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Carchidi: No Playoffs Again, So Flyers Fans Turn Attention to …



Danny Briere and Brent Flahr. Philadelphia Flyers
This is a critical draft for Flyers GM Danny Briere (left) and draft boss Brent Flahr. The Flyers have two picks in the first round in Vegas.

For Philadelphia Flyers fans, getting shut out of the playoffs is a growing trend. An unfathomable, eight-game losing streak late in the season cost them a spot this time, extending their playoff-less streak to four years.

So Flyers followers are left perhaps rooting for Peter Laviolette — who guided Philadelphia to within two wins of the championship in 2010 — to take the New York Rangers to just their third Stanley Cup since 1934.

Or maybe some are rooting for ex-Flyers Sergei Bobrovsky, Anthony Stolarz and Nick Cousins to help loaded Florida win its first Cup.

On the flip side, I have a feeling most Flyers fans are hoping Florida — which has a three-games-to-none lead over Tampa Bay in Round 1 — gets knocked out early. Because of the Claude Giroux trade in 2022, the Flyers have the Panthers’ first-round pick in June, so the quicker the Cats are eliminated, the higher the Flyers’ draft selection.

The Flyers already have their own first-round pick — it will likely be 12th overall — when the draft starts June 28 in Las Vegas. Philly could climb as high as No. 2 in the draft lottery, but the odds are astronomical.

Sadly, the draft is all Flyers fans have had to look forward to during the last four playoffs, a situation GM Danny Briere and Co. are working hard to rectify. Draft picks have been stockpiled, and the Flyers had many young players make progress this season.

Key to rebuild

This year’s draft will be critical for the rebuilding Philadelphia Flyers, who have a total of four selections (and possibly five, depending on a conditional pick from Columbus) in the first two rounds. With the 12th overall pick, the Flyers figure to draft an offensive player because scoring is their biggest need.

From here, center Tij Iginla is the player Briere and draft guru Brent Flahr should select if he’s available when they make their first pick. Iginla and Matvei Michkov would give the Flyers two young, dynamic forwards who should be NHL-ready in 2026-27.

Here’s a look at some draft experts and who they rank as the No. 12 overall pick:

Elite Prospects: Center/right winger Konsta Helenius (5-foot-11, 181 pounds). The Finland native has great speed and has a knack for  creating scoring chances for himself and his teammates.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie: Defenseman Carter Yakemchuk (6-3, 194). The right-handed shooting defenseman has excellent puck skills and led WHL D-men with 30 goals this season.

Huge D-man

TSN’s Craig Button: Defenseman Anton Silayev (6-7, 207). A smooth skater who provides physicality, he has a chance to be a team’s No. 1 defenseman. He is signed to play in Russia for two more years, but should be able to play in the NHL in 2026-27.

McKeen’s Hockey: Center Tij Iginla (6-0, 185). He seems to make things happen on every shift and has very good speed and an off-the-chart hockey IQ. Left winger Cole Eiserman (6-0, 196). A product of the U.S. National Team Development Program, Eiserman has an elite shot and plays with an edge, but there are questions about his defensive play.

The Hockey News’ Tony Ferrari: Defenseman Adam Jiricek (6-2, 178). The Czechia native, regarded as a quality two-way player,  is the younger brother of Columbus defenseman David Jiricek and he has good size and mobility.

Sportsnet’s Sam Consentino: Winger/center Michael Brandsegg-Nygard (6-1, 195). The Norway product plays with good  pace, has a strong shot and has top-six potential.

FloHockey’s Chris Peters: Defenseman Zayne Parekh (6-1, 181). The right-shooting Parekh, ranked as high as No. 2 overall by some experts, is one of the best offensive defensemen in the draft and figures to one day run an NHL team’s power play.

FC Hockey: Left winger Trevor Connelly (6-1, 161). A native of California, he oozes of talent and dominated the USHL (31 goals, 78 points in 32 games), but an off-ice incident may make teams think twice about taking him.

Sam Carchidi writes a weekly column for Philly Hockey Now. He and Jeff Hare are working on a TV series on the Flyers’ glory days, tentatively called “Bullies.” Carchidi can be reached at

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