The Flyers' depth and prospects on the blue line make up an organizational strength.
In this one instance, that organizational strength probably didn't help the Flyers.
Wyatt Kalynuk, a prospect the Flyers lost exclusive rights to last month, will sign with the Blackhawks, a source confirmed Monday night.
The Athletic's Mark Lazerus first reported the news.
The 23-year-old defenseman is a skilled skater and puck mover out of Wisconsin. Kalynuk was a 2017 seventh-round draft pick of the Flyers, when Ron Hextall was general manager and Chris Pryor was director of player personnel. In three years with the Badgers, the 6-foot-1, 189-pound Kalynuk developed into an offensive-minded, push-the-envelope blueliner.
"He’s got special offensive ability that other defensemen don’t have," Wisconsin head coach Tony Granato said in March. "He’s confident, his skating ability allows him to be able to have opportunities offensively that other players won’t have and he can beat the first forechecker.
“He was our go-to offensive defenseman, he got the most minutes on the power play, he was the guy we wanted the puck to go through. He’s an elite offensive defenseman that has the ability to run a power play. We asked a lot of him."
Wyatt Kalynuk against Joel Farabee, 2018 development camp (for purpose of a story). pic.twitter.com/vVXGUM1Q6m— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) March 22, 2020
The Flyers are pretty deep and young on the blue line, which we noted would likely factor into Kalynuk's decision. Ivan Provorov, Travis Sanheim, Philippe Myers, Robert Hagg and Mark Friedman are all 25 years old or younger. And then there are prospects Egor Zamula, Wyatte Wylie and Linus Hogberg, all three of whom are turning pro in 2020-21, while 2019 first-round pick Cam York isn't far behind.
The Flyers certainly were open to signing Kalynuk; they didn't want to lose him as he has grown into a defenseman with NHL potential, a prospect that suits their style at the position. But he was an older seventh-round pick who developed and earned himself options at the pro level. The Flyers were an option with noticeable depth at Kalynuk's position.
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