Jett Luchanko drawing praise from teammates, and coaches at Flyers development camp

Jett Luchanko has only been in the Flyers' organization for less than a week. But those who have seen his game up close have already thrown praise his way.
Philadelphia Flyers first round pick, Jett Luchanko, at development camp.
Philadelphia Flyers first round pick, Jett Luchanko, at development camp. /

As the dust has settled on the 2024 NHL Draft, many appear to be coming around on the selection of Jett Luchanko.

At the time, it was a puzzling decision with the talent that was still on the board at the time. But like many players the Flyers selected, Luchanko rose in the draft boards as the season went on. And the potential he can tap into has brought excitement to the organization already.

The speedster used a strong World Juniors to firmly put himself on the map for the upcoming draft. For a player who was close to being pushed into the 2025 class, Luchanko surprised many.

Luchanko earning praise from teammates and coaches

But take it from those who played against Luchanko during the season. They know the kind of player he is and the skill that he has.

""He's a great player. A one-man power play break-in, that's what we called him in London because they'd just sling it back to him, it's one against four and he'd skate it every time. So he's a special player." Oliver Bonk said about playing against Luchanko."

33 of Luchanko’s 74 points came via the power play. Most of those points came in the form of a team-leading 30 assists on the man advantage. That was second in the OHL. It was also higher than that of another London Knight and fellow Flyers prospect, Denver Barkey.

""He's unreal. He kind of came in this year and really worked his way up. I'd say he was a riser throughout the whole year. Really impressive," Barkey said. "Their break in on the power play was legit just drop it to him and he would find a way to get it in. He's a really special player.""

Being as young as he is, Luchanko will need at least a few more years at the OHL level to grow. But if he can continue developing, especially on the power play, he would be a welcome addition. The Flyers have needed help with that unit for quite some time and could use a player like Luchanko who has no fear in being able to carry it up and into the zone. By the time he is ready, the hope would be that Philadelphia has found a groove with that group and Luchanko could just be another dynamic part of it.

It isn't just the players, though, who have been impressed by what Luchanko has done. When Riley Armstrong, Flyers director of player development, was out watching Barkey and Bonk play, it happened to be against Guelph. And it was Luchanko who ended up catching his eye even though Armstrong wasn't in tune with who the next draft class was.

""It was pretty cool to see that experience of him playing, kind of catching my eye and obviously caught a lot of others too," Armstrong said.

"He looks good out here and I thought that the first little skate we did, you can tell his strength is his skating. He can fly up and down the rink. I think when you add speed into any lineup, it's a bonus.""

That speed is also an important factor in Luchanko's game. Having a player who can change the game with his speed is a direction the NHL has been moving toward as the game changes and evolves. The players continue to get more skilled and faster as time goes on. So the fact that Luchanko already has that skill in his back pocket gives him that edge.

And it doesn't matter where or when he was taken in the draft, Luchanko is going to go about his business the same way he always has. Going into his third season in the OHL, he should have an even bigger role when Guelph. As it is with most players his age, filling out his frame more will be an important thing. But he has plenty of time to work on that during camp and over the summer.

This experience hasn't fully sunk in yet for Luchanko. There hasn't been a ton of free time since he was drafted last weekend. There have been some nerves, but it's normal for a player his age to take everything in as it comes. But when it comes down to it, he's ready to put in the work needed.

""For me, I'm just trying to work hard every single day, and I think good things come from that. I'm not really worried about where I went. Just kind of worried on getting to work and getting started here.""