Flyers won’t rule out drafting a defenseman, but forward is ‘obvious’ need

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With plenty of talented, young defensemen already in the system, the Philadelphia Flyers seem likely to select a forward when they pick seventh overall at the upcoming draft.

But what if there happens to be a blue-liner they really, really like?

“From a needs standpoint, [a forward] would be obvious, but we’ve always had the philosophy of ‘best player available’ and [GM Ron Hextall has] been taking the same approach,” Flyers director of scouting Chris Pryor told the Daily News.

“A conversation is going to arise if there are two players you deem comparable, pretty close, and we’re going to have to make that call as a group at the table. But if there’s a discrepancy between the two and there’s a gap, you have to take the best player.”

Noah Hanifin and Ivan Pronorov are a couple of d-men that are expected to be snapped up early. But in what’s considered an especially deep draft, there won’t be any shortage of forwards after the first six players are off the board.

The Flyers also have Tampa Bay’s first-round pick from the Braydon Coburn trade.

Related: Difference of opinion: Craig Button has Hanifin 12th on final draft rankings