Flyers made the most surprising, sneaky good pick in Round 1 of the NHL Draft

The Philadelphia Flyers first-round pick may have drawn some criticism, but it was one of the more brilliant moves in the early stages of the NHL Draft.
2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft - First Round
2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft - First Round / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Jett Luchanko was one prospect I didn’t see going off the board in the first round of the 2024 NHL Draft. But Philadelphia Flyers general manager Daniel Briere thought otherwise when he made the 17-year-old the 13th overall pick. And to say it was a brilliant move is quite the understatement because Luchanko made play after play this past season for the Guelph Storm, and it foreshadows what his days will look like when he’s playing in the NHL in a few seasons. 

Something I liked about Luchanko is that he’s not a one-dimensional player, as he won’t just find open linemates all day and let them do the scoring, but he will also outskate opponents and find ways to pitch in when his team doesn’t have the puck. In other words, Briere picked one of the draft’s most well-rounded prospects last night and he’s someone who deserves your attention while he continues his career in juniors. 

Flyers aced the test last night by “reaching” for Jett Luchanko

Sure, Jett Luchanko may have faced quite the learning curve when he first entered the OHL ranks in 2022-23, putting up just 14 points and five goals in 45 contests, an output that grew even more meager when you look at his playoff numbers from that season - six games and one assist. Nope, 15 points in 51 games won’t inspire anyone, but for such a young player, it’s something you don’t put too much stock into. 

Fast-forward to 2023-24, and Luchanko finished the year with 54 assists and 20 goals, the former of which should make you mutter, wow. Yeah, he’s going to parlay that number into something epic in 2024-25, and that alone will raise excitement among the contingent of Flyers fans who also follow their newest prospects. 

Overall, this pick may not be praised universally, and it wouldn’t surprise me if more fans criticized it than liked it. But overall, it was a sneaky, brilliant move that will pay off at some point in the second half of the 2020s.


(Statistics powered by Elite Prospects)