Flyers Draft

Flyers draft target Catton has ‘ingredients' to be first-line center

The 18-year-old center had 54 goals and 62 assists in 68 regular-season games for Spokane

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Despite overachieving for the majority of the 2023-24 season, the Flyers still have a rebuilding mindset. The club's decision-makers know there's a need for more talent and that the entry draft remains the best avenue to acquire it.

"The bulk of it still needs to be done through our young guys, mostly through the draft," general manager Danny Briere said in April.

The Flyers will have a good opportunity to augment their future when the 2024 NHL draft arrives June 28-29 at the Sphere in Las Vegas. The first round is Friday at 7 p.m. ET, while Rounds 2-7 are Saturday starting at 11:30 a.m. ET.

Like last summer, the Flyers could have up to 10 picks, including two first-rounders. Barring a trade, they'll make their top overall selection at No. 12. Briere believes the Flyers "can get a very talented player" at that spot.

More: Trade candidates? How many picks? Five Flyers things to know for the 2024 NHL draft

In the first round of the 2023 draft, the Flyers took a swing on Matvei Michkov at No. 7 and grabbed Oliver Bonk at No. 22. They should also have two first-round picks in 2025.

Leading up to the 2024 draft, we're breaking down targets for the Flyers at No. 12.

Next up:

Berkly Catton

Position: Center
Height: 5-foot-10
Weight: 175
Shoots: Left
Team: Spokane Chiefs

Scouting report

As a shifty and sly pivot, Catton put up some of the gaudiest numbers in Canadian major junior hockey this season.

The 18-year-old amassed 116 points (54 goals, 62 assists) in 68 regular-season games for the Chiefs. He delivered seven games of four or more points and 14 multi-goal performances, while his seven shorthanded goals led the WHL.

The way Catton changes direction at full speed but under control makes him a constant threat with the puck. He can score and impact a game in a variety of ways.

Does he have first-line potential at the NHL level?

"He does in the sense that one of his strongest assets is his ability to control the game with his hockey sense," Dan Marr, the vice president of NHL Central Scouting, said a week and a half ago in a phone interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia. "His vision, his anticipation, just the way he sees the ice and reads the play allows him to set up and make plays, execute plays when it's needed. He's just a very, very smart player out there."

Catton is on the smaller side, which will naturally create debate about how his game will fare against pros. He's the eighth-ranked North American skater by NHL Central Scouting and EliteProspects.com considers him the eighth-best prospect in the draft. TSN's Bob McKenzie has Catton at No. 12 overall, while TSN's Craig Button has him at No. 14.

"He's highly skilled and highly intelligent," Marr said, "and those are the ingredients that you want in a top-line centerman."

Berkly Catton
Larry Brunt/Spokane Chiefs

Fit with Flyers

Catton would be a fine fit for the Flyers, who could really use high-end talent, especially down the middle.

Morgan Frost is the only first-round center the Flyers have taken over the past 11 drafts that is currently on their roster. With Catton, the Flyers' future would get a huge lift in scoring upside and a player that could complement Michkov.

While Catton comes with risk because the desired size isn't there, the rebuilding Flyers have wanted to take more swings in the first round. They didn't go the safe route last summer. This summer, if they have a chance at Catton with the 12th overall pick, they'd have to strongly consider taking him.

More targets

Flyers should like Helenius, 'one of the top talents in the draft'

Flyers could have shot at Yakemchuk, a defenseman with 'rare combination'

Flyers draft target Iginla has impressive NHL lineage and 'very high ceiling'

Eiserman, 'the best goal scorer in this draft,' an option for Flyers?

'The full package' Connelly has interesting draft case for Flyers

With 'no real holes to his game,' Jiricek an option for Flyers at No. 12

Is Brandsegg-Nygard close to pro-ready and a possibility for Flyers?

Sennecke, a big winger set to 'explode offensively,' will be on Flyers' radar

Should Boisvert, a future 'impact center,' have Flyers' attention?

'He's a special, special hockey player' — Greentree a fit for Flyers at No. 12?

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