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June 23, 2019

What they're saying about the Flyers' draft haul, new NHL salary cap

The Flyers made some key decisions this weekend that will effect the future of the franchise for years to come. And the reviews are overwhelmingly positive for the first offseason under the Chuck Fletcher regime.

Without further ado, lets take a look at what the experts are saying about Philly's successful NHL draft:

A home run

The Inquirer's Sam Carchidi didn't seem to have any doubts about the direction of Philadelphia's middling hockey franchise in his column after the Flyers had finished drafting. He says it was a total home run, lauding Fletcher and the team's staff for passing on Cole Caufield and instead netting a pair of excellent prospects:

He got Cam York, the defenseman he wanted, even though he traded down three spots. He also picked up a second-round pick in the deal Friday with Arizona. On Saturday, Fletcher used that pick to move up in the draft and get Bobby Orr Brink, an elusive right winger who may not have quite the upside of Caufield, but has the ability to be a quality NHL sniper some day. 
Brink will refine his game - and get stronger and improve his skating -- at the University of Denver, an NCAA power that reached its 17th Frozen Four last season, before turning pro. Fletcher moved up 11 spots to No. 34 on Saturday by dealing his second-rounder and one of his third-rounders to Nashville. That move, which should be applauded from Conshohocken to Cape May, netted Brink. In 43 USHL games this season, the highly competitive Brink scored 35 goals. []

They got two NHL Players

Over at The Athletic, Corey Pronman went into detail grading the Fly-guys draft haul, giving them a solid B-minus for their seven picks. Here is his summary of their decisions made:

I liked the Flyers’ draft, and I think they helped their system. Cam York is now their top defense prospect, and a guy I think can be a very solid top-four defenseman in the NHL. I think Bobby Brink can be a second-line forward even though some teams are worried he may be the next Taylor Cammarata. I also think Ronnie Attard has a real shot. I get why some are skeptical of Attard’s age and the league he played in, but he has some legit pro attributes. Egor Serdyuk is a nice gamble for me, even if I think he’s a bit of a long shot. I think they can get two NHL players from this class. [The Athletic]

Winners and losers

ESPN's Chris Peters had the Flyers as one of his big winners in the draft, for many of the same reasons mentioned above. But it will delight Flyers's even more to read that division rivals the Penguins were one of his losers.

The Penguins don’t have a lot of depth in their prospect pool, and there was a bit more value on the board still than what they got with [Samuel] Poulin. He is a big body with some intriguing skill, but I saw him fade into the background quite a bit in live viewings this season. I don’t think it’s necessarily a reach because there was simply no consensus in this draft, but the Penguins also had to be careful with this pick since they don’t have a second- or third-rounder in this year’s draft. It was a particularly risky selection without the safety net of value in the next two rounds.” [ESPN]

Pinching pennys

One way in which the Flyers did end up as losers this weekend was after the salary cap was officially announced to be $81.5 million. We'll let Broad Street Buzz's Benjamin Gabrych explain how this effects Philly and why it will hurt them as they try to sign a bevy of important players next month:

While this can be looked at as a good thing on paper, it was projected to be at 83 million back in December and losing a possible 1.5 million dollars can make a difference, especially to the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers, at this moment, have 21,396,310 million dollars in space after the new cap was set, according to Cap Friendly. 
Now, this would be fine if they didn’t have six Restricted Free Agents (RFA), five of whom played essential roles on the team last season, that need contracts. Those players happen to be Ivan Provorov, Travis Konency, Travis Sanheim, Scott Laughton, Ryan Hartman, and to a lesser extent Justin Bailey. Bailey isn’t going to cost much at all, but the rest of the guys mentioned will get more than one million as an Average Annual Value (AAV). In Provorov’s case, Flyers site contributor Bill Meltzer speculated that the top pair Russian defenseman could receive a deal north of eight million per and also said Sanheim could get a five million AAV if it’s a long term contract, as well.
... Unless some of the RFAs take team-friendly deals, which is possible, the Flyers are going to have a money issue. That extra 1.5 million would’ve been huge in keeping Philadelphia somewhat comfortably under the upper limit, and now, Fletcher may have to take some cost-cutting measures, whatever they may end up being. [Broad Street Buzz]

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