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June 21, 2017

Flyers reportedly considering trading No. 2 pick to a team currently without any players

All the talk in Philly this week has been about the Sixers shocking decision to trade up to No. 1 in Thursday night's NBA Draft. But about 24 hours after they select Markelle Fultz first overall, the team that shares its building with the Sixers could be making a similarly important decision, as the Flyers currently hold the second-overall pick in Friday night's NHL Draft thanks to some lottery-night luck.

Although many consider this to be a two-man draft – centers Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier are projected to be the first two picks – a recent report suggests the Flyers could be interested in trading back. That, on its face, is not the most shocking news in the world, given that general manager Ron Hextall has more than one hole to fill on his roster and gathering more assets could be one way to address those needs. 

What is far more shocking, however, is the team rumored to be in talks with Hextall and the Flyers: the NHL's newest team, the Las Vegas Golden Knights.

First, the expansion draft just happened over the last few days, and the Golden Knights roster won't be announced until later Wednesday night, as part of the NHL Awards Show. Basically, no one knows which unprotected players from around the league the Golden Knights actually drafted, so there's no way of accurately identifying what might come back to the Flyers in return for the No. 2 pick (aside from the No. 6 pick).

Furthermore, considering they're players that other teams were comfortable letting go, will they even be enough for Hextall? 

Here's more on how Vegas could tempt Hextall into giving up that pick, via

If this is how Hextall has decided to solve his goaltending situation for 2017-18, for example by acquiring Marc-Andre Fleury from the Golden Knights as the main piece in this deal, that would be ... infuriating. As we discussed last week, Fleury makes sense in the right context, and in no way does that context involve giving up the No. 2 overall pick in a draft that’s widely considered to have two clear prospects at the top of it.

If this deal were to acquire a plethora of first round picks from Vegas, that would be annoying since we are all so excited for No. 2, but could be a smart strategy if Hextall isn’t completely sold on Nico or Nolan. Move back and add more chances to hit on a really good first round prospect or two.  []

Of course, future picks could be enticing. It's hard to imagine a team full of cast-offs that never played together before will put together a successful campaign in Year 1, so their picks in 2018 and 2019 could be pretty high as well.

If that's the case, it starts to make a little more sense. But it still seems like a long shot that a deal like this gets done, especially given that the top two players in the draft, one of whom the Flyers will be guaranteed to land if they just stay put, are in a class of their own.

Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin

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