After trading Scott Hartnell and re-signing Brayden Schenn on Monday, general manager Ron Hextall now turns his attention to the NHL Draft on Friday. Hextall 'strongly hinted' that the Flyers are looking to trade up in the draft and he also said there is a dropoff after the top ten prospects.
Hextall said at his introductory press conference that he holds young players and draft picks in high regard. A move for a top pick in the draft would be right along with Hextall's thinking even though it might take a number of draft picks and/or young players to move up to a top selection. The Edmonton Oilers insiders expect the Flyers to trade up to No. 1 overall.
Hextall is supposedly high on a number of players, including South Jersey's defensemen Anthony DeAngelo. If the Flyers make a move with the Florida Panthers for the top selection, defenseman Aaron Ekblad will get a long look.
Ekblad is expected to be a No. 1 defenseman for a long time and is widely considered as a player who could step in and contribute right away similar to what Seth Jones did this past season with the Nashville Predators. Standing at 6'4", 216 lbs., Ekblad is only the second player ever to be granted exceptional status in the OHL, the first was John Tavares. He's in good company.
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