Weird time to bleed the Orange and Black these days. Our arch rival just won (or as I like to say, Pekke Rinne just lost) the Stanley Cup. But on the other hand, the real trade season is upon us. As great as it would have been to have Smashville smash the wicked hockey team of Western Pennsylvania, it’s going to be quite an entertaining week with lots to look forward to.
As the number of days and hours begin to dwindle before the Expansion and Entry Drafts, I am reminded of one of my favorite movie scenes from Spinal Tap:
Every team is given 7 entry level draft selections each year. Through a series of wheels, deals and slight of hand, GM Ron Hextall has 11 draft chooses this year! These 11 selections are the most of any team which is really exciting if you compare that to the measly 4 picks that Washington and Ottawa have. Even more exciting is that the first pick out of 11 selections will be 2nd overall which is pretty damn important in a two player draft!
The only real question now is, who will the Flyers end up with: Nico or Nolan? To be honest, our preference doesn’t matter because we will end up with whoever New Jersey doesn’t take which is way more than what we would’ve ended up with at 13th overall. I prefer to have Nico for the sole reason that I watched him a lot more at the World Juniors and how he almost beat the US team single handidly:
Nico Hischier looks like Jonathan Drouin in his skating ability, creativity, and ability to generate offense. But who’s to say how different this conversation would be if Nolan Patrick were able to play in this past World Juniors. But I suppose that’s the crux of the argument.
Nevertheless, this article isn’t about who the Flyers should select with each of the 11 picks. To be honest, I can’t write a competent draft preview because I haven’t done the research. If you’re looking for suggestions as to who the Flyers should select, you should listen to Craig Forseythe and Steve Jacot’s Flyperbole Podcast for prospect profiles. (Although I do agree with Craig in that the Flyers should use one pick to select that BOFA kid for comedy reasons alone).
The point of this article is not to guess who the Flyers are going to take but rather guess how many of the 11 selections Hextall will actually make. I’d bet my newborn son that the Flyers don’t make 11 selections. They will either package pick(s) to move up and/or get a defenseman/goalie, or Hextall will acquire even more picks if he feels safe he can get player(s) he wants further back in the draft.
Just think about how decisive Hextall has been in the last two drafts and how he’s maneuvered up and down the draft board when he’s made up his mind. In 2015, he traded up to steal Travis Konecny, and last year he traded back go with Plan B, German Rubstov after Luke Kunin was selected.
As confident as I am that DEALS DEALS DEALS are going to happen this week, I really don’t know other than these 3 things: 1) We’re going to get a great player at 2nd overall; 2) The Flyers still need a defenseman and a goalie (I’m hoping for a Calvin Pickard trade); and 3) Regardless as to how many picks the Flyers do or don’t make in this “weak draft,” 20,10 and 5 years from now revisionist history will repeat itself and we’ll all see the same predictable stories about how Bofa Hockeyson Jr was a steal in the 2017 in the 6th round.
So, sit back. Crank your Twitter apps up to 11 and let Ron bring down the house with the whatever an epic General Managing guitar solo would sound like: