In their first draft with the Flyers, general manager Chuck Fletcher and his sidekick, assistant GM Brent Flahr, chose seven players, including three defensemen.
Five months later, Flahr, who was the main man behind the selections, is happy with the prospects’ progress.
The top three picks were defenseman Cam York, right winger Bobby Orr Brink, and defenseman Ronnie Attard, all playing on the collegiate level. York and Attard have been battling some injuries but have played solidly when in the lineup.
“I think they’re on pace,” Flahr said the other day. “York is playing kind of the way you thought he would. Brink, for a young guy, has really stepped in and played well. Attard has played a ton and they expect a lot from him, and for the other [draft picks], it’ll be an adjustment period.
“It’ll take some time to see what we get, but I think it’s what we thought” when they were drafted, he added.
A look at the seven prospects and their development:
Defenseman, 5-foot-11, 174 pounds, Michigan
York has been in and out of the lineup because of an ankle injury.
“He’s still not 100 percent, but he has done well on both sides of the puck when he’s played,” Flahr said.
In 10 games, York has six points.
Flahr says York has the ability to quarterback the Flyers’ power play down the road.
“He’s got all the makeup for that,” he said. “He needs to work on his shot, but that’ll come with strength. Other than that, he has all the intangibles -- the mobility, vision, poise to be a power-play guy. And he’s definitely a smart player.”
York, a California native, has a good chance to make the World Junior team.
As for whether he will turn pro after his freshman season, Flahr said: “The thing about him is his strength; we have to make sure we do the right thing there. We’ll re-evaluate at the end of the season.”
Right winger, 5-8, 164, Denver
A cerebral player who got off to an impressive start at powerful Denver before going into a bit of a slump, which isn’t unusual for a freshman who is finding himself. Still, he managed 11 points in his first 14 games.
“He’s been very good and is a smart player,” Flahr said. “Again, he has to get stronger, but he has a lot of skill and is playing in all situations for a pretty good team. He’s in a good spot for the World Juniors as well. Team USA was watching him recently.”
Flahr believes it would be beneficial for Brink to spend at least two seasons at Denver. “He’s not a one-and-done guy. He’ll need some time,” he said.
Defenseman, 6-4, 210, Western Michigan
Attard was playing well before suffering a fractured wrist, Flahr said. He had four goals in his first 10 games.
“He plays in a lot of situations and then he started to score some goals and feel good about his game” before his injury, Flahr said. “I don’t think it’s too serious. … I know they were disappointed to have him out of the lineup. The coaches are very happy with him and play him a ton as a freshman. He’s big and competitive.”
Flahr sees Attard playing at least two seasons in college.
Defenseman, 6-1, 180, Saginaw (OHL)
Millman had a good rookie camp with the Flyers “and maybe went back a little overconfident and went away from his game,” Flahr said. “He was maybe trying to do too much. He’s been playing a ton there. They were an older team last year so they lost a lot of guys and he’s been asked to play a lot of minutes.”
The Ontario native had 11 points, including five goals, in his first 23 games this season.
“It’s a great experience for him, but there’s a learning curve there,” Flahr said. “He needs to get stronger, put on weight, and [improve] his ability and puck-moving. But there’s a lot [of talent] to work with.”
Kjell Samuelsson, the Flyers’ director of player development, and Nick Schultz, a player-development coach, have been keeping close tabs on him.
Right winger, 5-11, 165, Victoriaville (QMJHL)
Serdyuk had a good start to his Quebec Major Junior Hockey League season — he had 13 points, including eight goals, in 18 games — but an abdominal injury has limited his playing time.
“He was at about 50 percent for a while, so they finally pulled him,” Flahr said.
Goalie, 6-3, 184, Seattle (WHL)
Ross has faced a shooting gallery while playing on a defensive-challenged Western Hockey League team.
“He’s a young guy and he’s battling, but it will be a tough situation for him all year,” Flahr said. “But at the same time, it’s a good experience for him.”
In his first 17 games this season, Ross had a 3.29 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage.
Winger, 6-foot, 215, Minnesota
Brodzinski went from the high school ranks to playing at the University of Minnesota.
“It’s not an easy transition,” Flahr said. “He’s playing, but it’s going to be an adjustment period, to be sure, especially when the team is not playing great. And at Minnesota, there’s a lot of pressure when you’re not winning. But I know the coaches are happy with him.”
Brodzinski, whose brother Jonny has played for the NHL’s Kings and Sharks, had four points in his first 14 games.