Flyers

Ron Hextall surprised by quiet draft weekend for Flyers

Ron Hextall surprised by quiet draft weekend for Flyers

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.”

More on the 2018 NHL draft

• Flyers' draft shows big year for USA Hockey

• Hextall surprised by Flyers' quiet draft weekend

• With O'Brien, Hextall shows he's 'never' one to be safe

• With Philly ties, Farabee can't wait to help Flyers

• Samuelsson continues family's NHL tradition

Sean Couturier reveals an interesting nickname and clowns Michael Raffl

Sean Couturier reveals an interesting nickname and clowns Michael Raffl

Sean Couturier has been in Philadelphia for nine years and there's a nickname that hasn't become public.

On Saturday night, the NHL tweeted out a video of Couturier to promote the NHL Gaming World Championship. This is where we learned of this interesting nugget.

Paul Bissonnette, the host of the video, alerts Couturier that he had some dirt on the nine-year veteran from Claude Giroux.

It's revealed that his teammates call Couturier "Elton John" because when going in for a breakaway, he sometimes looks like he's carrying a piano on his back.

That's one you can't live down.

Once the spotlight is taken off Couturier, he chose Michael Raffl as the biggest jokester on the team and started modifying some of his skills and attributes in NHL20.

For example, Couturier gives Raffl a high mark for speed, but pokes fun at his lack of physicality. The body checking attribute came down big time.

For the rest of Couturier's answers, watch the video here:

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Catching up on Carter Hart in live stream, teammates troll in the comments

Catching up on Carter Hart in live stream, teammates troll in the comments

With the season on hold, many of the Flyers have gone back to their hometowns for the time being, until they receive word about what the next step will be for the NHL.

That gave Carter Hart the chance to check in with NHL Network’s Kevin Weekes on Friday night during an Instagram live. There, they talked about a wide range of things, including hobbies, an ugly suit trip and Hart even had a few teammates crash the chat room.

There’s a lot of extra time on the players’ hands right now, so what has Hart been up to? Mostly playing guitar and a lot of NBA2K.

He plays both electric and acoustic guitar, but it’s still a work in progress.

“I just wanted to get into something a little different,” Hart said. “I thought guitar would be the easiest thing to try and pick up, but it’s pretty hard.” 

And with the mention of the NBA, of course Weekes had to check in and see who Hart had been rooting for leading up to the season on pause. Obviously, many in Canada cheer for the Raptors but now that he’s playing in Philadelphia? 

“Living in Philly now, I've got to cheer for the Sixers,” Hart said.

Smart answer from the 21-year-old. And he certainly nailed the dynamic of the fans that he loves playing in front of. 

“If we’re sucking, they’re going to let us know,” Hart joked. “But if we’re winning, they’re behind us.”

Then a conversation that originally stemmed from pizza turned into Hart breaking down a roast session about him from his teammates. Apparently, the team had an ugly suit trip when it was off to Columbus — something that we’ll definitely need to do more research on — but Hart has only a handful of suits on the regular rotation. 

“I only have three suits,” Hart said. “I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to wear this,’ and I show up to the plane and everyone was like, ‘That’s the suit you wear all of the time.’

“I was like, ‘Wow, what do you want from me? You guys hate it anyways.’” 

Of course, it’s all in good fun … at least we hope. 

And soon enough, his buddies crashed the chat. About 75 percent through the stream, Nolan Patrick joined the party and started to have some fun in the comment section.  It wasn’t long before the captain Claude Giroux tuned in as well, coaching the young goalie of how to get to his end point when talking in an interview. Always looking out for the kiddo. Former teammate Dale Weise even joined the chat party, so naturally him and Patrick were joking around. 



It’s safe to say these guys certainly miss seeing each other daily. Hopefully we’ll get more live streams in the near future. 

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