Breaking down the rest of the 2016 Draft class, the Flyers have seen mostly positive results on their final five picks.
Another aggressive, two-way center, Connor Bunnaman was the Flyers’ next selection in the fourth round. Thought of as a bit of a project, there was an upside to his game. He was strong defensively and positioned himself well in the offensive zone.
He proved that with 16 goals and 38 points the season before his draft. He was even better the following season, posting 37 goals and 52 points for the Kitchener Rangers. His goal total slipped a bit in his final season in the OHL, though he only posted two fewer points.
Debuting with the Phantoms last season, Bunnaman looked good in 62 games with the team. He grabbed 19 goals and 32 points. He was sixth on the team in points, second in goals.
Bunnaman made huge strides in the offseason and came into training camp this year ready to win a job. He appeared faster and stronger. He was winning puck battles and outworking players. He looked ready to hold his own in the league. Head coach Alain Vigneault praised his efforts and lauded him as one of the best players during training camp.
With that big praise, Bunnaman found his name on the final roster as the season began. He didn’t last long in the NHL, though. After appearing in four of the Flyers’ first five games, he struggled to stand out and prove he belonged. Playing mostly fourth-line minutes, he didn’t do enough to stay.
Injury struck in his second game with the Phantoms as he missed about a month with a high-ankle sprain. He struggled to regain his play after he returned, registering just one point in a span of 13 games. Bunnaman regained his play in early January and was given a second chance with the Flyers.
He fared better this time, grabbing his first NHL goal and assist in his first two games back with the Flyers. He dressed regularly with the team until the trade deadline acquisitions of Nate Thompson and Derek Grant.
Bunnaman would be recalled once again after Thompson suffered a knee sprain in March. He was expected to be in the starting lineup, but the season was paused before the Flyers’ next game.