Home US SportsNHL With ‘no real holes to his game,’ Jiricek an option for Flyers at No. 12

With ‘no real holes to his game,’ Jiricek an option for Flyers at No. 12

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With ‘no real holes to his game,’ Jiricek an option for Flyers at No. 12

With ‘no real holes to his game,’ Jiricek an option for Flyers at No. 12 originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Despite overachieving for the majority of the 2023-24 season, the Flyers still have a rebuilding mindset. The club’s decision-makers know there’s a need for more talent and that the entry draft remains the best avenue to acquire it.

“The bulk of it still needs to be done through our young guys, mostly through the draft,” general manager Danny Briere said in April.

The Flyers will have a good opportunity to augment their future when the 2024 NHL draft arrives June 28-29 at the Sphere in Las Vegas. The first round is Friday at 7 p.m. ET, while Rounds 2-7 are Saturday starting at 11:30 a.m. ET.

Like last summer, the Flyers have 10 picks, including two first-rounders. Barring a trade, they’ll make their top overall selection at No. 12. Briere believes the Flyers “can get a very talented player” at that spot.

In the first round of the 2023 draft, the Flyers took a swing on Matvei Michkov at No. 7 and grabbed Oliver Bonk at No. 22. They should also have two first-round picks in 2025.

Leading up to the 2024 draft, we’re breaking down targets for the Flyers at No. 12.

Next up:

Adam Jiricek

Position: Defenseman
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 167
Shoots: Right
Team: Plzen

Scouting report

Jiricek might not jump off the screen, but has a slew of promising qualities for a future NHL defenseman.

He sees the ice exceptionally well, he’s a plus passer and his size to go along with a right-handed shot are appealing.

What will likely hurt his stock was a draft year cut significantly short. Per The Athletic’s Scott Wheeler, Jiricek injured his knee in Czechia’s first game of the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship. Because of the injury, he played only 19 games this season in Czech Extraliga, his country’s top pro league. He had one assist and a minus-10 mark.

The 17-year-old Jiricek is the brother of David Jiricek, the sixth overall selection in the 2022 NHL draft. The Blue Jackets grabbed the defenseman a pick after the Flyers took Cutter Gauthier.

Despite the small sample size this season, the younger Jiricek is the fourth-ranked European skater by NHL Central Scouting.

“There’s just a lot of history with watching him play,” Dan Marr, the vice president of NHL Central Scouting, said three weeks ago in a phone interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia. “He plays all situations, but he has just got that composure and poise with the puck to read plays, to make good decisions and to get the job done. There are no real holes to his game.”

Like many draft prospects, Jiricek will have to add some muscle and prove he can eventually be up to snuff with the physicality of the NHL. But, while on the thinner side, he has a real confidence with the puck under pressure.

Jiricek, who turns 18 next Friday, is considered the draft’s 24th-ranked prospect by TSN’s Craig Button. EliteProspects.com has him at 28th overall and Daily Faceoff’s Steven Ellis has him pegged as the eighth-best defenseman.

“He has got the good size and strength combination, good speed and balance with his skating, he can handle the puck, he can pass the puck, he sees the ice well,” Marr said. “He just makes good reads and good plays all the time. I think words that people are going to be using for him all the time is that he’s very solid, very steady, knows how to get the job done. And those types of players are appealing, especially to coaches. The coaches want the mistake-free guys.”

Adam Jiricek

Chase Agnello-Dean/Getty Images contributor

Fit with Flyers

The 2024 draft is pretty rich with defensemen. There’s a possibility four or five go in the top 10, so Jiricek is expected to be there for the Flyers.

If they were to take him, they’d have a good chance at improving their outlook on the all-important right side. Jiricek would join the 19-year-old Bonk and the 22-year-old Jamie Drysdale, among others, as the organization’s up-and-coming righty shots. That’s not too shabby.

However, Jiricek may be viewed as somewhat of a reach at 12th overall. The Flyers could have a defenseman or two — perhaps Carter Yakemchuk — higher on their board and available to them when they’re on the clock.

Regardless, a player like Jiricek should give the Flyers a good option at No. 12.

More targets

• Flyers should like Helenius, ‘one of the top talents in the draft’

• Flyers draft target Catton has ‘ingredients’ to be first-line center

• Flyers could have shot at Yakemchuk, a defenseman with ‘rare combination’

Flyers draft target Iginla has impressive NHL lineage and ‘very high ceiling’

Eiserman, ‘the best goal scorer in this draft,’ an option for Flyers?

‘The full package’ Connelly has interesting draft case for Flyers

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