A center with 'the quickness, the skill and vision' to entice Flyers in draft


After a long wait with the unprecedented stoppage because of the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 NHL draft has arrived.

The first round will be held Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET, while Rounds 2-7 follow on Wednesday starting at 11:30 a.m. ET.

The Flyers hold seven picks and their first-round selection comes at No. 23 overall.

“I think it’s a decent draft — I don’t know if it’s top end," Flyers assistant general manager Brent Flahr said April 25 in a phone interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia. "The top 10, 12 guys look like pretty high end. There’s a bit of a drop-off, but there’s some depth to the draft for a couple of rounds. ... We have some guys targeted we feel we would be very happy with in the top couple of rounds.

"Obviously you’d want the big, scoring, playmaking center, anybody does. We’re in a position where we’ll likely be taking the best player available. 

"Realistically the players you draft now are two or three years down the road, best-case scenario. Some cases you get surprised. But by then, your team needs are different. We’ll do the best we can, we have an idea of where our holes are going forward and places where we certainly want to add depth to, whether it’s center or scoring winger or defense, we’ll see what happens. We’ll prepare, we weigh guys against each other, the pros and cons and we’ll do the best we can there.”


Let's take a look at a target for the Flyers with the 23rd selection:

Brendan Brisson

Position: Center

Height: 5-foot-11

Weight: 179

Shoots: Left

Team: Chicago Steel

Scouting report

Brisson, the son of big-time NHL agent Pat Brisson, is an exciting playmaking center who scores just as well as he creates.

The Michigan-bound product finished second in the USHL with 59 points (24 goals, 35 assists) over 45 games. Playing high school hockey in 2018-19 with Shattuck St. Mary's, Brisson amassed 101 points (42 goals, 59 assists) through 55 games.

Brisson popped at the 2019 World Junior A Challenge with 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in six games and saw a climb from 31st in NHL Central Scouting's midterm marks to 20th for its final ranking of North American skaters.

The Manhattan Beach, California, native is scary good on the power play because of his shot and smarts. Of course, he'll have to get stronger but he also understands the two-way game.

"He played high school at Shattuck in Minnesota where I was, so I’ve seen him a lot," Flahr said. "He’s had a real strong draft year, he’s a late birthday and he’s still got to get stronger, but he had a breakout year in the USHL and had a strong tournament in the world junior challenge, which really jumped him up and brought a lot of attention to himself.

"The team in Chicago that he played for, they’ll have a lot of players drafted this year, which is good to watch, he had good players to play with, but at the same time, he was driving it and making a lot of plays.

"A little undersized, but at the same time, he’s got the quickness, the skill and vision to make himself a quality prospect. He’s going the college route, which is probably the right decision for him because he’ll need a little time to put on some weight and get stronger."

Fit with Flyers

Given the Flyers took three defensemen in the first four rounds last summer and finished with three blueliners, three wingers and a goalie, they could be looking for the best center available this draft.

The addition of Brisson would help the Flyers replenish a bit down the middle at a position that is crucial for any organization.

The Flyers really liked winger Bobby Brink last summer out of the USHL. Brisson could be in their first-round range and would be a logical pick if so.

If Brisson joins the club's prospect pool before joining Flyers 2019 first-round pick Cam York at Michigan, the Wolverines sure will be fun to keep tabs on for fans.