Breaking: Flyers Closing In On Talks To Sign Aggressive 6-foot-3 Offensive Defenseman

Breaking: Flyers Closing In On Talks To Sign Aggressive 6-foot-3 Offensive Defenseman

The first round of the 2024 NHL Entry Draft does not begin until June 28, but with the NHL Draft Combine held last weekend in Buffalo, ties between organizations and prospects are beginning to surface.

Aside from 18-year-old youngsters exhausting themselves on stationary bikes and jumping as high as they can, all 32 NHL teams have the opportunity to interview the players they like and get a better read on them as individuals, in addition to the stat sheet and scouting report. According to one rumor, the Philadelphia Flyers are growing to prefer offensive defenseman Carter Yakemchuk.

According to Sportology’s Russ Cohen, the Flyers talked with Yakemchuk during the combine. When asked about the team during his separate media availability, the WHL blueliner smiled slightly. That’s correct, we’re looking into reactions when naming certain clubs for players.

Aside from that, Cohen says the Flyers are hopeful Yakemchuk is available at 12th overall, and if he is, they will almost certainly choose him.

And that connection makes perfect sense. Yakemchuk is a 6-foot-3 blueliner who is extremely active as a defender, but he has also been remarkably offensive, scoring 30 goals and 71 points in 66 games for the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen this season.As you can read in our Yakemchuk profile, he appears to be a boom-or-bust player with the potential to be a top, all-situations defenseman on which championships are built.

In addition to speaking with Yakemchuk in Buffalo, the Flyers allegedly took the opportunity to speak with a few of other prospects they could potentially draft on June 28.

Notably, center Lucas Pettersson, winger Teddy Stiga, and defensemen Leo Sahlin-Wallenius and Tanner Henricks spoke with Philadelphia management over the weekend. All four of those players might be available when the Flyers make their second appearance on the podium with the 31st or 32nd overall pick from the Florida Panthers.

It truly seems like the Flyers are already planning their first-round strategy before any picks are made and it feels the same as last year. Yakemchuk is a player with extremely high upside but can become a player who just scratches the surface of his potential at the professional level; while the theme with those four players feel more like high-ceiling prospects and players who might not hit the highest of ceiling, but can be reliable NHLers one day.

Does this sound familiar? It feels disturbingly similar to what general manager Danny Briere and his team did with their two first-round picks in 2023, picking ultra-high-upside winger Matvei Michkov first and then going a little safer with defenseman Oliver Bonk. So far, everything has worked out fantastically for them, with Michkov potentially coming over and making his mark in the NHL two years earlier than intended, and Bonk putting in the work offensively for a very solid London Knights club.

We love balance, folks. If the Flyers end up taking Carter Yakemchuk, you know he is going to be a fan favorite the second he lays out a big hit and then rockets up the ice to score a goal during prospect camp.

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