chris pryor

Chris Pryor talks Nolan Patrick, Brian Elliott, young defense and more

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Chris Pryor talks Nolan Patrick, Brian Elliott, young defense and more

Is it October yet?

Well, it's almost September, which means Flyers training camp is not far off in the distance. Last season, rookie camp opened Sept. 19, while big camp started Sept. 23. 

Dates for 2017-18 should be coming soon. While we wait in anticipation, Flyers assistant general manager and director of player personnel Chris Pryor joined the SiriusXM NHL Network on Wednesday night to discuss a variety of topics.

Here's what he had to say:

On winning No. 2 pick in lottery, drafting Nolan Patrick
"We thought it was a tremendous day in the organization's standpoint. We were very fortunate, very lucky, as we all know, to land that spot that we did. The kid as a player — we think highly of the kid. Obviously last year he had to battle through some injuries, but overall, he's a really good hockey player and we were happy to welcome him to the Philadelphia Flyers."

On addition of Brian Elliott, expectations for the goalie
"I think Brian just needs to be Brian. He's a quality goaltender, he's proved that year in and year out. He's just got to come in and do what he's done his whole career, and that's be a good, solid goaltender. We think he's capable of doing that. There's no reason why he's not going to bring that same quality and experience to us, and we're happy to have him."

On last season's 10-game winning streak, inconsistency
"You're going to have those 10-game streaks, a lot of things go your way, some bounces happen to go your way, just as if you go on a 10-game losing streak, there's a lot of things that don't go your way. We'd like to even that out. We think we've got a good hockey club, we had some ups and downs last year. We hope to rectify some of those [downs], some of our guys maybe didn't have the season they wanted. Coming in this year, everybody's expectations are to get back to form and make a push for the playoffs."

Why so much success on power play, not at even strength?
"The NHL is a pretty tough league. You can't take a night off, and I'm not saying any of our guys did. Sometimes you've got to give credit where credit is due to the opposition. Just one of those years. I think you're going to have some years where guys are going to maybe not play to their capabilities, or what they deem are their capabilities. We had a couple rough spots there and I think we rectified that. I think guys are really focused and determined to get back on track to where they were maybe a couple years ago, and I think you're going to see that this year."

On young defense, how many prospects make the jump?
"I think it's going to depend on the kid, first and foremost. Opportunities are going to present itself, guys are going to come to camp and fight for jobs, but we're excited with the young D that we have not only on the club now, but the few kids that we had in the American League last year that deem themselves ready to push for a spot, and it's going to be an exciting training camp to see how this plays out."

On Valtteri Filppula, his impact moving forward
"First and foremost, he's a quality, quality veteran player. He comes from a really good organization, he knows how to win, he knows what it takes to prepare yourself game in and game out. He plays the game the right way, which is 200 feet. His attention to detail, he's good for our younger players to look at and watch how he plays the game, and he's a good hockey player. He's a really good fit for us and we're happy to have him."

Flyers promote Chris Pryor to assistant GM, director of player personnel

Flyers promote Chris Pryor to assistant GM, director of player personnel

The last time the Flyers had a director of player personnel was back in 2012-13 when Dave Brown filled the role.
 
Chris Pryor was over him as director of hockey operations.
 
On Wednesday morning, general manager Ron Hextall announced that Pryor has been promoted from director of scouting to assistant GM, director of player personnel.
 
Initial impressions seem to indicate the promotion of the 55-year-old Pryor is one of streamlining the Flyers’ organizational hockey staff.
 
Brown has been the head pro scout since losing the title he once had when the Flyers began reshuffling their staff with the return of Hextall in 2013-14.
 
Pryor will begin his 18th season with the Flyers this fall. He has most recently overseen the scouting department with Brown and Dennis Patterson at the amateur level.
 
Pryor came to the Flyers in 1999 as a U.S. amateur scout and was promoted to director of hockey operations in the fall of 2006. Seven years later, his title was changed to director of scouting.
 
Before coming to the Flyers, he worked for the New York Islanders in the mid-1990s. A former player for both the Islanders and Minnesota North Stars, he retired during 1992 after six NHL seasons and spent time in the AHL before joining the Isles’ scouting department.

Director of scouting Chris Pryor breaks down Flyers' draft possibilities at No. 18

Director of scouting Chris Pryor breaks down Flyers' draft possibilities at No. 18

Flyers director of scouting Chris Pryor was asked last week for his evaluation of players the Flyers like in the first round of the 2016 NHL draft (see draft outlook).

Below includes each prospect's club/college and final North American ranking from NHL Central Scouting, along with Pryor's take.

Auston Matthews is ranked No. 1 among European skaters even though born in the U.S. Hence, Matthew Tkachuk appears ahead of him in the Central Scouting NA rankings.

Kieffer Bellows, LW, 6-1/194, Age 18, USNTDP (USHL); Ranked 10th
“All he does is score; everywhere he’s been,” Pryor said. “He’s one of those guys who can get in the seams, find the holes and put the puck in the back of the net. It’s pretty remarkable what he’s done for the amount of goals that he’s scored.”

Pierre-Luc Dubois, LW/C, 6-3/203, turns 18 day of draft, Cape Breton (QMJHL); Ranked 1st NA
“I think he’s going to be one of those guys that once you get past those big three, he’s in that conversation,” Pryor said. "He’s a guy that’s interesting just because he can do a lot of things. He can play center, he can play wing.”

Julien Gauthier, RW, 6-4/225, Age 18, Val d'Or (QMHJL); Ranked 12th
“Right away, you like the size and the skill package,” Pryor said. “He’s a north-south type guy. When he plays with a complementary center that when he can find a lane and the guy gets him the puck, he’s a dangerous-type guy that adds size and skating and physicality to your lineup.”

Max Jones, LW, 6-2/189, Age 18, London (OHL); Ranked 14th
“Max has the same attributes [as Gauthier], he’s got some size and he skates pretty well, and he adds that element of physicality,” Pryor said. “They’re a little different players in that regard. Both have good size and both can skate. Max adds that intangible — he gets on people, he gets under people’s skin. He’s got a little bit of a different makeup from that standpoint.”

Luke Kunin, C, 6-0/196, Age 18, Wisconsin (NCAA); Ranked 11th
“You look at his season, pretty remarkable for what he’s done for a true freshman playing at the University of Wisconsin,” Pryor said. "He’s another guy who came through that U.S. program and played real well last year. … He’s a versatile guy, can play wing, can play center, competitive, makes plays.”

Matthew Tkachuk, LW, 6-1/195, Age 18, London (OHL); Ranked 2nd
“He’s an offensive-type guy and he’s very good at what he does,” Pryor said. “From the blue line in, he’s a dangerous guy. He’s a big body, takes up a lot of space down low. He can find the open seams, and he can also make plays. You look at that London team, he’s a really good complement with the two guys he played with, [Christian] Dvorak and [Mitch] Marner. That was probably the best line in junior hockey this year, and he was a big part of it.”

Riley Tufte, LW, 6-5/205, Age 18, Blaine High School (Minnesota); Ranked 17th
“The big Minnesota kid,” Pryor said. “It’s a little different projection just because some of those high school hockey games, you get some games where it’s a tough evaluation. … He had a really good year. All the comparisons right now are to [Blake] Wheeler and [Nick] Bjugstad, which are really fair if you look from a numbers standpoint. Big kid, moves extremely well ... goes to the net and knows what to do with the puck when he gets it, and he adds some size and speed to your lineup.”