Since Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier are the consensus top players in next month's NHL draft, it's likely New Jersey will select one of the highly touted centers with the No. 1 overall pick.

The Flyers, who jumped from No. 13 to No. 2 on Saturday in a stunning draft lottery, figure to get the player not taken by the Devils.

Both are projected to be NHL stars.

"I'm not going to talk about who we're going to pick. We know we're going to get a good player," general manager Ron Hextall said.

Most draft experts have had Patrick rated No. 1 for most of the season, but Hischier has moved to the top spot in some rankings.

After the regular season, Craig Button, the former Calgary Flames general manager who is now a draft expert for TSN in Canada, ranked Patrick No. 1 and Hischier No. 2. But Button reversed his projections after the draft lottery, putting the 6-foot-1, 176-pound Hischier first and the 6-2, 198-pound Patrick second.

Button said he believes Hischier is NHL-ready and will be taken by New Jersey, and called Patrick a "perfect fit" for the Flyers because of his size, talent, and the fact he was a former teammate of Flyers rookie defenseman Ivan Provorov with Brandon in the Western Hockey League.

The NHL's Central Scouting has Patrick at No. 1 and Hischier at No. 2.

Said Hextall: "I know everybody talks about [those] two - and there's two very good players - but there are a couple of other guys who are pretty darn good, too. I don't know that it's a total slam-dunk that this draft is predicted, necessarily."

If the Devils were to pass on the two dynamic centers, Miro Heiskanen is considered the best defenseman in the draft.

Hextall was asked if he would consider trading the No. 2 overall pick in the right scenario.

"You can't say no to anything because you don't know what's going to come your way," Hextall said. "Do I envision moving the No. 2 pick? No, I don't. In saying that, if something comes along that we can't say no to, we'll certainly look at it, but as of right now, I'd say we'd be pretty comfortable making that pick."

The first round of the draft will be June 23 in Chicago.

Phantoms eliminated

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms, the Flyers' top farm team, dropped a 3-2 decision Sunday night to visiting Hershey and were eliminated in the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs.

Hershey won the series, three games to two, and will face Providence in the next round.

The visiting team won each of the five playoff games. It marked just the second time that has happened in a five-game AHL series in the league's postseason history.

A defensive breakdown contributed to Colby Williams' goal, giving Hershey a 3-1 lead with 13 minutes, 44 seconds remaining.

With 6,028 fans watching in Allentown, Taylor Leier's first goal of the series got the Phantoms to within 3-2 with 7:10 left, but Lehigh Valley would not get any closer. Colin McDonald had the other goal for the Phantoms, who outshot the Bears, 30-26.

"The first goal this year was getting into the playoffs," Phantoms coach Scott Gordon said. "The organization hadn't been in the playoffs in seven years, and from day one that was our focus. Along the way, you put up 48 wins and 101 points and play in a division that really there weren't a whole lot of easy nights, and that really says a lot about how the guys played all year."

The Phantoms suffered their third one-goal loss in the series.

"I don't think we can ask our players to play any better," Gordon said. "We certainly gave ourselves a chance to win every single game and we didn't get the bounces when we needed them. I can't take anything away from our players."

@BroadStBull