Based on points percentage, the Philadelphia Flyers have the NHL’s ninth-worst record. A recent surge — nine wins in their last 13 games — has lowered their chances of getting a higher pick.
There are still 34 games left, so their spot in the draft lottery could change, of course.
But let’s assume they stay at No. 9 and the draft lottery doesn’t change their position. That means they would get the ninth overall pick in the first round.
Who might they get in the deep 2023 draft?
Well, the odds are heavily against it being generational center Connor Bedard, who will undoubtedly be the No. 1 overall pick. The Flyers have just a 5% chance to win the lottery and get him, per tankathon.com.
Based on by draft expert Russ Cohen of SiriusXM NHL Radio, if the Flyers finish at No. 9, the three players at or next to that spot are speedy center/left winger Oliver Moore (No. 8), defenseman Axel Sandin-Pellikka (No. 9), and left winger Andrew Cristall (No. 10).
Let’s take a look at the three prospects:
Position: Center/Left Winger.
Height and weight: 5-foor-11, 188 pounds.
Team: USNTDP (USHL).
Stats: He has six goals and 14 points in 12 USHL games.
Skinny: The Minnesota native has a quick release, is a clever passer, and has elite speed, scouts say. Because of the Flyers’ front office’s affinity for Minnesota players, it would not be surprising if he is the prospect Philadelphia selects — if he is available. If he wears the Orange and Black, that wouldn’t be a bad thing. The kid oozes of potential and is headed to the University of Minnesota.
Height and weight: 5-11, 181.
Team: Skelleftea AIK (junior); and SHL.
Stats: 13 goals, 27 points in 21 junior games; two goals, five points in 17 SHL games.
Skinny: A mobile defenseman, he is talented on both sides. But his offense opens eyes, especially his passing. The fact he is righthanded also gives him high value. The Sweden native is a skilled puck mover and could be a power-play quarterback for an NHL team down the road. He owns a hard shot, but is also a talented puck handler, a trait not seen with many defenders.
Position: Left winger.
Height and weight: 5-10, 165.
Team: Kelowna Rockets, WHL.
Stats: 26 goals, 62 points in 36 games.
Skinny: Forget his size as being a detriment. Cristall has great playmaking skills and his on-ice vision is off the charts. Regarded as one of his team’s best leaders, Cristall has shifty speed, demonstrates composure with the puck, and shows a knack for being at the right place at the right time.
Check out his playmaking in this video: