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Making the Case For and Against Flyers Trading Up in 2024 NHL Draft



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Holding two first-round picks in the 2024 NHL Draft, a world of opportunity is out there for the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers already hold the 12th pick in the draft, and in a few weeks, they’ll know where the pick they acquired in the Claude Giroux trade ends up.

But picking outside the top 10 means the Flyers’ chances of snapping up a franchise-changing talent are weighed heavily against them. Sure, players could fall down in the draft order just as Matvei Michkov did, but then you leave things up to chance.

Players like defenseman Zeev Buium and forward Berkly Catton would be world-class draft choices should they fall to the Flyers in the 2024 NHL Draft, but the pre-draft rankings for both players are mostly inconclusive.

For example, some scouts and outlets feel Catton could be selected by the Montreal Canadiens with the fifth overall pick, while others, like TSN’s Craig Button, left Catton out of their top 10 (top 16, for Button) entirely.

In Buium’s case, he’s been as high as the sixth pick to Utah and as low as the 10th pick to New Jersey. There’s a bit of variance there, but if the Flyers want him, they’ll need to jump a rival to make it happen.

The cost of moving up in the draft will obviously determine whether the Flyers choose to strike. Typically, the process consists of one general manager calling another to see if the player they want is there. If the player a team wants isn’t there, they might be willing to move down. Neither team offers up information on the players they want, but the idea is to check in to gauge a willingness to make a trade and what the cost will be.

Some teams I think –  keyword: think – will be willing to trade down this year include Montreal, Ottawa, Seattle, and Buffalo. The assumption is that all of those teams, sans Buffalo, would require the Flyers to trade the Florida Panthers’ first-round pick in addition to the 12th pick.

It’s a hefty cost to move up a handful of spots, especially when you could draft a potential top-six winger, like Nikita Artamonov, or a top-four defenseman, like EJ Emery or Charlie Elick, with that extra first-round pick in addition to the 12th pick.

For a Flyers organization that is starved of talent in its prospect pool almost exclusively outside of the 2023 draft class, that might not be a price Danny Briere and Co. are willing to pay.

On the other hand, guaranteed access to Buium, Catton, or even Sam Dickinson or Tij Iginla, would be hugely rewarding if they reach their full potential in the NHL.

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