Denver Barkey signs entry-level contract with Flyers

London Knights v Oshawa Generals
London Knights v Oshawa Generals / Chris Tanouye/GettyImages

Denver Barkey is looking more and more like a steal of a draft pick every day. The Philadelphia Flyers selected him in the third round of the 2023 NHL Draft. No one had him ranked anywhere close to 95th. He was rated as the 79th North American Skater by NHL Central Scouting. Others had him anywhere from 74th to as low as 38th. Getting him at 95th overall is huge value to the Flyers. And now he has signed his entry-level contract.

And Barkey has rewarded the Flyers. In his draft year, Barkey had 22 goals and 59 points in 61 games with the London Knights. He has smashed these numbers this season. He leads the Knights with 31 goals and 87 points in 56 games. He could break the century mark by the end of the season. Barkey has shown tremendous growth and is someone the Knights rely on.

Barkey is small, coming in at 5’9 and 154 lbs. But that doesn't mean he can't be an impact player. He plays both the power play and penalty kill, tied for the team lead with seven shorthanded goals this season. He is second with 22 assists on the man advantage. He hasn't scored a ton with that unit, but fellow Flyers' prospect Oliver Bonk has taken care of that. Bonk has a team-high 15 goals on the power play.

After leaving Flyers camp where he turned heads, his main message was to make an impact with the Knights. It is safe to say he has done that and more. Signing an entry-level contract would allow Barkey to make his professional debut as early as next season. He could sign a tryout contract with the Phantoms in the AHL at the end of his season. The Flyers are unlikely to bring him up to the NHL, especially with how tough the remaining games may be. Every win could matter for this team down the stretch. Philadelphia agreed with that notion as the contract will not begin until the 2024-25 season.

With Barkey, any games at the professional level would help him get ready. This all depends on how the rest of the season, and playoffs, go for the Knights. They currently have a loose hold on the top spot in the Western Conference, however they have clinched a spot in the playoffs. Eight games are remaining on their schedule. Barkey should play an important role in whatever this team is to do once the playoffs roll around.

After that, we shall see. Barkey and the Flyers will certainly talk about the best fit for him and where they see his next move. After a successful season in the OHL, could we see Barkey in a Flyers uniform next season? With the growth he has shown over the last few years, there is a chance he could make the NHL roster. But time will tell.