Maple Leafs sign former Philadelphia Flyers first round pick.

Maple Leafs sign former Philadelphia Flyers first round pick.

The Toronto Maple Leafs organization has added a former top Flyers prospect on a one year deal.

Jonathan Larivee

The Toronto Maple Leafs' organization took something of a small gamble this week by signing a former top prospect who has largely failed to deliver on his potential.

On Friday, forward Jay O'Brien agreed to a one year contract with the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League with the deal coming off the back of O'Brien's third year at Boston University.

O'Brien, a former first round draft pick (19th overall) of the Philadelphia Flyers at the 2018 National Hockey League Entry Draft, has never appeared in an NHL game despite his draft pedigree and is largely considered one of the failures of the Ron Hextall era in Philadelphia. He was Hextall's final first round pick prior to him being fired as general manager of the Flyers later that same year.

In spite of his struggles as a prospect, O'Brien is coming off of his best collegiate season with 8 goals and 24 assists for a total of 32 points over 39 games played last season. In fact both of his final seasons at Boston University marked a significant improvement from his first two years in college, an indication that the 23 year old may be something of a late bloomer.

The Maple Leafs will of course attempt to extract every bit of potential out of O'Brien, but it remains to be seen if he has what it takes to eventually make his way onto an NHL roster.

As I reported roughly 4 months ago, the Flyers will receive a 2nd round draft pick as compensation for losing a first round draft pick without signing him.