The Philadelphia Flyers take their second forward of the draft, selecting Oliver Bonk’s teammate Denver Barkey 95th overall.
Denver Barkey sliding down to pick 95 is a big surprise. Barkey is a bit undersized at 5’9″ and 154 pounds, but has legitimate NHL-level skill and an endless motor on the ice. In terms of draft rankings, Dobber Prospects had Denver Barkey as high as 38th, and Chris Peters/FloHockey had Barkey as low as 81st. Needless to say, Barkey’s fall in the draft certainly exceeded expectations.
Denver Barkey was fellow Philadelphia Flyers draftee Oliver Bonk‘s teammate with the London Knights of the OHL, and together the two came away with a Hlinka Gretzky Cup gold medal this year with Canada. The 2022-23 season was Barkey’s second full season of junior hockey, and massively improved on his 2021-22 season. In 2021-22, Barkey had just seven goals and eight assists in 53 games. This season, Barkey had 22 goals and 37 assists in 61 games. In the playoffs this year, Barkey was well over a point-per-game, scoring 11 goals and 13 assists in 20 games.
Not only is Denver Barkey good on offense, but he’s an adept defender as well. Barkey’s high motor sees him always breathing on the puck, both as a forechecker and as an active defender. Barkey understands where the green areas are on the ice and knows how to get to them, both for creating offense and for playing defense. Barkey is very rigid for his diminutive stature and has no problem carrying the puck against the grain. Barkey has quick hands and a strong stick, and uses them to create offense and turn defense into offense.
After his own selection last night, Olvier Bonk texted Denver Barkey, saying that he had a feeling the Philadelphia Flyers would take him too. It just so happened to be that Bonk was right, and now he and Barkey are both Flyers. Barkey knows that he, like GM Daniel Briere, is a smaller, skilled guy who has an uphill battle to making it in the NHL. In addition to his defensive game andwork ethic, Barkey also says that he models his game after Brayden Point of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
With their selection of Denver Barkey, the Philadelphia Flyers are having themselves a fantastic draft so far. They acquired the star talent in Matvei Michkov, a potential shutdown defender in Oliver Bonk, a goaltending tandem of Carson Bjarnason and Yegor Zavragin, and now the hardworking center in Denver Barkey.