Tyler Pitlick, the newest Flyer via a trade Monday with the Dallas Stars for Ryan Hartman, hails from Minnesota. Which is also where Bobby Brink, whom the Flyers traded up to draft Saturday, is from. Same for Bryce Brodzinski, their seventh-round pick.
Chuck Fletcher and Brent Flahr spent nine seasons together as the general manager and assistant general manager for the Minnesota Wild, where Flahr was known for his love of scouting and Fletcher for his trust in Flahr.
So maybe, just maybe, they have developed a sweet tooth for Minnesota kids.
How else to explain not just their draft picks and the maneuvering it took to move up to No. 34 and pluck Brink, but what seems to be an inordinate number of undrafted Minnesota kids invited to the development camp, which will begin Tuesday.
Let’s see: There’s undrafted Jackson Cates, older brother of 2017 fifth-round pick Noah Cates. There’s Ben Meyers, and Matt Anderson, and Seamus Donahue.
Pitlick, 27, a 2010 second-round pick (31st overall) of the Edmonton Oilers, is coming off an injury-riddled season in which his availability and production declined from the previous season, when he recorded a career-best 27 points (14 goals, 13 assists). He appeared in 47 games in 2018-19, recording eight goals and four assists for 12 points.
“Tyler is a hardworking, versatile player who will bring speed, energy, and a competitive edge to our team," Fletcher, the Flyers’ first-year GM, said in a statement.
Hartman, the South Carolina native whom he was traded for, is all of the above – except for the versatile part. Both are right wings, but Pitlick has played center. Hartman was also a restricted free agent, while Pitlick’s contract, which runs only through next season, counts as $1 million against the salary cap.