It has been reported that the Devils, those bastards, are leaning towards taking Nico Hischier with the number one overall pick tonight. I think most Flyers fans, myself included, have come around on wanting Nico, the faster, more skilled, scoring center, to fall to the Flyers over Nolan Patrick, the bigger, more developed (more boring) two-way center with a string of recent injury concerns.
For the better part of a year Patrick was thought to be the number one pick in what most believe to be a two-player draft. But Nico came on strong last season and seems to have overtaken Patrick on many draft boards, partly due to Nico’s ascendance and seemingly superior skill, but also because of Patrick’s injuries. He had a shoulder injury in 2013-2014, an “upper-body injury” originally reported to be a “lower-body injury” in 2014-2015, a sports hernia at the end of 2015-2016 which carried over into last season and led to him missing a large chunk of time and then the last game of the year and playoffs.
A little birdie tells me that the Flyers are “extremely concerned” about Patrick’s injury history and really want Nico to fall to them at number two. No one knows what the Devils are going to do, but recent reports have them taking Nico. That possibility might have led to the loosely-sourced report that the Flyers could trade back and send the number two pick to Vegas in exchange for what could perhaps be a slew of draft picks Vegas obtains through expansion draft agreements to avoid certain unprotected players. There also seems to be some late conjecture that the Devils could trade back and take a defenseman, or just take one outright, leaving the Flyers to choose between Nolan or Nico (I think they’d take Nico).
Anyway, if the Devils stay put and take Nico, the Flyers should take Patrick, and they probably will, even if they do have concerns about his injuries. Anything else would be overthinking it. DON’T DO THAT, RON.
In case you’re wondering, the little birdie is the same person who told me the Flyers were hiring Dave Hakstol two days before anyone in Philly had ever even heard his name.