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Who Should Flyers Draft if They Win 2024 NHL Draft Lottery?

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The Philadelphia Flyers are not going to be able to move up to the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NHL Draft, but they will be able to move as high as the No. 2 overall pick if they’re lucky enough.

But, if nothing changes, the Flyers will be sticking with the 12th overall pick.

Let’s say something does change, though, and the Flyers win the 2024 NHL Draft Lottery to move up 10 spots to the No. 2 overall pick. Which prospects should they be giving consideration to?

There are two names that should stand out, in particular, and both players are versatile forwards.

Ivan Demidov

SKA St. Petersburg forward Ivan Demidov is the most popular choice, especially for the Flyers in this specific scenario, given his ties to Russia and to his close friend, Matvei Michkov. By selecting Demidov, the Flyers would essentially be tripling down on the progress they’ve already made with getting Russian prospects over into their system.

Demidov is widely considered to be the second-best player in the 2024 NHL Draft behind consensus No. 1 Macklin Celebrini, and for good reason. Demidov is a versatile, crafty, and intelligent forward who plays the game with speed and purpose. The 18-year-old is, of course, packaging that with an arsenal of offensive skills, headlined by his puck handling and passing.

If the Flyers can successfully nab Demidov and pair him with Michkov for the next decade, the entire NHL will be put on notice.

Cayden Lindstrom

Now, let’s say the Flyers opt to go a different route and pass on Demidov at No. 2. There are a ton of great defensemen on the board, but the Flyers desperately need another dynamic forward. Medicine Hat Tigers forward Cayden Lindstrom is the ultimate high-upside pick, even with Demidov still up for grabs.

Standing at 6-foot-4 and weighing at 216 pounds, Lindstrom is the total package up front. The 18-year-old can win with speed and power, beat you with his pass or his shot, and is able and willing to play through defenders, too.

The Flyers will need to bet on Lindstrom’s tools as he works on his consistency, though. Taller players usually take some time to adapt to the NHL, and progress is not always linear. See: Juraj Slafkovsky.

Lindstrom played only 32 games this season, scoring 27 goals, 19 assists, and 46 points, giving him 1.44 points per game. While respectable, his 1.44 points per game ranks 18th in the WHL and falls behind fellow draft-eligibles, such as Berkly Catton and Terik Parascak.

Not to mention, Medicine Hat teammates Gavin McKenna (1.59) and Oasiz Wiesblatt (1.44) were also up there, and Andrew Basha (1.35), another draft-eligible, was no slouch, either.

Lindstrom is obviously a stud prospect, but it’s hard to ignore the supporting cast that he likely won’t have at the next level. Lindstrom does profile similarly to Los Angeles Kings forward Quinton Byfield, who took a few seasons to have a breakout himself.

Byfield, 21, has four years of NHL experience, but didn’t manage to stay in the NHL full-time until this season. Then he went ahead and scored 20 goals and 55 points in 80 games as a 21-year-old.

Neither Demidov nor Lindstrom are sure things, and for different reasons, which makes for a tough choice for the Flyers. As far as hockey goes, Demidov is certainly the best option for the Flyers at No. 2.

To get that far, though, the Flyers will first need to win the 2024 NHL Draft Lottery, set for 6:30 p.m. on May 7.

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