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PHN MOCK DRAFT: Who Will Flyers Pick? How Will First Round Go?

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Cutter Gauthier, a center/left winger who will be chosen in the first round in Thursday’s NHL draft, was born in Sweden — where his father, Sean, a goaltender, was playing professionally — but moved to Scottsdale, Ariz., when he was two years old.

More recently, he has blossomed into a star for the heralded USDP, and his next stop is Boston College, where he could emerge as the team’s No. 1 center as a freshman.

After that, he might be in Philly if his name is called by the Philadelphia Flyers with the No. 5 overall pick Thursday in Montreal.

If there are no surprises in the draft’s first four picks, the Flyers will have several talented players on the board when they select, including Gauthier and defenseman David Jiricek.

That said, the draft never goes as planned. There are always teams that go against the “chalk” picks. For instance, if highly regarded center Logan Cooley somehow drops to No. 5, the Flyers would undoubtedly make him their selection.

It will also be interesting to see if the top three Russian prospects — right winger Danila Yurov, defenseman Pavel Mintyukov, and left winger Ivan Miroschnichenko — fall in the draft because of the uncertainty in getting them to North America to play. All are projected first-round picks.

Will the developments surrounding Flyers prospect Ivan Fedotov affect NHL teams while contemplating selections with Russian players available?

In any event, here is my mock first-round draft for Philly Hockey Now. The first round starts at 7 p.m. Thursday on ESPN, and Rounds 2-7 Friday begin at 11 a.m. on ESPN+ and the NHL Network.

Projected first-round picks:

  1. Montreal: Shane Wright, C.
  2. New Jersey: Juraj Slafkovsky, LW.
  3. Arizona: Logan Cooley, C.
  4. Seattle: Simon Nemec, D.
  5. FLYERS: Cutter Gauther, C/LW.
  6. Columbus: Matt Savoie, C/RW.
  7. Ottawa: David Jiricek, D.
  8. Detroit: Joakim Kemell, RW.
  9. Buffalo: Jonathan Lekkerimaki, RW.
  10. Anaheim, Conor Geekie, C.
  11. San Jose: Kevin Korchinski, D
  12. Columbus: Marco Kasper, C.
  13. New York Islanders: Denton Mateychuk, D
  14. Winnipeg: Danila Yurov, RW.
  15. Vancouver: Frank Nazar, C/RW.
  16. Buffalo: Isaac Howard, LW.
  17. Nashville: Jimmy Snuggerud, RW.
  18. Dallas: Jiri Kulich, C.
  19. Minnesota: Noah Ostlund, C.
  20. Washington: Pavel Mintyukov, D.
  21. Pittsburgh: Brad Lambert, C/RW.
  22. Anaheim: Liam Ohgren, LW.
  23. St. Louis: Rutger McGroarty, C.
  24. Minnesota: Owen Pickering, D.
  25. Toronto: Jagger Firkus, RW.
  26. Montreal: Nathan Gaucher, C.
  27. Arizona: Filip Mesar, C/W.
  28. Buffalo: Ryan Chesley, D.
  29. Edmonton: Lian Bichsel, D.
  30. Winnipeg: Luca Del Bel Belluz, C.
  31. Tampa Bay: Ivan Miroshnichenko, LW.
  32. Arizona: Tristan Luneau, D.

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