Earlier today, I looked at the past draft-day trades made by Ron Hextall as general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers. He has made a habit of wheeling and dealing on draft weekend, and this year might be no different.
That brings us to this year. The Flyers own two first-round picks going into the draft for the first time since 2015, and they have plenty of room to work with them. The first round is pretty deep, with many teams having different rankings throughout their top 20 or 30.
If the Flyers see someone in their top tier slipping down, they could trade up to grab him. On that same thought process, if they have a cluster of players all ranked similarly, they could trade down to gain another asset while still being able to select one of their targets.
The Flyers have two picks close together in the first round, then the 50th pick overall in the second round. However, after that they don’t have any picks until the fourth round. Trading down a few picks could give them an extra pick in the first few rounds in a relatively deep draft.
Trading a roster player isn’t out of the question either. Last year opened up that possibility with the Schenn trade coming up out of nowhere, and this season there are a few names being thrown around. Wayne Simmonds is the guy on the Flyers that is coming up the most. He has a very good cap hit in the last year of his contract. There are many teams that would love to have Simmonds. If they have the right combination of assets, it could get done.
Not only could the Flyers trade away a roster player, but they could acquire one as well. There are a handful of players that are rumored to be on the trading block, including a few that the Flyers have been linked to. Ryan O’Reilly, Max Pacioretty, Dougie Hamilton, Jeff Skinner, and Erik Karlsson are some of the big names just to name a few. Some of those are obviously much likelier than others, but in general a top-six forward and a top-four right-handed defenseman are what Hextall is zeroing in on this offseason.
Draft weekend is the busiest few days of the NHL offseason. All 31 teams are together in one place with general managers looking to start their summers off with a bang. Hextall and Co. will look to take advantage of that as they kick off a big offseason.
Essentially Ron Hextall and the Flyers have three main options, with multiple variables at play. They can stand pat and make their selections at 14th and 19th overall, they can trade up, or they can trade down. Trading up or down has the potential to involve roster players one way or another, and Hextall isn’t afraid to pull the trigger on that.
There’s plenty of flexibility for Hextall tonight at the NHL Draft. We’ll see what he has up his sleeve to begin the offseason.
(Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)
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