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May 08, 2023

NHL Draft Lottery: Flyers stay put at 7th overall

The lottery has locked the Flyers into the 7th overall pick for a selection critical to the start of their rebuild.

The Flyers will have a top-10 selection next month down in Nashville, but if they're going to find a star there, it will have to be in the back half of it. 

With the results of the NHL Draft Lottery Monday night in Secaucus now official, the Flyers are locked into their original spot at No. 7 overall after no team behind them from seeds 8-16 jumped ahead.

The chances were slim to begin with, but now that the ping-pong balls have fallen, there will be no shot at generational prospect Connor Bedard – Chicago won the first overall pick to receive that honor – nor the consensus No. 2 pick Adam Fantilli (likely to become an Anaheim Duck now), or high-flying American prospect Will Smith and Swedish two-way forward Leo Carlsson, who have both been on the rise into potential top-five selections.

The Flyers still have a good chance of picking up a key piece for the future at seven, but they'll likely have to do so exercising some patience. Granted, in the early stages of a finally admitted rebuild, there's probably no particular rush anyway. 

Regardless, it's important that they get this pick right. 

"It's going to be a critical pick for the organization moving forward, there's no doubt about it," interim general manager Danny Brière said during his exit interview last month. 

The 2023 draft class is considered the deepest in a long time, so after Bedard, Fantilli, Smith, and Carlsson, there are still a number of talented forward prospects who could be available to the Flyers at No. 7. It'll just be a matter of who's left and what type of skater the team prioritizes. 

The list of possible options includes promising centers Oliver Moore and Ryan Leonard out of the U.S. National Development Program, Andrew Cristall (Kelowna, WHL), Zach Benson (Winnipeg, WHL), Colby Barlow (Owen Sound, OHL), and Brayden Yager (Moose Jaw, WHL) as a few of the high-end forwards coming out of Canadian juniors, and playmakers Dalibor Dvorský (Slovakia) and Eduard Sale (Czech Republic) as a couple of the other names garnering interest from overseas. 

All of them have the potential to thrive at the NHL level, but will likely need another year or two of development – be it in college, back in juniors, the AHL, or the European pro leagues – before they can make the jump and start making an impact. 

But again, with the Flyers years away themselves now, no rush. They have to get this one right.

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