Philadelphia Flyers’ 2019 Draft Catchup

It’s hard to imagine that every selection in the NHL Draft from now on will be born within the 2000s. As we’ve seen in the past decade, the league has gone younger as teams are preparing for draft day. The Philadelphia Flyers are no different, making seven selections in the 2019 Draft consisting of three defensemen, three forwards, and a goaltender. Let’s catch up on the Flyers’ recent draft class.

1st Round: Cam York

With the 14th-overall pick in the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft, the Flyers selected defenseman Cameron York from Anaheim Hills, California. The US-born defenseman had been on Flyers’ general manager Chuck Fletcher’s radar way before the draft from his play with the Under-18 United States National Team (USNT) last year.

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As a member of a team loaded with talent, who established a record-setting 17 US players selected throughout the 2019 draft, York did not go unnoticed. While his physical attributes are already substantial — 5-foot-11, 175 pounds — he still has plenty more room to grow at just 19 years old. 

Cam York Flyers Draft
Cam York, Philadelphia Flyers, 2019 NHL Draft (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers

In terms of playing style, reports on York entail a very high hockey IQ and a solid defensive game with offensive flashes. Strong, smooth skating ability and poise also bodes well for him when it comes to regaining pucks in his own end. He’s never afraid to jump up in the play in order to create scoring chances, but defending is priority number one for York.

However, despite decent size, assertion in a more physical role is one area he lacks. A muscle-building regime will prime the young defender to be NHL-ready. In the meantime, York is currently enrolled at the University of Michigan playing at the collegiate level.

2nd Round: Bobby Brink

With the 34th-overall pick in the second round of the 2019 NHL Draft, the Flyers selected right winger Bobby Brink from Excelsior, Minnesota. Another top-tier prospect who scouts and analysts alike consider a steal for the Flyers, Brink is known for his playing time spent with York with the USNTDP as well as the Sioux City Musketeers out of the United States Hockey League (USHL).

Among other things, the 17-year-old has a knack for scoring as much as making plays despite his small stature. In a way, his 5-foot-8, 165-pound framework to his advantage, being a slippery threat anywhere in the offensive zone.

Bobby Brink of the Sioux City Musketeers
Bobby Brink of the Sioux City Musketeers (Hickling Images)

According to his resume, elite stick-handling and high competitiveness are what make him stand out on the brink of stardom. Brink is now on scholarship playing college hockey at the University of Denver.

3rd Round: Ronnie Attard

With the 72nd-overall pick in the third round of the 2019 NHL Draft, the Flyers selected defenseman Ronnie Attard from White Lake, Michigan. Attard was the third-straight American taken for the Flyers, and for good reason. The massive defender weighing in at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds is already a force to be reckoned with.

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Attard was a standout player in the USHL as captain of the Tri-City Storm for the 2018-19 season as he was named Player of the Year as well as Defenseman of the Year. He holds the record for most goals among defensemen in a single season in the USHL (30). 

Albeit a late bloomer at 21 years old, that doesn’t take away from his ability as a leader nor overshadows his draft stock. He also possesses a rough and tough element to his game, making him a well-rounded pickup for the orange and black. Attard is now enrolled at Western Michigan University with an abundance of promise.

4th Round: Mason Millman

With the 103rd-overall pick in the fourth round of the 2019 NHL Draft, the Flyers selected defenseman Mason Millman from London, Ontario. The team scooped up another blueliner to add to their arsenal who is known for his play out of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) as a member of the Saginaw Spirit. The 18-year-old entered his second full season with the Spirit this year and has shown an uptick in point production for his club.

Stats aside, strengths to his game list him as a confident skater whose defensive awareness and puck handling as a stay-at-home defenseman could eventually expand to a more offensive role with time. One knock on Millman is he has to improve on muscle mass despite dimensions of 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, but the same assessment usually applies to every young draft pick.

6th Round: Egor Serdyuk

With the 165th-overall pick in the sixth round of the 2019 NHL Draft, the Flyers selected right winger Egor Serdyuk from Novosibirsk, Russia. Serdyuk has come over from his homeland to play for the Victoriaville Tigres in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) and hasn’t looked back since. During the 2018-19 season with the Tigers, the winger made his presence known when he led all rookies in scoring (25 goals and 40 assists for 65 point) and earned a spot on the QMJHL all-rookie team. 

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Reports on the 18-year-old label him a lethal shooter with adept hands whose priority is to score at will. Lower-body strength is another attribute to the 5-foot-11, 165-pounder’s skillset. All that being said, his offensive prowess doesn’t compensate for his absence in the two-way player department. Nonetheless, Serdyuk is certainly a sneaky pick to keep an eye on.

6th Round: Roddy Ross

With the 169th-overall pick in the sixth round of the 2019 NHL Draft, the Philadelphia Flyers selected goaltender Roddy Ross from Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan. After being traded from the Seattle Thunderbirds to the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League on April 22 of this year, Ross embarks on a new journey in hopes of leading his team to the playoffs. Before all of this, the netminder split time with the Camrose Kodiaks out of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) before joining the Thunderbirds halfway through the season.

Since then, Ross had held down the fort for the Thunderbirds as their starting goalie. The 19-year-old started in 49 games during the 2019-20 season, logging a 3.09 goals-against average with a .908 save percentage in a high-scoring league.

The read on Ross is his athletic yet raw goaltending will need fine-tuning as he develops. Balance and patience in the net is also a work in progress for the capable backstop, but that doesn’t take away from his never-give-up effort during mass scrums in front of the cage. Let’s hope the determined late-round pick makes a case for himself in the future.

7th Round: Bryce Brodzinski

With the 196th-overall pick in the seventh round of the 2019 NHL Draft, the Philadelphia Flyers selected right winger Bryce Brodzinski from Blaine, Minnesota. The final Flyers pick in this year’s draft was the Mr. Hockey Award recipient as the best all-around high school player in the State of Hockey. After graduating in 2019, he joined the Omaha Lancers out of the USHL where he played 19 games and nearly averaged a point per game. 

After a cup of coffee with Omaha, the husky 196-pound Brodzinski earned a scholarship and returned home to play for the Gophers at the University of Minnesota where he is today. Great hand-eye and scoring capacity are what stood out in the 6-foot playmaker. 

Home cooking sprinkled with a little overseas spice was the recipe for the Flyers’ draft in 2019. Chuck Fletcher made it clear to put the USA on full display as a theme to the club’s impressive draft model. Stacked with solid picks in every round that bring plenty of upside and legit potential, it is now the team’s responsibility to see that their investments come to fruition through coaching and development. We could easily see half of this draft class wearing orange and black within the next five years.