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Underrated Prospect Becomes Available for Flyers to Sign

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With no news of an entry-level contract, Minnesota Wild prospect Servac Petrovsky will officially become an NHL free agent as of 5 p.m. EST on Saturday. Petrovsky revealed that the Wild were unable to provide him with a contract offer, and though his production in the OHL has stalled out since his name was called in the 2022 NHL Draft, the 5-foot-10 forward is someone the Philadelphia Flyers should throw a dart at.

That is, as long as he isn’t re-drafted in the 2024 NHL Draft.

Petrovsky was rated 92nd by Eliteprospects leading up to the 2022 draft but wasn’t drafted until falling to the Wild in the sixth round, 185th overall. Indeed, the 19-year-old standout isn’t the same kind of buy-low player Ryan Poehling was for the Flyers a year ago, but for a teenage prospect who’s shown the ability to play at a high level, why not?

The Flyers have no projectable centers in their prospect pool aside from Denver Barkey, who was chosen 95th overall in the 2023 NHL Draft. Should Petrovsky receive a contract offer and sign with the Flyers, he’d likely be no worse than options they already have playing in the AHL for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

After making his NHL debut and scoring 44 points in 65 AHL games last year, Elliot Desnoyers finished this season with just six goals and 22 points in 63 games. He was, at times, a healthy scratch as a result of his inconsistency. Jon-Randall Avon also had a disappointing debut campaign with the Phantoms, producing only nine goals and 18 points in his 65 regular season games.

Those two aren’t exactly players the Flyers can bank on, and maybe adding some competition in the form of Petrovsky could help push them over the hump in the face of pressure.

An excerpt from Petrovsky’s Eliteprospects draft year scouting report reads, “There exists a clear path to the NHL for Petrovsky through his defense. He’s a pro-level defender through nonstop scanning, intelligent positioning, and always keeping his knees bent, ready to accelerate. Adding a bit more physicality will increase Petrovsky’s odds of becoming a defensive impact player in the NHL. . . If he can do it, he could become a defense-first fourth-liner. Increasing his deceptiveness and crossover frequency might earn him third-line role.”

Petrovsky’s game is all about being responsible and risk-averse, which is likely why his production has remained virtually the same for all three of his seasons in the OHL with the Owen Sound Attack. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. If nothing else, Petrovsky’s smarts and willingness to defend will help endear him to the Flyers’ and Phantoms’ coaching staffs.

It worked for Slovakia at the World Junior Championships, as Petrovsky scored five goals, four assists, and nine points in five games, tying Montreal Canadiens first-round pick Filip Mesar for the team lead in points. Petrovsky even got the nod for Slovakia’s senior team, appearing in three games for his nation this year and recording one assist.

Not bad for a teenager.

If the Flyers are able to secure Petrovsky’s signature and pry him away from other NHL teams, it would be a smashing success.

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