I write this with a bit of despair. I watched the Flyers the other night roll the Canes at home 4-1 with a squad that genuinely makes me smile. And I’ll watch them smile tonight against Montreal hopefully. That’s hard to do. I’m the kind of guy who’ll throw a pity smile here and there depending on the time, but this Flyers team makes me smile. However, Nolan Patrick hasn’t been a factor in that smile equation because of his migraines, which is a big frowny face to the entire city of Brotherly Love. It’s the 2017 Draft where I look back at and say, “Was this the guy worth taking at #2?”. Listen I knew he was gonna get picked 2nd back in 2017. Devils were gonna take Hischier and followed by NP to Philly…. But I think we looked past some of the Top 5. Hop in my Time Machine and let’s go back to see what could’ve been with other members of the 2017 Draft.
This is maybe the pick I wish we had considering our D. Pairing Miro with Provy would be lethal as a top D-Pair and the front office could’ve shipped out Gostisbehere for something sweet up front. But nope. Instead we had 30 points in back-to-back years from NP and had to watch Neanderthal Radko Gudas and Andrew MacDonald skate around the ‘Farg looking like pinheads. But he found greener pastures wearing that Dallas green (Those Winter Classic Jerseys are incredible by the way).
If we had this guy, he’d be the best skater on the team and like Miro, probably our best D-Man. Pairing him and Provy would’ve given us a Thunder & Lightning dynamo as the top 2 Defensemen. Youngster just is pure as spring water. But he’s finding major success in Colorado…. And leaving the Flyers wondering “What If?”.
DING DING DING! This guy is an absolute nightmare to play against and was gonna be a knockout anywhere he went. After the Canucks beat the Red Wings in 2018, Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill called him a skinnier Pavel Datsyuk…… Excuse me? Sir Silky Hands Pavel Datsyuk? Yeah, he compared him to that guy. Pettersson hasn’t shown anything less of that comparison so far as he’s been terrorizing teams. He would’ve made for an excellent 2nd line center behind Claude, or maybe Claude would drop to the 2nd line for more favorable matchups. And the trend continues with another guy the Flyers will look at and say, “You could’ve been mine”.