Flyers draft Jay O'Brien with the 19th overall pick

Flyers draft Jay O'Brien with the 19th overall pick

With the 19th overall pick, their second selection in the first round of Friday night's NHL draft, the Flyers snagged center Jay O'Brien.

In 2017-18, the 18-year-old played at Thayer Academy, where he put up 80 points (43 goals, 37 assists) in 30 games.

The 5-foot-11, 176-pound American, a native of Hingham, Massachusetts, will play at Providence College in 2018-19.

"He's a really smart player, really good hockey sense," Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said. "He's competitive, he's strong, he's got a little agitator in him. He's got a really good shot and sees the ice well. He's a really good hockey player. He's a little bit undersized but we think he's going to be a fit kid and a strong kid. We really liked him."

It's fair to wonder if the Flyers reached for O'Brien at this spot (see story). NHL Central Scouting had him pegged as the 32nd-ranked North American skater, a 12-spot jump from his midterm mark of 44. He turned out to be the fifth center taken in the draft. Joseph Veleno, the top-ranked North American center, was still on the board and didn't go until 30th overall, where the Red Wings grabbed him.

"We liked him more than Veleno or we would've picked Veleno," Hextall said of O'Brien. "It's upside but we don't feel there's as much risk probably. The history is, there is risk when you take a kid out of that level but we're just going to go by the board, we don't need scouts, right? Like I said, our guys have done a real good job, they see things the way they are, we talk about it, we beat it up and we come to conclusions."

According to NHL Central Scouting, O'Brien models his style of play after Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews but raved about his new teammate, Claude Giroux, after the draft.

O'Brien was the Flyers' second first-round selection. The Flyers drafted winger Joel Farabee with the 14th overall pick (see story).

Day 2 of the draft kicks off Saturday at 11 a.m. The Flyers have seven picks.

"This is one of those drafts," Hextall said. "There's a lot of really good players. Probably a little bit light on the high-end players but there's a lot of really good players, which is why players go in a lot of different orders."

More on the Flyers

• Flyers need to find needle in haystack on Day 2

• History of the 14th overall pick

• History of the 19th overall pick

• NHL draft position preview: Center

• NHL draft position preview: Left wing

• NHL draft position preview: Right wing

• NHL draft position preview: Defensemen

What's next for Scott Gordon? Watching Stanley Cup Playoffs

What's next for Scott Gordon? Watching Stanley Cup Playoffs

Chuck Fletcher wanted to give Scott Gordon some time to think about his future.

The general manager said Gordon was understandably disappointed Monday morning when he was told he didn't earn the Flyers' full-time head coaching position.

What might Gordon be doing in the meantime?

Good chance he's checking in on the NHL playoffs.

Two weeks ago, Gordon was in limbo with the Flyers — a part of meetings moving forward and considered a strong candidate for the head coaching job, but with nothing guaranteed.

He was asked if such a dynamic was awkward at all.

"At the end of every year, it doesn't matter where you are or what your contract is, there's always a chance you're not going to be back," Gordon said. "I go into the summer or the end of the season, I obviously reflect on the past season, what I'd like to do different [or keep] the same."

In doing so, Gordon likes to study the postseason. A big advocate of dissecting game film, Gordon does the same with the Stanley Cup Final.

"I generally try to watch the playoffs as a fan and then in the finals, I'll watch it as a fan but then I will get those on a computer and break down, in August, some of the things … when the playoffs go through, just identify some things that I like that teams did," Gordon said. "Pay particular attention to the finals in August, as far as what I might consider doing differently, pull footage and present to my team maybe a different way of going about business."

Which team Gordon is working for in 2019-20 is unknown. He impressed Fletcher as the Flyers' interim head coach. The club was in the basement of the 31-team NHL standings more than halfway through the regular season. By March 11, the Flyers were within three points of a playoff spot following an 18-4-2 spree under Gordon.

Fletcher said he would likely touch base with Gordon again after Easter weekend. He will welcome him back to the organization with open arms. Fletcher said Gordon's previous job as head coach of AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley was his if the 56-year-old wanted it.

However, Gordon said after the Flyers' regular-season finale that his time with the 2018-19 club changed his perspective on coaching in the NHL again, a much-needed spark following a not-so-memorable two-plus seasons as head coach of the Islanders from 2008-10.

"My experience in Long Island wasn't a great one," Gordon said April 6. "So much so that I didn't really think too much about coaching in the NHL. If it happened, great, but I wasn't losing any sleep over it. As I told the players after the game tonight, coming in here and dealing with the character of the players — not just as players but as people — reinvigorated that desire to coach in the NHL. With that being said, I'll do what job is asked of me and I won't think twice about it."

Gordon won't have any issues finding a job. He'll be watching the Stanley Cup Final, ready to coach.

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More on the Flyers

2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs schedule: Maple Leafs, Golden Knights can clinch on home ice

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2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs schedule: Maple Leafs, Golden Knights can clinch on home ice

Four first-round playoff series remain alive.

Two of those four series could end Sunday.

Both the Maple Leafs and Golden Knights can advance to the second round if they win their respective Game 6s on home ice.

Below is the full schedule for Day 12 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. You can watch the entire playoffs on the networks of NBC. 

Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs (TOR 3-2)
Game 6, Eastern Conference first round
3 p.m. ET | TV: NBC | Live stream here

San Jose Sharks at Vegas Golden Knights (VGK 3-2)
Game 6, Western Conference first round
7 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSN | Live stream here