2024 NHL Draft: Briere, Flyers Go All In on 2025 Draft

2024 NHL Draft: Briere, Flyers Go All In on 2025 Draft Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Flyers started the first night of the NHL Draft with the 12th and 32nd overall picks. By the time the night was over, they selected one player, made two trades, and now have a boatload of capital on tap for the 2025 NHL Draft.

The draft this year is in Vegas, after all, and this was Danny Briere’s gamble: go all in on the 2025 NHL Draft.

It is widely believed that the draft class in 2025 will be more substantial, and for a rebuilding team like the Flyers, that could be where all of the cornerstones of their future lie.

Briere has joined the likes of Dan Hilferty and Keith Jones in talking about how the 2024-25 season could be a step back from the near-playoff appearance that the Flyers had this past season. That is only furthered by the desire to be prepped and ready for a draft that will take place a year from now.

The Flyers still hold possession of their own 2025 first-round pick. They acquired Colorado’s first-round pick at the deadline for Sean Walker. The conditions on that pick were only Top-10 protection, which is highly unlikely for Colorado given their skill and thriving core. When the 32nd overall pick came around, Briere grabbed yet another conditional first, adding Edmonton’s 2025 first-round pick. That pick is Top-12 protected and, considering the Oilers were just in the Stanley Cup Final, will also likely go to the Flyers.

Assuming the Flyers have all three picks, and both Colorado and Edmonton’s first-round selections fall somewhere in the 20s, the Flyers could be poised to package first-round picks to move back into the teens and potentially grab a better talent.

It is only enhanced by the second round. The Flyers have their own pick, and also acquired Anaheim’s second-round pick in the Cutter GauthierJamie Drysdale trade. A second-round pick acquired from Columbus in the Ivan Provorov trade was also deferred to 2025. That gives the Flyers three second-round picks in the 2025 NHL Draft, potentially all of them within the first 10 picks of the round.

When the Flyers moved one spot back from the 12th overall pick, they also added a 2025 third-round pick from Minnesota.

The two trades on Friday night now give the Flyers potentially eight picks in the first three rounds of the 2025 NHL Draft. That is where your future is.

Acquiring more draft capital for 2025 wasn’t Briere’s only gamble of the night. The one selection the Flyers did make at 13th overall was another swing on potential.

While Jett Luchanko is certainly not in the stratosphere of potential as the team’s 2023 first-round pick Matvei Michkov, he was a late riser and offers a potentially high ceiling as a well-balanced center.

Considering Michkov’s arrival to the Flyers is likely coming sooner than expected, the selection of Luchanko is similar in terms of being a patience play. Only Luchanko will require patience in development as well as arrival.

Luchanko is still just 17, turning 18 on Aug. 21. His speed is his biggest attribute, going from carrying the play offense to being a solid two-way defender. At his ceiling, he’s got middle-six potential down the middle, which is still an area where the Flyers lack long-term talent. 

As a riser in the draft, the potential is what drew teams in. Guelph had to deal with extended time with Matthew Poitras starting his NHL career in Boston, and it opened up a spot for Luchanko to emerge. Scouts started to bring him further up the rankings as the draft drew closer.

It’s the well-rounded nature of Luchanko that made that possible. The speed, the motor, the physical nature of this 5’11”, 183-pound wrecking ball – he compared himself to Nick Suzuki and said he models his game after Travis Konecny – that could make him a potential future piece.

It’s not the flashy prospect that Michkov is, but the Flyers addressed an area of legitimate concern for the future with this pick. They need prospects who can play down the middle. Whether Luchanko factors into those plans remains to be seen. 

But the real theme of the night was the focus on 2025. The all-in approach that Danny Briere is taking. It requires something Flyers fans have little time for: patience. Waiting until next year to turn those eight picks into something big. Waiting until next year when more cap space opens up to potentially strike on opportunity.

So Friday may not have been the night Flyers fans envisioned with two first-round picks and the potential of trading up to make something happen. But if Briere’s gamble pays off, and the Flyers hit the jackpot somewhere in those 2025 selections, it could be the defining moment of the rebuild.

Go to top button