Flyers’ defensive pipeline is a major selling point for players

Kyle Phillippi: Make Ivan Provorov Flyers’ new alternate captain

There’s no doubt that the Flyers prospect pool is as loaded as it has ever been, and that especially rings true on the defensive end of things.

The overwhelming amount of talent on the blue line, from Shayne Gostisbehere and Ivan Provorov at the highest level to guys nipping at the big club like Sam Morin, Travis Sanheim and Robert Hagg, has gained a ton of attention on a national level.

It’s also striking a chord with draft prospects and likely, players on the open market.

“I think the Flyers have a really good team,” said first round pick Nolan Patrick. “If you look at their D core coming up, they’ve got some unbelievable prospects, so I think in a couple of years, they’re going to be a really good team, or even this year coming up. I think they’ve got all the tools to do that.”

It’s a beautiful thing what general manager Ron Hextall has done in building up the team from the back end to the front, and that’s including between the pipes. The Flyers have a wealth of talent coming up through the system in the net, which should result in this team having a very good overall defense for a very long time starting in another year or two.

The list of defenseman mentioned above didn’t even including other top prospects like Phil Myers or Mark Friedman.

This is why the Flyers will soon, if not already, be a place where free agents want to come not just because of the fans or the history, but because there’s a chance to be a part of something special.

Going back to the Flyers No. 2 pick on Friday, Patrick is also very familiar with the team’s brightest youngster, Provorov. The two both came from the Brandon Wheat Kings.

“He’s going to be a star,” Patrick said. “He’s an unbelievable player and he’s got everything it takes to be a star NHL player in my mind.”

It’s clear that Hextall and his scouting team’s diligence and patience with its prospects have created a pipeline that has become very appealing to other young players.

As soon as this team is ready to compete at the highest level, it’s more than likely that players around the league who are looking for new teams will have the Flyers high on their list as a desired destination.

And that’s all because of the major selling point that Hextall has created in his defensive prospect pool.