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June 28, 2024

NHL Draft: Flyers take C Jett Luchanko after sliding back to 13th in trade with Wild

The Flyers are rolling the dice on Luchanko, a speedy center out of the OHL, after a chaotic top-10 and a step back in a deal with Minnesota.

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Jett-Luchanko-Flyers-NHL-Draft-2024.jpg Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports

OHL center Jett Luchanko with his Flyers jersey on after he was selected 13th overall by Philadelphia in the NHL Draft on Friday night in Las Vegas.

The board grew chaotic, the Flyers took a chance by sliding one spot back to 13th overall in a trade with the Minnesota Wild, then finally took the stage and left with Guelph Storm center Jett Luchanko as their first of two first-round selections in the NHL Draft Friday night in Vegas. 

The pick was also announced by Philly native and world-famous boxing announcer Michael Buffer. 

You can say a lot of things about how this draft has shaken out so far, but you can't say it isn't interesting. 

Luchanko does present a bit of a reach here at first glance. He was the 20th-ranked North American skater by NHL Central Scouting in its pre-draft evaluation and was generally expected to go in the back half of the first round rather than the top. Granted, the round had already descended into its fair share of curveballs when top names like Zeev Buium and Sam Dickinson fell while others like Beckett Sennecke, Tij Iginla, and Carter Yakemchuk jumped up.

As for what Luchanko brings to the ice, he's a speedy skater who tries to play a fast-paced game through the middle of the ice. In 68 regular season games for the Storm this past OHL season, the 17-year old produced a 74-point campaign (20 goals, 54 assists) though with a minus-13 rating. 

Here's a bit more about him courtesy of the OHL's draft profile:

The Flyers also gained a 2025 third-round pick in the deal with the Wild, who went on to take Buium at 12 after he slid back – which also presented a curious pass on general manager Danny Brière's part.

But the Flyers do need centers, and while Luchanko – who won't turn 18 until August – wasn't the most highly-touted one coming in, he is one of the more curious prospects, especially now with how he got to the Flyers, not to mention who he was taken over – well-rounded Finnish center Konsta Helenius and sharpshooting U.S. winger Cole Eiserman were both still available by the time Philadelphia was up. 

It's a dice roll, for sure, but there was something there with Luchanko to make Brière and co. like the odds well enough.

The Flyers will be back on the board again at No. 32, provided they aren't done working the phones. 

MORE: Flyers trade 32nd pick to Oilers for future first-rounder

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