Flyers Draft

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

Connelly put up the USHL's second-most points with 78 in 52 games for the Tri-City Storm

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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:

Trevor Connelly

Position: Winger
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 160
Shoots: Left
Team: Tri-City Storm

Scouting report

Behind superb length and skill, Connelly is a dazzling offensive player.

He put up a USHL-best 1.50 points per game this season with 31 goals and 47 assists in 52 games for Tri-City. He had 23 multi-point games, while his 240 shots led the league and his 78 points were second most.

The Providence commit is difficult to contain in transition as his speed and elusiveness take over.

"Highly skilled, highly talented player," Dan Marr, the vice president of NHL Central Scouting, said a little under three weeks ago in a phone interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia. "He's got that get up and go, that drive and energy to his game. He's one of these players that will be very good playing alongside pros. He plays the game at such a high pace that he's making plays where some of his teammates still haven't caught up to him on the play."

At the 2024 IIHF U-18 World Junior Championship a month and a half ago, Connelly had nine points (four goals, five assists) and a plus-7 rating in seven games on a U.S. team that took home silver medals.

But teams may be hesitant to take Connelly because of some off-the-ice concerns, which he discussed last summer in a story by Jordan McAlpine of The Rink Live. Connelly could also face skepticism over his frame. How will his game translate to the next level? Will he add strength to fend off adult defenders and score with less time and space?

NHL Central Scouting has Connelly as the sixth-ranked North American skater. He's considered the 14th-best prospect in the draft by and No. 15 by TSN's Bob McKenzie, while TSN's Craig Button has Connelly at 27th.

"He's got that NHL speed and quickness already; he just needs to get stronger," Marr said. "He's going to Providence, where Nate Leaman runs a solid program. Players go there, they become better players. So he's still going to just continue to learn the game and get stronger. But as far as speed and smarts and skills, he's the full package."

Trevor Connelly
Eldon Holmes/Tri-City Storm

Fit with Flyers

Connelly would certainly give the Flyers a lift in the talent department. There's plenty of upside with a smooth, 6-foot-1 skater who can both facilitate and finish.

If the Flyers were to draft Connelly, they'd have a promising picture on the wing for the future. He would join Michkov, who is 19 and the Flyers' top prospect, and the 22-year-old Tyson Foerster, who is coming off a 20-goal rookie NHL season.

But will the Flyers view Connelly as the best player available? It's possible that he's deeper on their list and considered more of a reach at No. 12. A center or defenseman might be a better, lower-risk option.

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'

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