Every organization in the NHL has “the talk.” In the hockey world, “the talk” is a double-edged sword. Do you take a gamble and ship off a proven veteran or a rising star to climb the draft board? Or do you sit where you are in the draft and take the best option on the board when your pick comes around? If an organization goes with the latter, they risk missing out on a can’t-miss prospect.
This draft features a few can’t miss prospects, none more so than defenseman Seth Jones. Being that the Flyers are a very young team and just a few pieces away from making some serious noise, is now the time for Paul Holmgren to orchestrate a monumental deal and move up in the draft for Colorado’s No. 1 pick?
For starters, who even knows if the Avalanche are seriously considering listening to offers for their top pick, but if they are, the Flyers definitely have some movable pieces.
Offensively, the Flyers can afford to trade either Brayden Schenn or Sean Couturier. Despite their high ceiling, they can be replaced. Schenn, of course, would be the easier of the two to sacrifice because of Couturier’s defensive prowess. With Scott Laughton looking to crack the lineup next year and veteran forwards on the open market this offseason such as Jarome Iglina, Alex Burrows and Valtteri Filppula, incorporating a player like Schenn or Couturier as the centerpiece of a blockbuster deal would be a smart move.
Still, though, the Flyers would need to put more together in the package if they want to persuade Colorado of passing up the chance to pick the consensus No. 1 player in the entry draft.
Philadelphia could put a together a deal involving Schenn, the No. 11 overall pick and Andrej Meszaros. Colorado would receive a promising forward who will be 22 at the start of next season and a veteran defenseman who’s more than reliable when healthy. Despite moving back to the No. 11 spot on the board, the Avalanche could still theoretically wind up taking an impressive prospect like defensemen Rasmus Ristolainen or Darnell Nurse. If there ever was a time to move down in a draft, this is the year. The group of prospects in the 2013 draft are, arguably, the best batch in recent memory.
Yet, the Flyers may be hesitant to involve Schenn in a draft day deal, or any trade this offseason for that matter, because of the chemistry between him and brother, Luke. There could be a major ripple effect in the locker room if Luke is removed from Brayden one year after coming to Philadelphia to play alongside him.
Another proposal Philadelphia could make is one involving Couturier. In this package, the Flyers would have the 20-year old as the centerpiece along with the No. 11 pick and Meszaros. With this deal, though, Colorado may demand Philadelphia to include another scoring threat. Couturier is coming off a four goal season and showed hesitancy in the offensive end. To meet their request, the Flyers could include a player like center Matt Read.
Philadelphia fans would probably scowl the Flyers brass for shipping away two of the team’s top centermen, but in order to get the No. 1 pick, teams have to overpay. That’s just how it works. While it’s a long shot Philadelphia can convince Colorado to hand over the right to select Seth Jones (Denver native). It is definitely worth nothing that the Flyers have the pieces to pull off a colossal deal.
Your move, Paul Holmgren.