NHL Draft

‘We had him rated way high' — Flyers snag another goalie in 3rd round

Flyers took Zavragin with 87th overall pick

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Flyers kicked off their Day 2 work at the 2023 NHL draft by picking a pair of goalies.

After trading into the second round to take Canadian netminder Carson Bjarnason, they drafted Russian goalie Egor Zavragin during the third round Thursday. It was their first of two third-round selections.

The 87th overall pick, a 6-foot-2, 187-pounder, was the 12th-ranked European goalie by NHL Central Scouting.

He doesn't turn 18 years old until August.

"Zavragin was there, we had him rated way high," assistant general manager Brent Flahr said. "It was just a no-brainer to take him at that point. [Amateur scout Ken Hoodikoff] was very high on him. It was just value at that point."

Zavragin had a 2.49 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage in 21 games this season for Mamonty Yugry at the Russian junior level.

General manager Danny Briere laughed when asked if the back-to-back goalie picks revolved around any type of uncertainty with Carter Hart's future in Philadelphia.

"No, not at all," he said. "We were afraid that we wouldn't be able to get one of the goaltenders we had high on our list — that's why we moved up for the first one. And then, all of a sudden, someone we had right up there with Bjarnason was still there available. So we felt the upside was just too much to pass up. You never know what can happen and you can never have too many goalies — we saw that a couple years ago with the Flyers."

The Flyers didn't draft a goalie last summer and it's unknown if/when 26-year-old prospect Ivan Fedotov will come to North America.

"Goaltenders take a long time to develop," Flahr said. "Bjarnason, he was a top-rated guy in Canada, so he'll be involved with the Hockey Canada program and world juniors, which is great. Zavragin will be the national team goalie probably in Russia and they do a very good job at developing goalies in Russia. And just because of the rules, we have his rights forever, which is great."

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