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Report: Flyers Won’t Sign Former First-Round Pick

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Jay O'Brien (AP Photo/Greg M. Cooper)

Center Jay O’Brien is not going to be with the Philadelphia Flyers, the team that drafted him in the first round (19th overall) in 2018.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Flyers have decided not to sign O’Brien, who will test free agency this August. The Flyers will thus receive a second-round pick as compensation for not signing a first-round selection.

Ron Hextall, now the Penguins’ general manager, was the Flyers’ GM when he chose O’Brien. It’ll be interesting to see if Hextall tries to sign the UFA for Pittsburgh.

O’Brien, 23, who had hip surgery last year, collected 32 points (eight goals, 24 assists) in 39 games with Boston University this season. He just finished his senior season at BU, where he was the team’s fourth-leading scorer.

The Terriers reached the Frozen Four semifinals.

The Flyers traded away their original second-round pick this year to Buffalo as part of the Rasmus Ristolainen trade.

The Flyers selected O’Brien five picks after they took Joel Farabee in the first round in 2018. O’Brien struggled at Providence, and then played a year in the BCHL (66 points in 46 games) before going to Boston University.

Because of his experience, O’Brien is much more advanced at this stage than the player the Philadelphia Flyers will draft as compensation. According to Philly Hockey Now draft expert Russ Cohen, O’Brien has the upside to be a third-line NHL player.

But that will be for another organization.

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