The reviews are in and the Philadelphia Flyers did pretty well for themselves.
Chuck Fletcher made a great value trade on draft night by adding a second-round pick (45th overall) in a trade with the Arizona Coyotes to move down from the No. 11 pick to the No. 14 pick. The Flyers were still able to get one of their targets in Cam York and they added a second-round pick in a deep draft or their “troubles.”
“When we got to the 11th pick, there were still three players in our top-10 [pre-Draft ranking]. We figured that, unless we got very unlucky, that at least one of them would be there for us at 14th. Cam was the top player on our list when we made the pick,” Fletcher said.
Not only does this soften the blow of trading their own pick (41st overall) in the Justin Braun trade, it also made them a winner on draft night.
ESPN’s Chris Peters listed the Flyers as one of his winners (paywall), and we would have to agree. He had a lot of the same thoughts as above.
“Pick: Cam York (No. 14)
Trading back from No. 11 to No. 14 and picking up a second-rounder along the way, while still acquiring a potential game-breaking defenseman, was a particularly smart move from general manager Chuck Fletcher. He gambled that York would still be there, and sure enough, he was. Meanwhile, Philly gets an especially valuable pick at No. 45 in a draft that’s pretty deep through two rounds.”
On the flip side, this trade made the Arizona Coyotes one of his losers.
“Pick: Victor Soderstrom (No. 11)
I don’t want this to come off as a slight to Soderstrom, because it’s not. This is simply about the trade, as the Yotes sent the No. 14 and No. 45 picks to Philadelphia to move up three spots. I’m not sure exactly what things sounded like on the draft floor, but I think there’s a chance Soderstrom would have been there if the Coyotes just held onto No. 14. It’s not a guarantee, of course, but that’s the gamble you take. Instead, Arizona no longer has a second-rounder, losing out on the loads of value still on the board at No. 45. Its next selection isn’t until No. 74 overall.”
It’s pretty sound reasoning by Peters. Brent Flahr said before the draft that the high-middle of the first round was pretty deep and interchangeable, and the Flyers took advantage of that at Arizona’s cost.
Oh yeah, the Penguins were a loser as well.
“Pick: Samuel Poulin (No. 21)
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 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.”
It’s always nice to see the Penguins do poorly.
While it’s easy to get caught up in the fact that the Flyers didn’t make the “flashy” pick, you should not overlook Cam York. He had 65 points (14 goals, 51 assists) during regular-season play and had 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in tournament play. He is committed to the University of Michigan this fall.
York is one of the top defensemen in this class and Fletcher and Flahr know a thing or two about drafting defensemen in the first round.
Round 1 is in the books with the Flyers winning and the Penguins losing, and that’s what we like to see.