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Flyers’ Danny Briere keeps building for future on second Draft day

LAS VEGAS — After making two trades involving both his first-round picks in Friday’s opening round, Flyers general manager Danny Briere came back and made two more noteworthy transactions on the concluding day of the 2024 NHL Draft at The Sphere.

First, he picked up a second second-round pick with the No. 59 selection, then made another move to acquire the No. 107 choice because he did not have a pick in the third round.

Both Saturday deals were a bit complex.

After moving down a spot by sending their No. 12 pick to Minnesota on Friday (in which they acquired the Wild’s 2025 third-round pick), the Flyers used that No. 13 spot plus their third-round pick (77th overall) in a deal with the Nashville Predators for the No. 59 slot, which they used to take center Spencer Gill.

Later, Briere made another swap, sending picks No. 150 and 177 to Calgary and then using the No. 107 option for Finnish forward Heikki Ruohonen.

Clearly, the Flyers were trying to improve their standing in the draft and acquired players they think will fit into their rebuilding plan.

About the only thing that went according to plan in the early rounds was the selection at No. 51 of Finnish center Jack Berglund, son of former NHL defenseman Christian Berglund, who played 86 career games with New Jersey and Florida.

The Flyers completed their day by taking USHL standout Noah Powell at No. 148; CKSA (Russia) forward Ilya Pautov at No. 173 and Minnesota high school defenseman Austin Moline at No. 205.

Assistant general manager Brent Flahr indicated the Flyers checked off most things on their shopping list, starting with the selection of Jett Luchanko at No. 13 on Friday night.

“He’s a guy who really rocketed up our charts,” Flahr said. “He’s an extremely high character kid, very driven. The details to his game are high end. He’s a guy we’re really excited about.”

The Flyers also traded away their other first-round pick late Friday night, at No. 32, sending that to Edmonton in exchange for the Oilers’ first-round pick in either 2025 or 2026. General manager Danny Briere was high on what the club had accomplished in moving to take Luchanko.

“He’s a center, the way he plays, the way he works, the way he’s a complete player,” Briere said. “He’s still very young and he played on an OHL team. He got better and better as the season went on. He’s just starting to tap his potential. Taking a center was an important piece for us.”

As for Berglund, there’s potential to play in the NHL at some point as well.

“Great hockey sense, very smart,” Flahr said. “Footspeed will have to come but he’s a big power center, really strong on the puck down low. He can kill penalties, win faceoffs. He’s taken huge strides to where he was a year ago.”

Berglund has those hockey genetics and father-son talent has shown positive results down the line in the NHL.

“I’m pretty smart,” he said with all modesty. “All my game is coming from my head, really. I’m a smaller player on the ice. I protect the puck. I always compete and try to help the team win.”

Some fatherly advice should help as well.

“He just told me to enjoy this,” the younger Berglund said. “It’s really great to have his support here. I’m really happy to have him here by my side. He’s helped me from childhood.”

Berglund said he’s headed back to Sweden with hopes of getting in top shape and cracking one of the Swedish Hockey League’s adult team lineups.

Gill needs to get bigger and stronger but there’s still time to see advances in height and weight.

“He has a ways to go physically,” Flahr said. “But he’s another player who moved up our charts quickly. He retrieves pucks well, can skate, defends, too.”

Gill met with Flyer officials before the draft and had a feeling he might be headed to Philadelphia.

“I thought I had good conversations with them all throughout the season,” he said. “Met with them earlier this week so I had a good feeling about it. Obviously the meeting went really well. I kind of had a good feeling about it.”

Ruohonen, Powell, Pautov and Moline also have shown promise.

“(Ruohonen) is a big strong center, can really shoot the puck,” Flahr said. “He’s taking a different path, (eventually) playing for Harvard. Happy to get him where we did.”








Source: Berkshire mont

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