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HF Flyers Draft Preview


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Here's an update on Flyer prospects, what they may be looking for or need and a mock pick from way out in left field. 

 

http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/109563/philadelphia-flyers-2014-nhl-draft-preview/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=philadelphia-flyers-2014-nhl-draft-preview

 

 

 

Philadelphia Flyers 2014 NHL Draft preview
By Jashvina Shah
June 23rd, 2014
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samuel_morin_philadelphia_091713_1.jpg

Photo: Defenseman Sam Morin was selected 11th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

 

The Philadelphia Flyers returned to the playoffs this season after a one-year hiatus, although they were unable to move past the first round. After the season ended, the Philadelphia front office promoted then-GM Paul Holmgren to team president while hiring Ron Hextall in his place.

 

The Flyers seem to be moving upward after making a few huge changes since their last Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2010. Philadelphia has a lot of solid, two-way players in its prospect pool, but the team lacks elite talent. The Flyers have several strong prospects who can help the team moving forward, but the lack of depth at many positions is a concern for the team.

Top 10 Prospects:

1. Scott Laughton, C
2. Samuel Morin, D
3. Robert Hagg, D
4. Shayne Gostisbehere, D
5. Nick Cousins, C
6. Anthony Stolarz, G
7. Mark Alt, D
8. Tye McGinn, LW
9. Michael Parks, RW
10. Jason Akeson, RW

Team Needs

The Flyers have long been plagued by goalkeeping issues. This season they relied heavily onSteve Mason, with Ray Emery appearing in a few games. Philadelphia even called up Cal Heeter from the AHL for a game. Outside of Mason, who has been a question mark at times, Philadelphia's best goalkeeping prospect is Anthony Stolarz. But there are doubts surrounding his future as well, and there is no other player capable of being an NHL goalkeeper in Philadelphia's system.

The Flyers have long prioritized two-way forwards and defense in their drafting and trading, and their current roster reflects that. Elite scoring is an area the team needs to address, particularly on wing. They have a couple of good prospect centers in Scott Laughton and Nick Cousins, but lack depth outside of those players.

Organizational Strengths

Philadelphia has a lengthy list of defensemen in its prospect pool, and they hold the rights to some elite blueliners. Samuel Morin, Mark Alt, Shayne Gostisbehere, and Robert Hagg are just a few of the team's top-rated defensemen, but a few of those players have excelled over the past season and are near NHL ready, like Hagg and Valeri Vasiliev.

The defensive core also has a good mix of speed in Gostisbehere and physicality in Vasiliev and Hagg. Reece Willcox, a defensemen who benefitted from a strong season at Cornell, is another stronger defensive-end player.

Organizational Weaknesses

As mentioned earlier, the biggest weakness for the Flyers is goalkeeping. Mason helped the Flyers be a competitive team this season, but he has been inconsistent in the past. And outside of Mason, the Flyers have Emery as a backup. The organization has three goaltenders in the system, including Heeter, who played an NHL game this season.

But none of Philadelphia's goalies can be looked at as Philadelphia's franchise player. The closest the team has is Anthony Stolarz, but his future is still in question.

The lack of forward depth is a concern for a Flyers team that is also in need of elite scoring talent. They have gotten by with gritty two-way players and have emphasized a defense-first system, but it is an area the team needs to improve.

Draft Tendencies

Philadelphia, in the past, has taken players from the NCAA, the CHL, and even a few here and there from European leagues. But those tendencies have all been with Paul Holmgren at the helm. Hextall spent several years with Los Angeles helping the Kings build a Stanley Cup winning team. The Kings have taken most of their players from the CHL, but picked a couple of very good players from college as well.

In this year's draft, the Flyers, who are hosting, own the 17th overall pick. They have five picks overall and will pick at: 17, 48, 138, 168, and 198.

The Flyers acquired another draft pick after trading Andre Meszaros to the Bruins. If Meszaros re-signs with Boston before the draft, the Flyers will receive a second-round pick. If not, it will downgrade to a third-round selection.

The Flyers have lost two picks for the upcoming draft due to trades. Philadelphia traded its third-round selection to the Islanders in a trade that brought Andrew MacDonald to Philadelphia. The Flyers also lost their fourth-round selection to the Islanders after a swap for Mark Streit last June.

Hockey's Future Staff Mock Draft Results:

17. Nick Schmaltz, C, Green Bay Gamblers (USHL)

Most of Philadelphia's players are very, very gritty forwards. While Nick Schmaltz, the brother of St. Louis Blues draft pick Jordan, most likely needs to work on his defensive game, he has some good playmaking skills.

Schmaltz, a member of the USHL All-Rookie team, used his quick skating ability, fast hands and good vision to record 52 points (18 goals, 34 assists) with the Green Bay Gamblers.

The North Dakota commit played for the USA in the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament before last season started, and helped his country take home silver. He was a member of the U19 team that won gold at the World Junior A Challenge.

 

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Thanks for posting FC... good read but the Schmaltz pick is a head scratcher ;)

 

Outside of defensive prospects I really dont see anything that is "strong" as the article suggests.   I don't see any forwards in that top 10 that will be a top 6 in the NHL.   Laughton I think will be a #3 Center and hope to be wrong but that is what I would project him.  Cousins, McGinn, Parks and Akeson are really nothing more than depth players to me at this point.   Akeson had a nice showing and hope he continues his solid play.  McGinn I never really liked and think he is pretty much a call-up....

 

Basically, I think they need to go for a skilled forward in the draft - that plays Wing!

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@murraycraven  It may not happen right away, but Laughton will be at *least* a 2nd line center.

 

I know you like him Jammer ;)

 

I just see him more of a 3rd line Center and dont think his scoring will translate over to the NHL.   If he is a 20 goal scorer I would be more than happy but dont see much more.   Not that he is going to be a bad player I just dont think he will be an offenisve force.   Again, hope to be wrong!

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@murraycraven

 

 Pretty sure Schmaltz goes mid-2nd round. I can name a dozen players that should be available when we pick I'd prefer. On the other hand, at least he isn't a goon.

 

 Laughton may eventually be a 2nd line center, but 3rd definately seems more likely. Not sure his scoring translates to the NHL but he should be able to contribute somewhat there, he's got a nice shot. It's nice having Dmen as 3 of our top 4 prospects for a change. The Hockey Gods of Defence have to smile on us some day...maybe we hit on all 3? 

 

 I really hope we take a scoring LWer. Someone with a bit of size, who can skate. I was down on Perlini earlier because I expected more out of him. But I'm starting to think he could possibly slide. And if he does, we gotta take him.

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@murraycraven

 

 Pretty sure Schmaltz goes mid-2nd round. I can name a dozen players that should be available when we pick I'd prefer. On the other hand, at least he isn't a goon.

 

 Laughton may eventually be a 2nd line center, but 3rd definately seems more likely. Not sure his scoring translates to the NHL but he should be able to contribute somewhat there, he's got a nice shot. It's nice having Dmen as 3 of our top 4 prospects for a change. The Hockey Gods of Defence have to smile on us some day...maybe we hit on all 3? 

 

 I really hope we take a scoring LWer. Someone with a bit of size, who can skate. I was down on Perlini earlier because I expected more out of him. But I'm starting to think he could possibly slide. And if he does, we gotta take him.

 

 

Everything you state FC is exactly how I feel.  

 

If Laughton is a 2nd line Center in the years to come I am more than happy.  I love the kids game and from what I have seen of him he plays beyond is years on the defensive side of the puck which is great to see.  I hope he comes into camp and makes it hard for them to not keep him in the lineup.   He seems like he has a good head on his shoulders and is a hard worker.  

 

As for a LWer... That is where I would like to see them draft as well.  Size and speed would be a welcome addition and lord knows we need help at the wing position.  

 

As for defense I am excited about our young guys.  I think Ghost, Morin and Hagg all could be good if not very good players.   I also like Alt...  The trick is to not rush them and let them develop and hopefully one of them (if not all) will be w/ the big club in a few years.   To think we actually have quality d prospects is pretty startling :D

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