When the Philadelphia Flyers bucked the odds and jumped nearly a dozen spots in the NHL’s Draft Lottery to land the second overall selection in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, general manager Ron Hextall suddenly got a lot more popular with other GMs around the league.
NHL.com reporter Adam Kimelman recently caught up with Hextall and managed to get the Flyers boss’ thoughts on his team’s options regarding the selection.
While the answer may seem noncommittal, Hextall seems to be leaning towards keeping and using the selection. Who he selects, Nolan Patrick or Nico Hirschier, is another question entirely. Patrick is a 6’3, 200 lb power centerman with great all-around skills and good vision. Hirschier is a smooth, playmaking center with high-end scoring abilities. The Flyers would be lucky to have either player on their roster, but the choice won’t necessarily be theirs to make. The New Jersey Devils own the first selection in the draft and reports have them favoring Hirschier over Patrick.