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5 Positives About Flyers’ Latest Loss, Including the Draft Lottery

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Cam York, Nick Seeler, Philadelphia Flyers
Cam York (right) and defensive partner Nick Seeler (left) give goalie Carter Hart help in Sunday's game. Photo: AP.

There’s two ways to look at the Philadelphia Flyers’ 5-4 overtime loss Sunday night in Arizona:

  1. It was another in a long list of disappointing games that the Flyers failed to win when they entered the last period tied.
  2. Down the road, this may be known as Morgan Frost’s coming-of-age game.

The 23-year-old center had a career-high four points (goal, three assists), made dazzling moves all night, and finished plus-4. This is how he played in juniors. He also was solid on the defensive side, and his steal helped set up a goal.

If you look hard enough, you can find other positives from Sunday’s loss, including the Philadelphia Flyers’ improved standing in the ping-pong-ball race, also known as the NHL’s draft lottery.

By losing 15 of their last 17 games, the Philadelphia Flyers are in the running for one of the elite picks in the loaded 2023 draft.  And, oh, how they could use one of them.

Philly (nine victories) is one of five teams still in single digits in wins. The others: San Jose (nine), Arizona (nine), Chicago (seven), and Anaheim (seven).

Some positives

Anyway, here are five positives from the latest close defeat:

1. Frost had the aforementioned breakout game. He and linemates James van Riemsdyk and Owen Tippett stole the show. Can someone please explain how Frost didn’t get one of the three stars Sunday night? All three selections went to Arizona players.

2. Van Riemsdyk, showing no ill effects from finger surgery, had four points, equaling a career high, and also was plus-4. He is increasing his value for the March 3 trade deadline.

3. Defenseman Cam York, 21, playing in his second NHL game this season, had a terrific game. He played a career-high 24:08, had five shots attempts, and was plus-3. He should be here to stay after starting the season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

4. Tippett continues to make the Claude Giroux trade look good. The 23-year-old right winger had two points, including his eighth goal. Tippett is on a 23-goal pace.

5. The Flyers are dropping in the standings, which should help them get a high 2023 draft pick. They have just two wins in their last 17 games, and now have the NHL’s sixth-worst points percentage. According to Tankathon, they have a 7.5% percent chance to get the No. 1 overall pick, widely expected to be generational center Connor Bedard.

But Bedard, who has 27 goals in 28 WHL games this season for Regina, is not the only gem in this deep draft, experts say.

Contenders for No. 1 pick

Here are the top six contenders and their current chances of getting the No. 1 overall pick, according to Tankathon:

  1. Anaheim: 18.5%.
  2. Chicago: 13.5%.
  3. San Jose: 11.5%.
  4. Columbus: 9.5%.
  5. Arizona: 8.5%.
  6. Flyers: 7.5%.                                                                                                If the Flyers finished with the No. 6 overall pick, Tankathon has them selecting right winger Eduard Sale, who has been struggling lately in the Czech League. That said, TSN’s Craig Button ranks him No. 2 overall.
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