Flyers Draft

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

Tij Iginla, the son of Hockey Hall of Famer Jarome Iginla, is one of the better 2024 NHL draft prospects

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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:

Tij Iginla

Position: Winger/center
Height: 6-foot
Weight: 191
Shoots: Left
Team: Kelowna Rockets

Scouting report

Oozing with confidence and savvy, Iginla climbed plenty of 2024 NHL draft rankings this season by putting up 84 points (47 goals, 37 assists) in 64 regular-season games for the WHL's Rockets.

His 47 goals were tied for sixth most in the WHL, while his nine playoff markers led Kelowna as he finished with 15 points over 11 games. Including the postseason, he recorded 11 multi-goal games, featuring three hat tricks.

And he did all of it as a 17-year-old. Iginla, who doesn't turn 18 until August, has some Hockey Hall of Fame bloodlines to boot. His father Jarome Iginla is enshrined in Toronto after playing 1,554 career NHL games and producing 1,300 points (625 goals, 675 assists).

The young Iginla plays on the wing like his dad but can also chip in at center. He's a strong skater with a knack for the puck and might project more as a winger at the pro level.

"I like to use the term dynamic because he's got the skill and the speed to make things happen," Dan Marr, the vice president of NHL Central Scouting, said over two weeks ago in a phone interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia. "And it has kind of continuously evolved and improved over the course of the year. He's got a quick burst up the middle to break through the defense, go around players to get to the net, he's quick from the corners to the front of the net. Very elusive, hard to check."

At the 2024 IIHF U-18 World Junior Championship, Iginla helped lead Team Canada to a gold medal with 12 points (six goals, six assists) in seven games.

He's the ninth-ranked North American skater by NHL Central Scouting and considered the third-best prospect in the draft by TSN's Craig Button. EliteProspects.com has Iginla at sixth overall, while TSN's Bob McKenzie put him at No. 10.

"When he has the puck, he's very tenacious, he really wants to have the puck," Marr said. "If you give him a scoring opportunity, he knows how to get open, he's got a good release, he's got a good shot and he's a good finisher. This is a kid that has a very high ceiling and he's going to be a very productive offensive player."

Tij Iginla
Steve Dunsmoor/Kelowna Rockets

Fit with Flyers

If Iginla fell out of the top 10, the Flyers would conceivably have serious interest. There's a lot to like with his ability to score and win puck battles at only 17 years old.

Of course, the Flyers know his dad well. Briere was a teammate of Iginla's in 2014-15 with the Avalanche, president of hockey operations Keith Jones played against him and John Tortorella coached against him in the 2004 Stanley Cup Final.

Over their four-year playoff drought, the Flyers have ranked 29th in goals per game with 2.72. They've needed more players who can beat the goalie without help. Plugging Iginla into the picture with Michkov and Tyson Foerster would give the Flyers nice pop on the wing for the future. Michkov is 19 and the Flyers' top prospect, while the 22-year-old Foerster has arguably the best shot in the organization and is coming off a 20-goal rookie NHL season.

Iginla isn't the flashiest of players and will need to work on the defensive side of his game, but he possesses so many translatable strengths. A rebuilding team like the Flyers would welcome those strengths.

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'

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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