With the 24th overall pick in the 2024 NHL Draft, the Philadelphia Flyers select…
Following their formula from the 2023 NHL Draft, the Philadelphia Flyers go defense after taking a top-tier forward, and take Zeev Buium from the University of Denver. This pick is top-10 protected from the Florida Panthers, and for the sake of this writing, I’m assuming the Panthers make the playoffs again but don’t advance as far as they did this past postseason.
Buium, a California native like Cam York, comes from a hockey background. Zeev’s older brothers Shai and Ben both play hockey and both play defense, and Shai is a top prospect for the Detroit Red Wings. Shai Buium was drafted 36th overall in the 2021 NHL Draft.
At 5’11”, Zeev Buium is shorter than both of his brothers, but packs a punch at both ends of the ice. The silky 17 year old blueliner impressively played 93 total games in 2022-23, putting up seven goals and 58 points across all competitions. Buium is quite a bit older than his peers as a December birthday; Macklin Celebrini was born in June and Cole Eiserman won’t even turn 17 until the end of August. His age and average size might cause some teams to pass on him, but Buium would be a no-brainer for the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Flyers don’t have any true high-upside prospects on the left side of their defense to slot in behind Cam York and Travis Sanheim. Egor Zamula and Emil Andrae will jostle for that spot in the short-term, but Zamula is coming off of a major injury and Andrae stands at just 5’9″. Andrae impressed in development camp, but it remains to be seen whether or not he can overcome his diminutive stature at the top level.
You know what’s better than one Cam York? Two. Adding Zeev Buium a few years after Cam York reaches his prime would give opposing coaches fits at night, as they try to figure out how to stop both defenders. Even better is that Buium would also give the Philadelphia Flyers a viable power play quarterback for their second unit; the Flyers had the worst power play in the NHL in the 2022-23 season. That, with some added forward depth, would go a long way towards making the Philadelphia Flyers contenders again.
Defense wins championships, and almost all of the recent Stanley Cup winners had defenders who were worth their weight in gold at both ends of the ice. Devon Toews, Cale Makar, Victor Hedman, Mikhail Sergachev, Alex Pietrangelo, and Shea Theodore can do it all. The Philadelphia Flyers need to do the best they can to start building something like that.