Ronnie Attard

Future Flyers Report: Bobby on the Brink of a breakout and a check-in on the rest of the Flyers' 2019 draft class

Future Flyers Report: Bobby on the Brink of a breakout and a check-in on the rest of the Flyers' 2019 draft class

Another week of hockey has come and gone, so it must be time for another Future Flyers Report. This week, we will be taking a look at the team’s most recent draft class to see how it has been performing so far this season. 

Did Fletcher make the right decision at the draft? 

There has been a lot up for debate when it comes to evaluating how the Flyers did in the most recent NHL draft. The biggest controversy being Chuck Fletcher not drafting the highly-anticipated Cole Caufield with the 11th overall pick — but traded the pick instead. With that, the Flyers selected Cam York with the No. 14 pick and gained an extra pick in the second round.

That pick came into play quickly when the Flyers traded their 45th and 65th selections for the 34th overall pick. There, they drafted Bobby Brink.

So, while Caufield would have been a great addition to the talented prospect pool the Flyers currently have, adding both a skilled defenseman and a talented winger with a snipe-shot of his own is a prime example of a win-win scenario.

Early last week, both York and Brink were named to the U.S. national junior team preliminary roster.

Cam York 

York and Michigan were off this past week and won’t play again until Dec. 30, but through 14 games, York has tallied eight points (four goals, four assists) in his rookie year. The 18-year-old has become a huge asset for his team and is setting himself up to have a long, solid career in the pros if he keeps performing at this rate. 

Bobby Brink

Now, let’s take a look at that 34th overall pick with the great hockey name. 

While Brink went without a point last week against Arizona State, he got things rolling again when Denver swept Colorado College with a two-point (one goal, one assist) weekend. The highlight of the weekend had to go to this beauty of a backhanded shot that he had Saturday night. 

Mason Millman

Millman did not play this weekend, as he was serving the rest of his suspension from this hit on Dec. 6 when he and the Saginaw Spirit faced the Sarina Sting. He will be able to return Dec. 19.

Through the 28 games he has played so far this season, he has 15 points (six goals, nine assists), which gives him the second-most points by a defenseman on the team — trailing only Ilya Solovyov, who has 27 points (three goals, 24 assists).

Ronnie Attard

It’s an unfortunate situation for Attard, who hasn’t played with his team, the Western Michigan Broncos, in over a month because of an injury. Though he hasn't played since Nov. 9, Attard does have five points through the 10 games he was a part of. His most highlight-worthy game of the season so far came against Colorado College, when he had a three-point game (two goals, one assist). 

Egor Serdyuk

Serdyuk had a solid showing this weekend with the Victoriaville Tigres in the QMJHL, having an assist in both games. After having a fiery start to the season, registering seven points (six goals, one assist) in the first four games, things have slowed down significantly for the 18-year-old. Aside from that first stretch of games, this past weekend was only the second time he had points in consecutive games.

Roddy Ross

Ross has had an average season so far, having a 9-12-2-1 record through 24 games played. His best performance of the week came on Dec. 13, when the sixth-round pick allowed only a single goal on 22 shots and had a .955 save percentage.

Bryce Brodzinski

Making the transition from league to league is a big jump for many and most times than not it’s difficult to instantly become impactful for their new team. This seems to be the case with Minnesota’s Brodzinski. While in his senior year of high school he received numerous accolades for his work, it’s taking some time to get used to the pace of the game at a college level. Through the 18 games he has played this season, he’s managed only five points (one goal, four assists).

There’s no need to panic, though, as Brodzinski was the perfect move in the seventh round of the draft. 

Overall?

As time continues to move forward after the draft, it seems as though these picks are growing on many. While there will always be a few who question the "what if" in Caufield, it’s important to focus on knowing what the organization walked away with instead. The past cannot be changed — and looking ahead, there are too many promising names in the pipeline to be caught up in such things.

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A 30-goal defenseman? Flyers prospect Ronnie Attard is a 'double whammy' to watch

zack_hill_philadelphia_flyers_ronnie_attard.jpg
Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers

A 30-goal defenseman? Flyers prospect Ronnie Attard is a 'double whammy' to watch

Ronnie Attard is 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds.

He loves the physical nature of the game — playing with a mean streak, delivering hits and standing up for teammates.

"That's something that has been a staple of my game since I was a little kid, something that my dad instilled in me," Attard said in June. "If you're the hardest player to play against out on the ice, people are going to notice you."

What also gets you noticed? Thirty goals by a defenseman. That's what Attard pulled off with the USHL's Tri-City Storm in 2018-19. It turned him into a third-round selection of the Flyers this summer after Attard had been draft eligible twice and never heard his name called. He's a 20-year-old with booming potential.

"I still use that staple of being good defensively," Attard said. "Then I started incorporating my offense, which is a double whammy."

With the Storm, Attard blew up in one year. He went from 15 points and a minus-9 rating through 50 games in 2017-18 to 30 goals, 65 points and a plus-47 mark over 48 games to win 2018-19 USHL Player of the Year.

How in the world did he go from undrafted to double whammy, just like that?

You see where he was a year or two ago to where he is now, his mobility, he's gotten a lot stronger, he's gained a ton of confidence, especially on the offensive side of things. He's always been a competitive kid and a hard-nosed kid, but to see where his overall game has come, it hit you in the face when you went to watch him play.

Obviously, we're not expecting him to score 30 goals a year in the NHL, but that stat you can't hide from, either. You score 30 goals in any league in 48 games, you are doing something right.

- Flyers assistant general manager Brent Flahr

Strength and confidence can do wonders for a young player. Attard brewed the combination by working out at Western Michigan with former NHL head coach Andy Murray and the Broncos.

"Coach Murray called me up last summer and wanted me to be a part of their strength program and get on the ice there," Attard said. "That's been the biggest thing — being on the ice with his players, seeing what they do and they taught me a lot.

"I went back to my junior team and had a bunch of confidence."

Western Michigan will be a team to keep an eye on for Flyers fans in 2019-20. Attard is entering his freshman year for the Broncos, while fellow Flyers prospect Wade Allison will be a senior winger with something to prove.

"I know him pretty well, I've been kind of following in his footsteps," Attard said of Allison. "He played at Tri-City and then went to Western, and I did the same thing. We know a lot of mutual people and we get along really well.

"He gave me the rundown and how things are handled there. It's another top-notch organization, Andy Murray's been around the game a long time, so hoping to learn a lot from him."

Despite his big shot and 30-goal breakout season, Attard knows he's far from a finished product.

"My skating and just my consistency," Attard said of the areas in which he wants to improve. "There are some nights where I'm the best player out on the ice and there are other nights where I'm just kind of irrelevant. I want to be able to bring that every night, just knowing what it takes to get my game at that 100 percent level.

"I just want to keep getting better, develop my footwork, my consistency level, even my shot has a little work to be put into it. Once I think I can come to this level and succeed and be an impact and help these guys out, that's when I'm going to make the jump."

Attard turned heads with the jump he made last season.

How fast could he tackle college?

"He's going to a Western Michigan program with quality coaching," Flahr said. "He should be an interesting watch here over the next couple of years."

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