When the Flyers were on the clock with the 18th overall pick on Friday night at the NHL Draft, they seemingly had the answer to all their goal scoring problems at their fingertips.
Kieffer Bellows, who scored 50 goals for the US U-18 team last season, was on the board. So was Julien Gauthier, who scored 41 goals for Val d'Or in the QMJHL last season. The Flyers opted to trade down instead, drafting German Rubtsov with the 22nd overall pick. Bellows went 19th to the Islanders, Gauthier 21st to the Hurricanes. The Flyers added a third second-round pick to their plethora of picks for Day 2, however.
In Saturday's Day 2 portion of the Draft, the Flyers were on the clock at 36th overall with another 50-goal scorer on the board, Alex DeBrincat, who scored 51 goals for the Erie Otters last season. The Flyers selected Pascal Laberge instead.
In both cases, the Flyers opted for the players that had better rounded games and potential to be complete two-way players in the NHL rather than the pure scorers who could just as easily get lost in the shuffle of draft picks gone bad as much as they could turn out to be NHL superstars.
The simple fact about the draft is that no one knows what the future holds for any of these kids taken from picks 1 to 211, or even the ones that weren't selected. It's part of the reason why the Flyers have focused on depth and players with strengths at both ends of the ice, not just the ability to score goals. The other reason why the Flyers may have gone the two-way route and not the scoring route: the timing just wasn't right.