Flyers

2017 NHL draft Day 2: Tracking all of the Flyers' picks

2017 NHL draft Day 2: Tracking all of the Flyers' picks

The Flyers finished Day 1 of the NHL draft with a trade and opened Day 2 in the same fashion.

In the second round Saturday, Ron Hextall and company sent the 44th, 75th and 108th selections to the Coyotes in exchange for the 35th overall pick to take left winger Isaac Ratcliffe.

The Flyers, who came into the day with 10 picks from Rounds 2-7, ended up making seven. They also traded their final spot — 199th overall — to the Canadiens in exchange for a seventh-round pick in 2018. At No. 199, Montreal took goalie Cayden Primeau, the son of former Flyers captain Keith Primeau.

So, after grabbing Nolan Patrick and Morgan Frost on Friday, here's how the Flyers made out on Day 2 to wrap things up:

Second round

No. 35: Isaac Ratcliffe, LW, 6-6/200, Guelph (OHL)
Ratcliffe, from London, Ontario, is a big boy that scored 28 goals with the Storm last season, his second in junior. The 18-year-old also tallied 26 assists to finish with 54 points.

The lefty shot notched two goals in five games for Team Canada at the 2016 Under-18 World Junior Championship and is a left winger that can also play the right side.

Per NHL.com, Ratcliffe models his game after Rangers forward Rick Nash, a six-time All-Star who is also a left winger and 6-foot-4, 212 pounds.

Ratcliffe, according to NHL Central Scouting, is a "big, strong power forward who demonstrates good hockey intelligence and a soft touch around the net — possesses a multi-dimensional skill set where he can make plays on the rush and also use his size, strength and reach to be a threat on the cycle."

Some thought Ratcliffe would have been drafted much higher.

"In the next one to two years, you're going to see that progress and start to see how big a player I can be and that I can be one of the top players in this draft with my size, with my talent," Ratcliffe said Saturday (see story). "I can definitely be a player who's going to be a force in the future."

Third round

No. 80: Kirill Ustimenko, G, 6-3/187, MHK Dynamo St. Petersburg (MHL)
Hextall and the Flyers had hoped to snag one goalie and did just that in the third round.

Ustimenko had a 1.74 goals-against average and .938 save percentage in 27 games last season for MHK Dynamo St. Petersburg.

"We did not chase him," Hextall said (see story). "We were surprised he fell there. We actually talked about him much earlier. Our guys really liked him and our comfort level was better than other teams."

The Russian is 18 years old and was born in Belarus. He joins the Flyers' promising collection of goalie prospects, featuring Carter Hart and Felix Sandstrom, as well as Anthony Stolarz and Alex Lyon — both restricted free agents.

Fourth round

No. 106: Matthew Strome, LW, 6-3/207, Hamilton (OHL)
Strome comes with rich hockey bloodlines as his brothers, Ryan and Dylan, were both top-five draft picks.

The 18-year-old led the Bulldogs with 34 goals and 62 points in 66 games last season. Known for his scoring ability with skilled hands, Strome was a potential second-rounder but slipped to the fourth round. That's possibly because of the need to improve his skating, which is considered a weakness.

However, the Flyers wanted to put an emphasis on wingers this draft and could have a steal in Strome at this late of a pick. The Canadian likes to focus on his two-way game while being strong with the puck.

No. 107: Maksim Sushko, RW, 5-11/181, Owen Sound (OHL)
One pick later, another winger.

Like Ustimenko, Sushko also hails from Belarus. This past season was his first at the junior level, where he registered 32 points (17 goals, 15 assists) and a plus-10 rating in 54 games for the Attack. He then tacked on 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in 17 playoff games.

Some reports say Sushko brings good speed and playmaking potential, but his work ethic and engagement without the puck can be better.

Per NHL.com, the 18-year-old's childhood hockey idol was Red Wings great Pavel Datsyuk.

Fifth round

No. 137: Noah Cates, LW, 6-0/165, Stillwater Area High School (Minn.)
Cates, 18, delivered 65 points (20 goals, 45 assists) at Stillwater last season, and also played 11 games for the USHL's Omaha Lancers, whom he's expected to report to in 2017-18.

Cates is a 2018-19 University of Minnesota-Duluth commit.

Sixth round

No. 168: Olle Lycksell, C, 5-10/163, Linkoping (Sweden-Jr.)
Lycksell is only 17 years old and had nine points (four goals and five assists) over 29 games in the Super Elite League this past season.

Seventh round

No. 196: Wyatt Kalynuk, D, 6-2/186, Bloomington (USHL)
Kalynuk was the only defenseman taken by the Flyers. He's played the last two seasons for the USHL's Bloomington Thunder, compiling 55 points in 119 games.

Kalynuk, who is 20 years old, is a 2017-18 University of Wisconsin commit.

Flyers re-sign restricted free agent Anthony Stolarz

Flyers re-sign restricted free agent Anthony Stolarz

General manager Ron Hextall is nearly finished wrapping up contracts for his restricted free agents.

And his goalie picture is now clear for 2018-19.

The Flyers on Wednesday re-signed netminder Anthony Stolarz to a one-year, two-way contract. The deal is worth $761,250, according to a report by hockey writer John Hoven.

With Stolarz back, defenseman Robert Hagg remains the Flyers' lone restricted free agent.

Stolarz, a 2012 second-round pick, underwent a nightmarish 2017-18 season just a year after he made his NHL debut and performed well in seven games with the Flyers. The 24-year-old tore the meniscus in his left knee during early September, the same injury he suffered at the end of 2016-17 with AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.

He played in just one AHL game and three ECHL contests as a result. In 2016-17, he made his way to the big club and put up a 2.07 goals-against average and .928 save percentage in a small sample. Then the injury occurred with the Phantoms and it's been an uphill battle ever since for the 6-foot-6, 210-pounder.

Stolarz will have his work cut out for him — if he hasn't already — as playing time will be earned at Lehigh Valley with Alex Lyon back in the fold and Carter Hart joining them.

"It's just competition. No one is going to go in there and hand you a job, so you have to earn it,” Stolarz said in June after an on-ice workout at Flyers Skate Zone. "I think the thing for me is to prove I'm healthy. I don't think I've skated since the end of January. I had the one flare up before one of my games and it had nothing to do with my knee injury. It was a separate injury. I think the biggest thing is proving I'm healthy and going out there and working to prove I'm still a high-caliber goalie."

The Flyers' goaltending tandem is set with Brian Elliott and Michal Neuvirth, both of whom are in the final year of their contracts. Things obviously can change this offseason, as Neuvirth and Stolarz seemed like realistic trade candidates.

But as of now, it's Elliott and Neuvirth with the younger trio pushing and competing.

"I'd rather have too many goalies than too few," Hextall said earlier this month. "If something makes sense and we can make something happen, we'd at least look at it. We saw it last year. All of a sudden, a couple goalies go down and you're scrambling for goalies. If we start with five, we start with five. Not a perfect situation, but again, I'd rather start with five than with three."

More on the Flyers' goalies

• Following 'gloomy' time, what's next for Elliott?

• Why Neuvirth's NHL career hinges on this offseason

• Hart says so long to Twitter, hello to pro life

• No arbitration needed for Flyers and Lyon

• Sandstrom hungry to prove he's not the 'other' goalie

Former Flyers goalie Ray Emery dies at 35

Former Flyers goalie Ray Emery dies at 35

Former Flyers goaltender Ray Emery died Sunday morning. First responders pulled his body out of Hamilton Harbour, where he had been swimming with friends. An investigation into the cause of death is still ongoing. 

Emery was 35.

According to local authorities, Emery was checking out a friend’s boat docked at Royal Hamilton Yacht Club when the group he was with decided to jump in the water around 6:30 a.m. Emery’s body never surfaced and was eventually recovered around 2:50 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Hamilton police say Emery’s body was recovered in close proximity to where he was last seen.

Emery was last seen publicly with a handful of his former teammates Saturday night as the goaltender participated in Zac Rinaldo’s charity hockey game in Hamilton. Emery can be seen standing during the playing of “O Canada.”

"The Philadelphia Flyers are stunned and extremely saddened to hear of the tragic passing of former Flyers goaltender Ray Emery," president Paul Holmgren said in a statement from the team. "Ray was an outstanding teammate and an extremely gifted goaltender. He had exceptional athleticism, was a fierce competitor and battled in every game he played with the Flyers.

"His performances through the 2009-10 season were a very big part of the team's success in making the playoffs and reaching the Stanley Cup Final. Ray's talent, work ethic and determination helped him enjoy a successful 11-year NHL career. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time."

Several of Emery’s former teammates over the years offered their condolences via Twitter after learning of the tragedy.

Former Flyer Daniel Carcillo shared the he was crushed by the news (NSFW).

Jakub Voracek also shared his condolences (NSFW).

Emery joined the Flyers in June 2009 on a one-year contract, shutting out the Carolina Hurricanes 2-0 in his Flyers debut. The goaltender’s first stint in Philadelphia was cut short when he suffered a muscle tear in his abdomen in December missing the remainder of the season. Emery was later diagnosed with avascular necrosis — a degenerative condition to the bone tissue in his hip.

After undergoing successful surgery, Emery eventually joined the Ducks before winning a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2013. Impressively, Emery finished the regular season with a 17-1-0 record. He re-signed with the Flyers that summer as a backup to Steve Mason.

Emery’s most infamous moment in Philadelphia came during an ugly 7-0 loss to the Washington Capitals on November 1, 2013, as the Flyers netminder pummeled Caps goalie Braden Holtby during a line brawl in the early stages of the third period.

Emery faced criminal charges over a handful of off-the-ice incidents and altercations. Most recently, he was arrested for assault with a weapon in 2017 against former fiancé Keshia Chanté. 

Emery played a total of 287 NHL games, 88 with the Flyers.