“Cold Water Poured…”: Flyers Likely To Miss Out On Top Prospect After Emerging Report

“Cold Water Poured…”: Flyers Likely To Miss Out On Top Prospect After Emerging Report

On Saturday, it was reported that top Winnipeg Jets prospect and University of Michigan ace Rutger McGroarty is attempting to force his way into the NHL, which explains his choice to return to Michigan after leaving in April. McGroarty, who has not been given an NHL roster position by the Jets, is close friends with former Philadelphia Flyers prospect Cutter Gauthier.

Gauthier was moved to Anaheim for defenseman Jamie Drysdale and a draft selection on Jan. 8, following reports that he had stopped communicating with the Flyers.

Gauthier has now turned professional, signing an entry-level deal on April 14 and making his NHL debut with the Ducks on April 18.

On the most recent episode of his “32 Thoughts” podcast, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman stated that McGroarty’s name “has come up in trade discussions” as the young prospect strives to force his way onto the Jets’ NHL squad–or any other NHL team, for that matter.

A source told the Winnipeg Free Press that McGroarty is an NHLer. They will come to regret it.” Suddenly, the Flyers aren’t the only team facing criticism for neglecting to give their top young prospect a roster slot early on.

McGroarty, 20, was taken 14th overall in the 2022 NHL Draft by Winnipeg, the same class as Gauthier. The Michigan star did record 52 points in only 36 NCAA games this year, so the claim that McGroarty is NHL-ready has some merit.

Under normal circumstances, McGroarty would be the perfect Flyers trade target, and one the Flyers would likely have to pony up a fair amount to acquire. However, because Winnipeg’s situation with the 20-year-old is now very much out there in the public sphere–likely to force action from the Jets–the return might not be anywhere near as good as what the Flyers got in the Gauthier trade in January.

Given the current situation and McGroarty’s friendship with Gauthier, a trade between the Flyers and Jets seems quite unlikely. Sure, it’s regrettable that something like this would hinder the Flyers from pursuing a potential path for short- and long-term team improvement, but that’s the reality of NHL business at times.

You can safely scratch McGroarty off your offseason wish list.

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