More Sports:

June 20, 2024

NHL Draft: 4 defensemen the Flyers could take at pick No. 12

Calgary's Carter Yakemchuk and London's Sam Dickinson could be prospects to help bolster the Flyers' defensive pipeline.

Flyers NHL
Sam-Dickinson-London-Knights-OHL-2024.jpg Greg Wohlford/Erie Times-News / USA Today Network

London Knights defenseman Sam Dickinson takes a check against the Erie Otters during an OHL game back in March. Dickinson is projected to be one of the top defensemen in the 2024 NHL Draft.

The Flyers have stressed numerous times in the past year that a strong blueline corps is a big key to their long-term ambitions. 

And while there is expected to be plenty of forward talent available to them by the time they're on the clock at pick No. 12 in the NHL Draft next week, there should be a few highly intriguing d-man options to consider as well. 

In fact, the defensemen that the Flyers could potentially pick from in Vegas might be the ones best lined up to make the greatest impact in a few years' time. 

Here's a rundown...

D Carter Yakemchuk

Calgary (WHL) | 6'3", 202 lbs. | Age: 18, Shoots: R

Yakemchuk has a wicked shot, some deceptive hands, and the size to win puck battles and lay out some booming hits – the last part of which he is absolutely aware of. 

His defensive awareness and positioning are going to need some work, but the pure skill is there, along with an aggressive playstyle to match. You won't catch him shying away from anything, though that can be to a detriment at times, as he did rack up 120 penalty minutes in juniors this past season. 

That said, Yakemchuk produced a 30-goal, 71-point draft year skating in 66 games for the Calgary Hitmen on the back end. 

Defense is a major point of emphasis for the Flyers' long-term ambitions, and Yakemchuk has the talent and potential to play a big role in that provided he's still on the board for them to take.

D Sam Dickinson

London (OHL) | 6'3", 203 lbs. | Age: 18, Shoots: L

If you've been keeping up on the Oliver Bonk and Denver Barkey highlights coming out of London over the past few months, you might've noticed No. 3 on the ice alongside them, too. 

Dickinson is a solid skater with the stamina to cover both ends of the ice, and like his 52-assist, 70-point draft campaign points to, yeah, he can create a good bit of offense for you. 

Dickinson could be another major asset in the Flyers' defensive pipeline, but that's only if he falls to them first. There's definite recognition of Dickinson's skill as the draft approaches at the end of the month, but a lot of variability in how exactly the board is going to shape up, too. 

Some mock drafts have him going as high as No. 3 overall, while others have him going at around picks 10-11. 

Barring Danny Brière making a trade up beforehand, where other teams' priorities lie will determine whether the Flyers actually will get a shot at him.

D Adam Jiříček

HC Plzeň (Czechia) | 6'2", 167 lbs. | Age: 17, Shoots: R

Jiříček plays a highly aware and anticipatory defensive game, and will absolutely jump on a high-risk, high-reward play if he likes his odds – which to this point has worked for him more often than not. 

He will need to bulk up for the NHL, and perhaps calm down just a bit with his playmaking risk-taking, but for a 17-year old (he'll turn 18 by the time the draft arrives at the end of the month), he sees the ice extremely well. 

Jiříček's immediate stat line isn't wholly impressive at first glance either – just an assist and a minus-10 rating in 19 games for HC Plzeň – but it has to be kept in mind that, again, he's 17 and was skating against grown men in Czechia's pro league. 

The promise lies more in how he drives the puck forward and keeps it out of trouble, rather than the upfront numbers. 

Here's a look into how he does it below:

The younger brother of David Jiříček, the sixth overall pick to Columbus in 2022, there's optimism around Adam that he could eventually become a top defenseman, too, and is one expected to be available within the Flyers' range.

D Stian Solberg

Färjestad BK (SHL) | 6'2", 205 lbs. | Age: 18, Shoots: L

Solberg, even at 18, is a big defenseman with an even bigger mean streak.

If he sees a check, he is going to finish it, and it doesn't matter who. 

He has been turning a lot of heads lately because of that approach, especially with his performance for Norway at the IIHF World Championship last month, where he skated against current NHLers – some of the league's notable stars even – and held his own. 

That he can play to and keep up with that level already speaks volumes to his NHL outlook, and it's not just that he's highly physical either, he's got some sneaky playmaking ability to his game, too. 

Solberg is set to play pro hockey over in Sweden this upcoming season, where he'll continue to develop and grow into his game. It's definitely trending in the right direction, and could all go toward making him a face puck carriers just do not want to see skating across the ice in a few years' time – preferably in an orange and black jersey.

*Hat tip again to NHL Draft Pros and Elite Prospects for their excellent video coverage during draft season.

NHL Draft: 5 forwards the Flyers could take at pick No. 12

Follow Nick on Twitter: @itssnick

Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports