art Ross, and Ted Lindsay award. These are generational superstars that Patrick and Nico just aren’t.
What could really make this a worst case scenario situation is the compensation that the Flyers will receive for the second overall pick. Thinking that the Flyers will receive the sixth overall pick from a newly formed franchise is foolish. The thirteenth and fifteenth pick could be in play, but do you really want them in a draft that many people are already calling a “one-two” draft? Gifted prospects Eeli Tolvanen and Cody Glass are two other high profiled forwards, but both are years away from cracking an NHL roster as they need to round their game.
Unless the Flyers haul in a return that is unfathomable from the Golden Knights, which is unlikely as General Manager George McPhee looks godlike so far, the Flyers should sit back and draft either Nolan Patrick or Nico Hischier. And for those of you that aren’t sold on these two prospects, Colorado is still looking to move Mackinnon or Landeskog for pick or prospects. This could be a very eventful weekend for the NHL, and as always, Ron Hextall is keeping his lips sealed.