Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Flyers Offseason Wish List: Draft Picks

In my initial offseason preview post, I calculated that I expect the Flyers to have between $3-4 million available for two forward spots if the salary cap escalator is not used. That number jumps to between $5-7 million if the escalator is used, which would obviously make dreaming about filling out the roster much easier. But the sense I get from my sources (aka the internet) that it seems like they're going to go with the lower cap number.

So we don't have a ton of room to play with, and we certainly can't go out and afford someone like Steven Stamkos or Kyle Okposo with just $3 million in cap space. How can we add top-end talent to the team without spending out of the ass?

Well, the draft of course.

The draft lottery will be aired this Saturday (April 30th), and from that point on we will know the draft order for actual draft, which happens in June.

By sneaking into the playoffs, the Flyers lost their 1% chance at moving up into the top four on their own, but there's always the possibility that they could trade up from the mid-teens. I previewed a bunch of players that should be available into the teens, but none of them will be immediate impact type players like the top 5-6 prospects.

Here are the odds to win the first pick, which are also tied directly to the odds to land a top-four pick:

One huge note: plan on whoever wins the first pick to keep that pick and take Auston Matthews. I don't think I'm breaking any news there, but it would probably be almost impossible to pry him out of Toronto Edmonton Vancouver Canada.

I appreciate PSG's aggregate rankings for the rest of the field, and I utilize them more than any individual ranking.

Matthews is the number one on literally everyone's board. Laine is second, Puljujarvi is third, and Tkachuk is fourth. There is some debate about the Nylander/Dubois/Chychrun band, and then it kind of tails off from there.

What these 11 players have in common is they're all out of reach for the Flyers with their current pick. Moving into the top four would be great, but the top eight is really the cream of the crop in this draft.

And, actually, as I look at these names along with the various scouting reports online, the only two sure-thing contributors are Matthews and Laine.

I don't want the Flyers to give up as much as it would take to steal one of those two, and so I am officially OUT on Hextall using the draft to plug the forward holes on the 2016-17 Flyers' roster. Let's take a mid-round guy in the first, or maybe use some of the later picks that we have to move up a few spots to steal someone that Hexy likes, and then let's stash that guy in the minors for a year or two and let him develop.

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