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Flyers take a Jett in the first round with Luchanko pick

Maybe it was the glitzy Las Vegas atmosphere, or maybe it was just what he and his scouts have seen and heard from prospect Jett Luchanko. But Flyers general manager Danny Briere’s selection Friday night of the speedy somewhat physical junior hockey center was looked upon by some as a bit of a gamble.

For starters, surprise selections early let a few top prospects drift down to the No. 12 spot, where the Flyers were scheduled to pick. But Briere felt it best to trade down, moving one spot to lucky 13 while taking in a third-round pick in the 2025 draft from the Minnesota Wild for his trouble.

With that No. 13 pick, Briere took a while before finally giving the nod to Luchanko, which the club announced in grand style. Since the event was held in Vegas, and famed boxing announcer Michael Buffer is a Philadelphia native, well, who better to announce to the world that the Flyers were indeed ready to rumble.

“It’s a great organization and I wouldn’t want to be selected anywhere else,” Luchanko said. “It’s just an honor.”

Of course, it’ll be a while before Luchanko will step in the NHL ring. He was a middling-ranked North American skater (No. 20) by the Central Scouting Bureau. But he did score 20 goals and assisted on 54 for Guelph, leading the club while flashing plus-speed on his skates and gaining a reputation for physical play.

“It’s probably my strongest asset,” he said. “It’s something I’ve always worked on, always kind of had to my advantage. I think it’s kind of one of the things I use to create space for myself and my teammates.”

That represented a vast upgrade from Luchanko’s first year with the OHL club (5 goals, 14 points). But while his playmaking skills are top-notch, his shooting isn’t. He doesn’t turn 18 until August, so there’s plenty of time to improve that.

Reportedly, the Flyers had spent at least a couple of days trying to trade up rather than back. Briere was said to be targeting Columbus’ fourth overall pick, but nothing came of it. The Blue Jackets were reportedly demanding both first round picks the Flyers owned, another future top pick plus a position player, to move all the way to No. 4.

The Flyers were due to pick at No. 32 overall, a pick gained in the Claude Giroux trade to Florida a couple of years ago. But they swapped it with Edmonton for a 2025 or 2026 conditional first-round pick.

Source: Berkshire mont

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