CHICAGO — As expected, the Flyers went heavy on forwards in the two-day NHL draft at the United Center.
When it ended Saturday, they had selected nine players: seven forwards (three centers, three left wingers, and a right winger), a defenseman, and a goalie.
Here is a look at their choices:
Center Nolan Patrick, first round (No. 2 overall): The 6-foot-2, 199-pound Patrick was the consensus No. 1 pick until Nico Hischier’s emergence this season. A terrific passer and scorer, he should be a No. 1 center down the road.
Center Morgan Frost, first round (27th overall): The Flyers believe the 5-11, 170-pounder’s speed and off-the-chart hockey IQ will make him a dependable NHL player some day. He was acquired as part of the Brayden Schenn deal with St. Louis.
Left winger Isaac Ratcliffe, second round (35th overall): He’s big (6-6, 200), rangy, and creates havoc in front of the net. “Born to be a Flyer,” said Bob McKenzie, draft expert with TSN in Canada.
Goalie Kirill Ustimenko third round (80th overall): Maybe he’ll channel Sergei Bobrovsky? The Flyers can only hope. The 6–3, 179-pound Ustimenko was ranked fifth among European goalies by the NHL’s Central Scouting.
Left winger Matthew Strome, fourth round (106th overall): A bruising player who was projected to be selected much earlier, Strome scored 34 goals in the OHL last year but needs to improve his skating. Strome’s brothers, Dylan and Ryan, play in the NHL.
Right winger Maksim Sushko, fourth round (107th overall): Born in Belarus, the 6-0, 185-pounder said he models his game after Tampa Bay star Nikita Kucherov. Yeah, the Flyers hope he turns into him. Sushko scored 17 goals in 54 games with Owen Sound in the OHL last season.
Left winger Noah Cates, fifth round (137th overall): A Minnesota high school star who had 20 goals in 25 games last season, he also collected seven points in 11 USHL games. The 6-0, 165-pound Cates has committed to the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
Center Olle Lycksell, sixth round (168th overall): He has put up good offensive numbers in Sweden, and GM Ron Hextall called him a “hard worker who understands the game and has good hockey sense.”
Defenseman Wyatt Kalynuk (seventh round, (196th overall): A fleet skater with good mobility and puck skills, the 6-1, 174-pounder had a solid USHL season, and he will attend the University of Wisconsin. “My sister might have grown up with his dad, so you guys can write that we only drafted him from a link from way back,” Hextall cracked.