DALLAS — The Flyers finally made a draft day deal.
They disposed of one of their two seventh-round picks (190th overall) to the Canadiens for Montreal’s seventh-rounder in 2019.
That was it.
A quiet weekend for general manager Ron Hextall, who certainly had discussions, but it was just one big billow of smoke and not all that different from the wood-filled BBQ pits in the surrounding Dallas area.
“The draft didn’t have the typical big deals. I was surprised as anybody,” Hextall said Saturday. “I thought there were some bigger deals, but that’s the way it goes.”
Hextall couldn’t even get a seventh-rounder for RFA goaltender Petr Mrazek, who the Flyers acquired for a third-round pick back in February, and will now be a free agent on July 1.
“Someone calls me, I’ll certainly listen,” Hextall said. “But I don’t think there’s a market there.”
So the organization came to the American Airlines Center on Saturday focused on the draft at hand, and it started at the defense position, which the Flyers failed to address during the first round.
After snagging Adam Ginning to kick-start Day 2, the Flyers found that elusive right-handed defenseman by taking John St. Ivany with their fourth-round selection. St. Ivany developed through the Junior Kings program in L.A. before spending the past two years with Sioux Falls of the USHL. He will attend Yale University next season.
“Good size, moves well and solid with the puck,” Hextall said. “He was a good fit for our group.”
St. Ivany was the first right-handed defenseman the Flyers had selected since Mark Friedman in 2014, but the organization didn’t wait around to find another. Hextall and the scouts jumped at the opportunity to choose Wyatte Wylie, Carter Hart’s teammate with the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League.
Wylie wasn’t projected to be drafted when the season started, but he shot up the board with a very strong second half by contributing offensively.
“We like him. He was a fit for us,” Hextall said. “Kind of a guy you look before the draft and see where he fits and a guy that we targeted later in the draft. We like his game.”
To some surprise, the Flyers picked Swedish goaltender Samuel Ersson one round later, a position Hextall didn’t believe the team would address in this year’s draft.
“We weren’t chasing a goalie,” Hextall said. “We like his size. We like his athleticism. We think there’s some upside there that hasn’t been tapped yet. We got him a lot later. Had we needed a goalie, we would have taken him a lot earlier.”
The Flyers found another college-bound forward with two-way center Gavin Hain, who self-admittedly struggled in his first year with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program, calling last season a “tough” year.
“My first year away from home and all the adversity I faced,” Hain, who will attend North Dakota next season, said. “A new team and everything at the program. The NTDP itself is a hard-grooming place to play as a player, but it’s a great spot to develop. I struggled for a bit at times.”
After trading their first seventh-round selection, it left the Flyers with only the 205th overall pick, which they used to take Sweden’s Marcus Westfalt, and with that, for the first time in Flyers draft history, not a single Canadian was selected.
Hextall didn’t need the reminder.
“I know," he said. "I was hearing it at my table.”