If there was any frustration among the fan base over the passing up of Cole Caufield, it was somewhat alleviated by the Flyers' work in the second round.
Let's be clear, that was not on the Flyers' mind when making the selection.
But on Friday night in the first round of the 2019 NHL draft, the Flyers had a chance to take Caufield, a popular 5-foot-7 right winger regarded as the best goal-scorer in the class. The 72-goal, 100-point American had dropped deeper than many anticipated, all the way to the Flyers at No. 14, even after the team moved back three spots.
The Flyers went with Cam York, a defenseman they had watched a ton of and really wanted (see story).
On Saturday afternoon in the second round, the Flyers just so happened to draft a right winger with first-round talent and prolific scoring ability. They traded up 11 spots and forfeited a third-round selection in order to grab Bobby Brink at No. 34 overall (see Flyers' draft recap).
No, Brink was not on Caufield's level, but he's pretty good and has similarities. The 5-foot-8, 165-pounder was ranked as the 20th-best player in the draft by TSN's Craig Button and put up eye-catching numbers with 68 points (35 goals, 33 assists) in 43 regular-season games for the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL.
"We had him slotted higher [than No. 34 overall]," Flyers assistant general manager Brent Flahr said Saturday via a conference call. "Bobby was the guy that we were hoping was there. We knew he wasn't going to last very long in the second round, so we paid the price to move up; but to get a player of his caliber, we were happy to do that.
"He's not the biggest body, but he's extremely smart, highly skilled, very competitive. He picked apart the USHL league, which is hard to score in; coming right out of high school and dominated. He's very strong on his skates, he's got great edges and he's slippery."
Brink may have dipped into the second round because his skating isn't a notable strength. Flahr cleared up some of the doubt on that topic.
"His skating is different," he said.
"I don't think he's a burner as far as speed at this point, but his skating is always in the right spot and it doesn't seem to impact him at this point. He'll be the first one to tell you he's got to get quicker and stronger to play at the next level, but at this point in his physical development, we don't see an issue.
"He's a little bent over, but he's one of those kids that is down low, he's always moving his feet, he's on his edges. He opens up his feet, creates different angles and passing lanes. As far as straight out speed, I wouldn't say he's the fastest, but he always seems to get there."
Brink was there Saturday and the Flyers didn't want to miss him. They got a smaller, high-scoring right winger, less than 24 hours after passing up on one.
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