If the New Jersey Devils decide to not select Nolan Patrick as the No. 1 pick in this month's NHL draft in Chicago, the Flyers want to be certain they aren't getting damaged goods at No. 2.
Either Patrick or Nico Hischier will be the top overall pick.
The Flyers' medical staff on Wednesday met with the Brandon Wheat Kings' center to get absolute "clarity" on his overall health and injury history, according to general manager Ron Hextall.
Last weekend at the NHL Scouting Combine, trainer Jim McCrossin saw Patrick perform the various skill and strength tests, but in the Flyers' minds, it wasn't enough given Patrick's history of shoulder, groin and abdominal injuries these past two seasons.
"He saw our doctors today," Hextall said. "Jimmy's been at the combine a lot of years and has experience. He gets a pretty good read on a number of different things on the players for us, from the physical side.
"We all know [Patrick] had some injuries last year and we wanted to be clear on what they were and how severe they were and everything else. We now have clarity."
Hextall would not say whether he was happy or wary of what the Flyers might have discovered today. He did talk with Patrick, individually, too.
"We have clarity and understand things pretty well now," Hextall said.
Incidentally, the Flyers are not bringing Hischier in for additional medical evaluation.
Earlier Wednesday, the Flyers hired Erie coach Kris Knoblauch as their new power play/assistant coach to replace Joey Mullen (see story).
Mullen worked from the press box during games. Hextall said head coach Dave Hakstol will decide where Knoblauch works from.
"When we went through the process of looking at people, that was one of the things that hits you," Hextall said. "Kris' teams had a lot of success on the power play and goal-scoring department, goals against and just his success overall.
"We like his personality. We think he will fit in really good with our group and he's got a good hockey mind."
Hextall met Knoblauch several years ago and was aware of his success in junior hockey, both in special teams and overall.
"He had a nice track record," Hextall said. "I think on both sides of the puck, you like how his teams play. They're disciplined. You like the power play, goals for and goals against. All the main check points check out well."
The Flyers still have not signed UFA Jordan Weal, who could be a very attractive player for expansion Vegas this month.
"I have nothing new to report there," Hextall said, adding that he doesn't feel there's a need to get Weal under contract before July 1. "We'll see. We certainly hope to get him under contract and I think he hopes the same."