Flyers Draft

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

The 17-year-old Eiserman put up 58 goals in 57 games for the U.S. national U-18 team

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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:

Cole Eiserman

Position: Winger
Height: 6-foot
Weight: 197
Shoots: Left

Scouting report

A bona-fide sniper, Eiserman scored 58 goals in 57 games this season for the U.S. national U-18 team. He finished with 89 points and a plus-23 rating, while 25 of his goals came on the power play.

The 17-year-old set a U.S. national team development program record with 127 career goals, more than names like Auston Matthews, Patrick Kane, Phil Kessel and Cole Caufield. And he doesn't turn 18 until the end of August.

Eiserman's shot is considered second to none in the draft. With an NHL release, he puts the puck where he wants it to go and at top speed.

"I think he's the best goal scorer in this draft class, period," Dan Marr, the vice president of NHL Central Scouting, said two and a half weeks ago in a phone interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia. "Goal scoring is a premium at the NHL level, he went through the year and ended up with 58 goals. Teams know what he can bring."

There's reasonable concern about why Eiserman's stock dipped on scouting services over the course of the season. He has work to do on his overall game and will need to prove he's not just a one-trick pony, that he can impact a team in multiple ways.

He went from a No. 8 midterm mark among North American skaters to No. 12 in NHL Central Scouting's final rankings. TSN's Craig Button rated him as the fifth-best player in the draft, while slotted him 13th and TSN's Bob McKenzie pegged him at No. 14.

"He fell just outside of the top 10 but he's in that range," Marr said. "At the U-18 world championships, he showed what he can bring to the table. ... I think sometimes expectations are you want all these players to be able to do everything well, everything great. But he has got one great asset and then he's a scorer. He can finish, he knows how to get open, he's got a variety of shots and he can bury them. That's a really high commodity."

At the 2024 IIHF U-18 World Junior Championship a month and a half ago, Eiserman finished tied for second in the tournament with nine goals over seven games on a U.S. team that took home silver medals.

"I do think he probably moved up on [every team's] list after the U-18s," Marr said. "He had a very strong performance there."

Cole Eiserman
David Reginek/USA Today Images

Fit with Flyers

If you have the opportunity to grab the top goal scorer in a draft at No. 12 overall, there's likely some interest. The Flyers have needed more shoot-first, pure goal scorers. It's a big reason why they drafted Tyson Foerster at 23rd overall in 2020 despite the winger being somewhat raw in other areas of his game.

The Flyers have had the NHL's worst power play in each of the last three seasons. Eiserman could potentially give them a big answer there down the road.

But, with where the Flyers are slotted in the first round, it's fair to wonder if they'll view other players as better, more multifaceted options, especially if they like a center or defenseman that is still available.

More targets

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

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

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

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

'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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