July 32-in-32: Philadelphia Flyers

Mark Henry

2023-07-22

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The 32-in-32 Series is an annual event here at DobberProspects! Every day in July we will be bringing you a complete breakdown of a team’s Draft, and insights into their off-season movements thus far. Following this up in August, we will dive into every team’s prospect depth charts with fantasy insights and implications for the upcoming seasons. Check back often, because we plan on filling your hockey withdrawal needs all off-season long!

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The off-season for the Philadelphia Flyers has been quite eventful. It all started on March 10, 2023, when Chuck Fletcher was fired as general manager and president of hockey operations, leaving two vacancies in the front office. Daniel Briere was then named as interim general manager. On May 11, 2023, the Flyers hired Keith Jones as their new president of hockey operations and removed Briere’s interim tag, officially naming him as their general manager. But the front office changes did not end there. On June 2, 2023, Alyn McCauley was promoted to assistant general manager, Riley Armstrong to director of player development, and Nick Schultz to assistant director of player development. Additionally, Mike O’Connell, John Riley, and Kjell Samuelsson were dismissed from their positions. To complete the overhaul, former Flyers players Patrick Sharp and John LeClair were hired as special advisors to hockey operations on June 13 and June 15, respectively.

After establishing a new front office, the Flyers began rebuilding.

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NHL Draft

Round One, 7th Overall – Matvei Michkov, Right Wing, SKA St. Petersburg (Russia)

Before joining the NHL, Michkov will likely complete his contract in Russia and therefore, the Flyers will have to wait. Once he comes over, there will be a lot of pressure on him to help turn around a rebuilding team. But Michkov will not have to shoulder the entire load alone. Other players such as Tyson Foerster and Cutter Gauthier are also in the system, and the team has the potential to draft another high pick in 2024.

Michkov is an exceptional all-around talent and has shown great improvements in his skating. His playmaking, shot, and overall skill are NHL-ready and he has already played against high-level competition. He will continue to do so for the next three seasons in the KHL. Michkov is expected to be an elite, high-scoring winger with massive potential.

Although Michkov may not participate in international tournaments due to the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia, if everything falls into place after the 2025-2026 season, the Flyers’ wait for this generational talent will undoubtedly be worth it.

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Round One, 22nd Overall – Oliver Bonk, Right-Handed Defenseman, London Knights (OHL)

Bonk is considered a “safe pick”, as he may not excel in any one area but he possesses the qualities necessary to become a solid defenseman at the professional level. He is a strong mobile player who can contribute offensively when needed. Additionally, his size and reach make him a reliable defense-minded player who can safely fill a top-four role. It is worth noting that Bonk has the advantage of being the son of former NHL player Radek Bonk, giving him valuable insight into what it takes to succeed in the league.

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Round Two, 51st Overall – Carson Bjarnason, Goalie, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)

Bjarnason, an undrafted goalie into junior, remains composed even in high-pressure situations. Despite his towering height of 6-3, he is agile and athletic, making difficult saves seem effortless. He enhances the performance of his defense and is consistently efficient. With the right supporting cast, his potential is immense. The inconsistency he displayed in Brandon was largely due to his team’s performance, not his own. He is open to learning and improvement, which will be crucial in determining his success at the NHL level.

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Round Three, 87th Overall – Yegor Zavragin, Goalie, Mamonty Yugry (Russia Jr.)

Choosing two goalies in a row may seem like a unique approach, but Zavragin is a skilled netminder who competes at a high level. He has consistently been recognized as the top goalie in his age group in Russia.

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Round Three, 95th Overall – Denver Barkey, Center, London Knights (OHL)

Barkey is a captivating player to observe on the ice, even though he may not be among the top scorers. He has remarkable abilities in vision, work ethic, and skill, which allows him to generate chances. Being a trustworthy center who excels in both offense and defense, his size will play a significant role in determining if he can endure the physical demands of facing bigger NHL defensemen.

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Round Four, 103rd Overall – Cole Knuble, Center, Fargo (USHL)

Knuble was not chosen in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft but was eventually selected in the fourth round of the 2023 draft. He is a center with high energy and offensive abilities. Although he is an average skater for his size, he must improve his skating to succeed at higher levels. Cole, the son of former NHL player Mike Knuble, has committed to playing at the University of Notre Dame.

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Round Four, 120th Overall – Alex Ciernik, Left Wing, Sodertalje (Sweden-2)

One of Ciernik’s greatest strengths is his impressive skating ability, particularly his skill at maneuvering on his edges. He can create plays and generate scoring opportunities for his teammates as a talented winger. While he has good hands and can score goals, he is not necessarily a prolific scorer. If he hopes to be considered a top-9 forward in the NHL, he will need to improve his level of competitiveness when he is off the puck.

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Round Five, 135th Overall – Carter Sotheran, Right-Handed Defenseman, Portland Winterhawks (WHL)

Sotheran could be a valuable discovery in the later draft rounds, provided he continues to develop in junior hockey. He possesses the necessary physical attributes, hockey intelligence, and skating abilities to succeed professionally. However, he needs to work on his consistency in both defensive and offensive play. With more opportunities to play and exposure to different game situations, he could become a dependable depth defenseman for the Flyers.

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Round Six, 172nd Overall – Ryan Macpherson, Center, Leamington (GOJHL)

MacPherson is a versatile forward who competes in both offense and defense. Though he has average size, his skating ability is decent. However, if he hopes to succeed professionally, he must improve his overall game as his junior career progresses consistently.

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Round Seven, 199th Overall – Mateo Mann, Right-Handed Defenseman, Chicoutimi Saguenéens (QMJHL)

Mann is a tall and heavy defenseman, standing at 6-6 and weighing 222 pounds. He mainly focuses on defense and is not known for his offensive skills. He has potential for growth and development, but it remains to be seen if he can compete professionally once he finishes his junior career.

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Off-Season Moves

Incoming:

– Cal Peterson was traded from the Los Angeles Kings.

– Helge Grans was traded from the Los Angeles Kings.

– Sean Walker was traded from the Los Angeles Kings.

– Ryan Poehling was signed as an unrestricted free agent for one year and $1.4 million.

– Rhett Gardner  was signed as an unrestricted free agent for two years and $1.55 million ($775,000 AAV).

– Victor Mete was signed as an unrestricted free agent for one year and $775,000.

– Marc Staal was signed as an unrestricted free agent for one year and $1.1 million (35+ UFA).

– Garnet Hathaway was signed as an unrestricted free agent for two years and $4.750 million ($2.375 AAV).

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Outgoing:

Hayden Hodgson (Los Angeles Kings)

Brendan Lemieux (Carolina Hurricanes)

Justin Braun (Retired)

James van Riemsdyk (Boston Bruins)

Kevin Hayes (St. Louis Blues)

Ivan Provorov (Columbus Blue Jackets)

Tony DeAngelo 

Troy Grosenick (Nashville Predators)

Kieffer Bellows (RFA-Not Qualified)

Max Willman

Evan Barratt (Nürnberg Ice Tigers) (RFA-Not Qualified)

Wyatt Wylie (RFA-Not Qualified)

Jackson Cates

Jay O’Brien

Kevin Connauton (Los Angeles Kings)

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Re-signed and Signed:

– Olle Lycksell, a restricted free agent, for a two-year, two-way contract worth $1.575 million with an annual average value (AAV) of $787,500.

– Cam York, a restricted free agent, for a two-year, one-way contract worth $3.2 million with an AAV of $1.6 million.

– Noah Cates, a restricted free agent, for a two-year, one-way contract worth $5.25 million with an AAV of $2.625 million.

– Ronnie Attard, a restricted free agent, for a two-year, two-way contract worth $1.7 million with an AAV of $850,000.

– Louis Belpedio, an unrestricted free agent, for a two-year, two-way contract worth $1.55 million with an AAV of $775,000.

– Yegor Zamula, a restricted free agent, for a one-year, one-way contract worth $775,000.

– Currently, Morgan Frost is the only remaining unsigned restricted free agent.

– Will Zmolek, a left defenseman, for a one-year, two-way contract worth $950,000.

– Emil Andrae, a left defenseman, for a three-year, two-way contract worth $2.775 million with an AAV of $903,333.

– Aleksei Kolosov, a goaltender, for a three-year, two-way contract worth $2.775 million with an AAV of $925,000.

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Recent trades:

On June 27, 2023, Kevin Hayes was traded from the Philadelphia Flyers to the St. Louis Blues. In exchange, the Flyers received a 2024 6th-round pick from St. Louis and will continue to pay 50% of Hayes’ salary until the end of the 2025-26 season.

On June 6, 2023, Ivan Provorov was involved in a three-team trade between the Columbus Blue Jackets, Los Angeles Kings, and Philadelphia Flyers. The Kings will retain 30% of Provorov’s contract for the next two seasons. The trade resulted in the following acquisitions:

Columbus Blue Jackets: Ivan Provorov

Los Angeles Kings: Hayden Hodgson, Kevin Connauton

Philadelphia Flyers: Cal Peterson, Helge Grans, Sean Walker, a 2023 first-round pick (Oliver Bonk), and a conditional 2024 2nd-round pick. Columbus will decide after the 2024 first-round is complete whether they will send a 2024 or 2025 2nd-round pick to Philadelphia.

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Buy out:

On July 14, 2023, Tony DeAngelo was put on unconditional waivers for the purpose of a buyout. However, as no one claimed him off waivers, he became an unrestricted free agent. Originally, he was set to receive $5 million for the next two years, but due to the buyout, the Flyers will now have a dead salary cap space of $1.667 million for the upcoming two seasons.

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The situation of Ivan Fedotov:

On July 17, 2023, Fedotov held a press conference with CSKA Moscow of the KHL, alongside head coach Sergei Fedorov. Although he provided few details on his future with the Philadelphia Flyers, it is currently known that his one-year contract, signed prior to the 2022-23 season, has been tolled forward to the 2023-24 season. This allows the Flyers to retain his NHL rights for one more season before he becomes an unrestricted free agent after the 2023-24 season. Fedotov could not come to North America last season as he was required to serve his military service with Russia.

2023 Development Camp

Please find attached the roster for the Philadelphia Flyers’ 2023 development camp, which occurred from July 2, 2023, to July 6, 2023. You can access the roster by clicking on the provided link: 

https://cms.nhl.bamgrid.com/images/assets/binary/345154874/binary-file/file.pdf

World Junior Summer Showcase

It should be noted that Cutter Gauthier, a first-round draft pick for the Flyers in 2022, was not part of the team’s 2023 development camp. Instead, Gauthier and Devin Kaplan, who was selected in the third round in 2022 by the Flyers, will be attending the USA Summer Showcase in Plymouth, Michigan from July 27 to August 4, 2023. This event is aimed to prepare for the 2024 World Junior Championship, which will take place in Gothenburg, Sweden from December 26, 2023, to January 5, 2024.

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Finals Thoughts

The rest of the off-season shouldn’t get boring in Philadelphia; the Flyers will need to get Morgan Frost signed, which is pretty minor compared to what they do with players named Konecny, Laughton, and Hart, to name a few. Sean Couturier and Cam Atkinson are afterthoughts; if they can get back to 100 percent health and be ready for opening night in October, add their names to the list of players who may be on the trade block. There will be no shortage of news to follow with the Flyers rebuild officially underway.

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Thanks for reading!

You can follow my work on Twitter @markrhenry

Mark Henry

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