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Trade Up Or Trade Down? Briere Has Options

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Danny Briere
Daniel Briere

Flyers general manager Daniel Briere heads into next week’s talent-heavy draft with 10 picks and a clear mission.

The Flyers need help and the draft is one place to get it.

Briere has the 7 and 22 picks in the first round. He could stick with those picks and probably emerge with two good players.

Or, he could use his draft capital and make moves. He could try to trade up or trade down. Let’s look at each scenario.

Trading Up

The first two picks look like locks — Connor Bedard to Chicago at 1, Adam Fantilli to Anaheim at 2. The 3 and 4 picks *seem* to be determined — Leo Carlsson to Columbus at 3 and Will Smith to San Jose at 4. 

Russian star Matvei Michkov is the wild card. Reports indicate he could get picked as high as second but won’t fall past the Capitals at 8. Columbus and San Jose likely are happy where they are.

Why would Columbus or San Jose risk the pick with Michkov? The temptation is Michkov’s talent, described as among the best in the draft. The downside is his availability.

“Where Michkov will be taken in the draft is going to be in the conversation at every scouting meeting right up until draft day,” NHL Central Scouting vice president Dan Marr told NHL.com.

If the Flyers crave Michkov and he’s available at 5, what would it take for Montreal to swap picks?

If Briere wants to trade up, would the 7 and 22 get him to 3, 4 or 5? If not, how much more would be required? One of the two 2024 No. 1 picks?

The bigger question is this: If Briere wants to move up, how much should he trade away? He’s going to get a quality player at 7. Even if such a trade is possible, the Flyers don’t need one star, they need several of them.

There are no guarantees in the draft, of course, but I’d rather have two bites at the apple at 7 and 22 than moving up a couple of spots and paying a deep cost to do so.

Trading Down

This is the more likely scenario.

Trading down will be determined by which players were selected 1-6. If the Flyers have a particular player in mind for the 7 pick, and he’s gone, they should strongly consider trading down.

The draft will get very interesting if Michkov is on the board when the Flyers are on the clock.

If the Capitals are dying to draft Michkov at 8, and he’s available at 7, the Flyers might be able to swap positions with Washington and extract an extra pick from the Capitals. That method is right from the Howie Roseman Handbook.

Or, if Michkov is gone, could a trade out of 7 net the Flyers a pick in the 10-20 range and maybe a second-round pick, something they don’t currently have?

I’ve thought the Flyers should take defenseman David Reinbacher at 7. But recent mock drafts have Reinbacher going to Montreal at 5 or Arizona at 6 as the first defenseman selected.

There will be quality players available at 7 — Oliver Moore, Dalibor Dvorsky, maybe Ryan Leonard, maybe Zach Benson, maybe Reinbacher.

If the Flyers trade down, they could still have two picks in the first round and pick up an extra pick. I just saw a mock draft where Vancouver trades the 11th and 89th picks to the Flyers for No. 7. The Flyers would pick Reinbacher at 7 and trade him to the Canucks. In this mock draft, the Flyers would take defenseman Tom Willander at 11.

Of course, there’s always the possibility the Flyers could acquire another first-rounder via trade before the June 28-29 draft.

Trading down might be the Flyers’ best play and one I believe Briere will seriously consider.

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Flyers, In Case You Missed It:

Brian Propp would like to get a call from Hockey Hall of Fame.

Do Flyers risk drafting Matvei Michkov?

Matvei Michkov’s draft journey takes another twist.

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New York Islanders Hockey Now: Isles face choice between Zach Parise and Pierre Engvall in free agency.

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