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The Philadelphia Flyers made the most exciting splash of the first round of the NHL Draft by selecting Russian winger Matvei Michkov with the seventh-overall pick.

Andrew Salciunas and self-proclaimed “zamboner” Jamie Lynch praised Danny Briere’s willingness to take a bold risk.

They invited Jason Myrtetus on to break down the rookie GM’s leap of faith, the selection of Oliver Bonk with the 22nd pick, and the status of goaltender Carter Hart.

Matvei Michkov

Despite Michkov’s status as one of the top prospects in a loaded draft class, other factors caused him to slip.

He is under contract to play in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) in Russia for three years.

“If he’s born in North America, if he’s born in Belarus, he goes number two. The fact that he’s born in Russia made him fall to seven.” -Myrtetus

The situation surrounding the Russian invasion of Ukraine certainly played a factor also. The Flyers have assumed a major risk.

“There’s some other things in play here. His father mysteriously passed away a few months ago…We obviously know what’s going on in Russia is less than ideal, so there’s a lot of variables in play here.” -Myrtetus

However, they took the player with the highest upside. After ignoring the calls to tank the 2022-23 season, they still ended up drafting a potential superstar.

Myrtetus described Michkov as a player who can play checkers by beating his opponents with raw speed and skill or by playing chess and thinking two moves ahead.

“He’s an offensively gifted player… He’s a great playmaker. He’s got great vision. He’s a guy that sees the ice incredibly well.” -Myrtetus

Oliver Bonk

Jamie had more fun with the names Michkov and Bonk than any fan who attended the draft in Nashville.

The memes have been excellent already.

Jason Myrtetus spoke about the connection Keith Jones has with his former teammate Dale Hunter.

Hunter is now the co-owner, president, and head coach of the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League, where Bonk plays junior hockey.

“That team is run like an NHL team. Their players are extremely prepared to jump to the next level because of the way they do things there in London, and the quality of that OHL program is unparalleled in all of major junior.” -Myrtetus

The 6-foot-2, right-handed defenseman will help rebuild the Philadelphia blue line.

The Flyers are currently shopping defensemen Tony DeAngelo and Travis Sanheim, and they’ve already dealt Ivan Provorov this offseason.

Jason Myrtetus on Carter Hart

While Andrew and Jamie had Jason on the phone, the Flyers executed a trade into the second round of draft goaltender Carson Bjarnason.

Jason’s initial reaction was to wonder if the move is an indicator that the Flyers might trade Carter Hart, an idea he’s firmly against.

“I’m fine with them taking a goalie in the draft. I’m surprised they do it here.” -Myrtetus

It’s unclear what the move means for Hart’s future. Trade rumors have been swirling throughout the offseason about the franchise goaltender.

Bjarnason will turn 18 on June 30, and most goaltenders reach the NHL at a later age than skaters. It’s realistic to think it’ll be at least five years before he makes an impact for the Flyers.

The organization has solid goaltending depth with Hart, Sam Ersson, Felix Sandstrom, and Alexei Kolosov. They also selected goaltender Egor Zavragin in the third round.

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Flyers NHL Draft Coverage

  • Flyers 2023 NHL Draft Pick #7: F, Matvei Michkov

    2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Round One

    (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    With the 7th overall pick, the Philadelphia Flyers select forward Matvei Michkov. Michkov is a right-winger who is currently playing in the KHL. This will take some time to get him over since he is signed until 2025-2026.

    Michkov is the best forward and MVP at the 2021 under-18 World Championship. This proves once again; the Flyers selected the best possible player that was remaining.

    Flyers GM, Danny Briere, said after the selection that while meeting Michov he knew that he was going to be a Flyer. Briere went into further detail about the excitement Michkov himself had with becoming a Flyer.

  • Flyers 2023 NHL Draft Pick #22: Oliver Bonk

    Oliver Bonk is selected by the Philadelphia Flyers with the 22nd overall pick during round one of the 2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft at Bridgestone Arena

    (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    With the 22nd overall pick, the Philadelphia Flyers select Oliver Bonk. The 18-year-old defenseman is highly skilled when it comes to his puck-handling and stick-work skills.

    Oliver Bonk, the son of Radek Bonk, has an enormous amount of confidence that makes his presence on ice known. Bonk is aggressive when it comes to battles and is able to make sharp transitional plays.

    Although Bonk won’t be putting up a lot of offensive points, his play-making skills make up for that. This is one of the reasons why Bonk is as valuable as he is.

    As of now, we can hopefully expect to see Bonk within a couple of seasons as he is most likely to stay with the London Knights (OHL).Via:Elite Prospects & ESPN

  • Flyers 2023 NHL Draft Pick #51: Carson Bjarnason

    The Flyers made a move early on day 2 of the draft. They started the day with no 2nd round picks. But they made a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks to get one, giving up a 2nd round pick next year to do so. And with that pick, they selected goalie Carson Bjarnason.

    Carson Bjarnason came in as one of the top goalie prospects in the draft. In fact, NHL Central ranked him as the top North American goalie period. Scouts praised him for being so technically sound at a young age. They also love his athleticism. His quickness alllows him to make some flashy saves. 

    He turns 18 tomorrow (June 3oth). Being a young goalie, he is still likely years away. Goalies usually take longer to develop than skaters. While there has been a youth movement with Skayers making it to the NHL at 20,19, and even 18, goalies are immune to that youth movement. carter Hart made it at 20, and that was considered an aberration. And even he is still developing.

    So like with their 7th overall pick, it will likely be a few years before we see Carson take the ice for the Flyers if he ever does. But they grabbed potentially the best goalie in the draft. Via:Elite Prospects & ESPN

  • Flyers 2023 NHL Draft Pick #87: Egor Zavragin

    The Flyers selected Egor Zavragin, a Russian goalie. Zavragin played in the MHL in Russia. With the previous pick going to another goalie, Carson Bjarnason, it seems adding more depth to their goaltending is a priority for them. Via:Elite Prospects & ESPN

  • Flyers 2023 NHL Draft Pick #95: Denver Barkey

    Philadelphia selected Denver Barkey with their final pick in the third round. Barkey is a center who currently plays for the London Knights. Barkey is teammates with Oliver Bonk, who the Flyers drafted 22nd overall.
    Barkey’s most valued when it comes to passing and making effective plays. The Newmarket, ON, Canada native also is good at positioning himself in dangerous positions. He is shifty- and makes it a challenge to be stopped by the opposing team. Also, when it comes to hockey awareness; Barkey has that skill secured. You will see him on the ice swiveling his head to make sure he is in good position.
    Via:Elite Prospects & ESPN

  • Flyers 2023 NHL Draft Pick #103: Cole Knuble

    Does the last name Knuble sound familiar? That’s because Cole’s father is former Flyers winger, Mike Knuble. Cole was passed in last year’s draft and spent this entire past season working on his game. The evolution in Knuble’s game shows that he is a player that will put in the work.
    Knuble is strong and is able to insert himself in front of the net. He had an impressive season scoring 30 goals and accumulating 66 points for the Fargo Force. Via:Elite Prospects & ESPN

  • Flyers 2023 NHL Draft Pick #120: Alex Ciernik

    Adding speed is important to this rebuilding Flyers team, and who better than Alex Ciernik. While Ciernik isn’t the biggest guy on the ice with only being 5-10; he certainly is one of the fastest. With a highly talented draft class he is one of the best skaters.

    Ciernik’s best skills involve his skating, puck control, strong hockey IQ, and good positioning. Via:Elite Prospects & ESPN

  • Flyers 2023 NHL Draft Pick #135: Carter Sotherlan

    A big defender is what the Flyers need, and they found that with Carter Sotherlan. The Sanford, Canada native is 6-3 and weights in at 185 pounds. The unique part to Sotherlan’s game is that he’s strong offensively as well. With his build he is able to make game defying plays that allows him to be beneficial on both sides of the ice.
    Via:Elite Prospects & ESPN
    While Sotherlan is only 17; he’s been improving each season, and holds a lot of potential.

  • Flyers 2023 NHL Draft Pick #172 Ryan MacPherson

    Philadelphia selected Ryan MacPherson in the sixth round. MacPherson is a 6’0, 172 pound center. This season MacPherson will play for BCHL. Next season 2024-2025 he will play at the University of New Hampshire. Via:Elite Prospects & ESPN

  • Flyers 2023 NHL Draft Pick #199: Matteo Mann

    Another big defender becomes a Philadelphia Flyer. Martin is 6’7 and 225 pounds! He is good at skating backwards which helps when he needs to distribute the puck. He has good ability for a guy of his size. He was predicted to go in the fourth round, but he fell back to which the Flyers picked him up with their final pick of the draft.Via:Elite Prospects & ESPN

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