NHL Rumors: Flyers Were Shot Down Offering Gauthier First To Western Contender

Once it became clear that Cutter Gauthier, the 5th overall selection in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft would need to be moved, the Philadelphia Flyers canvassed teams around the league looking for a similarly high-end prospect. According to a new report today from NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman, the Flyers tried to obtain Colorado Avalanche top-four defenseman Bowen Byram, but were turned down by the Avs.

On his 32 Thoughts podcast, Friedman revealed:

I think Philly did ask about Bowen Byram and I just think Colorado wasn’t going there… I suspect Colorado’s answer was we are not doing this one-for-one, it’s got to be more than Gauthier for Byram.

Byram was the fourth overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, and played a big role in Colorado’s run to the Stanley Cup in the 2022 playoffs. He has, however, been extremely injury-prone, having never played more than 42 games in a season in his 3+ years in the NHL.

Last year in those 42 games, he showed his immense potential once again, averaging close to 22 minutes a night while registering 10 goals and 24 points. So far this season, in 39 games, he’s recorded six goals, six assists, and 12 points while playing over 20 minutes per contest. He’s currently on the injured list with a lower-body injury but is only expected to miss one to two weeks. 

We can piece together the rest of the story: After being turned down by the Avs for Byram, the Flyers turned to the Anaheim Ducks, and were able to work out a deal for former No.. 6 overall pick (2020), Jamie Drysdale.

Drysdale is a right-shot D, who, in addition to being another solid young blueliner like Byram, has also faced his own share of injury issues, missing all but eight games last season and being available for only 10 games for the Ducks this year before reporting to the Flyers. 

Drysdale notched an assist in his first game with Philly in a 3-2 shootout win over the Montreal Canadiens Wednesday night, playing just short of 20 minutes. Despite perhaps not getting their first choice, the Flyers are more than happy to have Drysdale on board.

Photo: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports