One of the elements of the NHL Entry Draft and Free Agency that makes these two events so entertaining is that anything can happen. This is especially the case with the Flyers, a team that has no qualms about pulling the trigger on a big deal, targeting marquee players, or shipping out a core member (or two) of the team. The Flyers will do anything necessary to improve the team.
A few of us here at Flyers Faithful are taking out best stabs in the dark to predict what will happen today.
Caveat emptor: take everything you read with a grain of salt. These are merely guesses, not high-level analyses.
In very un-Flyer-like and un-Holmgren-like fashion, I expect a tame draft for the Flyers; at least in the first round. I think that Homer will kick the tires on a number moves and consider moving up, probably at the cost of JVR, but ultimately, I don’t think it happens. I don’t know if I believe this, or just want it to be true due to the depth of defenseman in the draft, but I think Homer may even be more likely to trade down to add an extra pick than he is to move up. All told, if I was forced to choose, I expect the Flyers to stay put and make their selection at 20, the first time they’ve done so since taking JVR.
I consulted with the iPhone’s Siri and she told me repeatedly that she wasn’t to be used for NHL draft predictions. Fortunately I was able to commune with Lord Stanley himself via a Ouija Board and he gave me the predictions I was looking for.
For one there should definitely be some trade activity. The Maple Leafs will be active, with Brian Burke successfully assembling the first all-American hockey team in Canada. As for the Flyers, I know Paul Holmgren is going to do something. He’s been hot on the trail of Rick Nash for some reason and seems ready to give his first round pick to the first team that asks nicely. My other source, the voices in my head, have informed me that James van Riemsdyk is willing to go anywhere just so long as he doesn’t have to field a phone call every 15 minutes asking if he’s been traded yet.
As a result I’m 100 percent confident JVR won’t be traded so he can be as nervous and disgruntled as possible next season. Also, I’m going out on a limb here and I think the Oilers are going to pass on Nail Yakupov and go for Ryan Murray. I have no doubt that Yakupov will go in the top three, but the Oilers desperately need a defenseman that they can force to stay in their sub-Arctic wasteland for a few years.
My final prediction? Scott Howson finally loses his mind and holds Paul Holmgren hostage until he gives him Sean Couturier.
I’m not exactly going out on a limb here, but I expect this will be a rather ordinary draft for the Flyers. In other words nothing major will happen. The Flyers will explore moving up, but will determine it is too costly when the player they get at #20 might be as good as the player they get at #6. They’ll realize the cost for Nash and Ryan is too great for a player they don’t even need. They’ll pick at 20, but I could see someone they expected to be gone before then falling into their laps.
Marcello De Feo
Get ready for a wild ride and some outlandish speculation on my part, folks. The Flyers will make yet another splash leading up to the draft today, getting a majority of the team’s big moves out of the way before anyone has a chance to even think about the second round, let alone free agency.
Predictions: The Flyers will trade Sergei Bobrovsky to Columbus for a second- and third-round pick. Then, they will flip those picks along with Brayden Schenn and Erik Gustaffson for Keith Yandle and Mikkel Boedker. Next, the prodigal son of Collingswood will return home in a blockbuster deal that sends James van Riemsdyk, a first- and second-round pick, and the rights to Matt Carle for Bobby Ryan, and the 6th overall pick. The Flyers will then use that 6th pick to draft Matthew Dumba and trade Andrej Meszaros to Colorado J.S. Giguere and a second round draft pick.
View roster here.
I think the Flyers will be pretty close to the vest, but Trader Paul has already shipped Bob to Columbus, so now Bobby Ryan and Rick Nash could still be in play. If the Flyers do end up keeping their pick at #20, I think that they take a defenseman to replenish the blue line that is getting older by the day. If none of the d-men they like last until #20, a forward would not shock me as well.
For my sanity, I hope Holmgren doesn’t ship JvR to Columbus or Anaheim. I think they’ll keep the #20 pick and select a defenseman, hopefully Olli Maatta or Dalton Thrower. Now that Bob is gone, I could also see Holmgren pick Malcom Subban if he is still available. For an offensive pick, they could use Tom Wilson, who is expected to be a Milan Lucic type.