June 17, 2019
While much of the attention this week will be on the NBA Draft, which takes place on Thursday night, that's not the only draft taking place. Twenty-four hours later, on Friday night, the 2019 NHL Draft gets underway at Rodgers Arena in Vancouver with the first round. The final six rounds are set to take place on Saturday afternoon.
The Flyers, who currently hold the 11th pick in the first round, are set to make nine selections in the draft. Here's a look at their full slate of picks, which includes five picks in the first 103 and could change should general manager Chuck Fletcher decide to deal any of those picks on draft night:
The Flyers won't have a chance at the draft's top prizes, prospects Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko, but they should have plenty of solid options when they're put on the clock with the 11th overall pick. What Fletcher and the Flyers' braintrust ultimately decide to do with that selection will be largely dependent on what happens with the 10 picks in front of them. But that won't stop us from speculating.
"This draft is a little unique," assistant GM Brent Flahr said last week. "The top two guys, the media have talked about them enough. This draft, especially the top 15, I think there are a number of different types of players, which is interesting. Some power wingers, some smaller scoring wingers, centers, a number of D, goaltenders.
"Obviously picking 11, some of that is taken out for us. We’ve identified probably 5 or 6 guys who we think have a chance to be there at 11 and probably some of the teams in front of us will dictate that. We are really confident we are going to get a good player at 11."
So, who might that player be? Since yours truly is hardly an NHL Draft expert, we're going to leave that job up to those who do it best. Here's a look at a bunch of different NHL mock drafts, and who they believe is headed to Philly with the 11th overall pick.
Over at NHL.com, they had three writers predict each pick in this weekend's NHL Draft, and they couldn't seem to agree on what the Flyers will do at No. 11 — which isn't all that surprising since the only thing these three did seem to agree on in their mock drafts was who the first two picks were going to be.
11. Philadelphia Flyers
Kimelman -- Moritz Seider, D, Mannheim (GER): At 18, Seider won the rookie of year award while helping Mannheim to the German league championship and then scored two goals in five games and looked right at home playing with and against NHL players for Germany at the World Championship. He needs to develop physically (6-4, 183), but his skating ability and offensive skill make him a prospect with huge upside.
Morreale -- Peyton Krebs, C, Kootenay (WHL): He likes to use his speed and quickness to his advantage, but he's also tough to contain in 1-on-1 situations. Krebs (5-11, 180) is an elite two-way player who can serve as an offensive catalyst or shutdown player. He had 68 points (19 goals, 49 assists) in 64 games while Kootenay finished 21st in the 22-team league.
Lepage -- Matthew Boldy, LW, USA U-18 (NTDP: He is the perfect match for the Flyers' style of play. Blessed with an appealing frame, Boldy works relentlessly on the forecheck and is able to create offense thanks to his dangerous shot. [nhl.com]
Here's a look at some highlights for Moritz Seider...
And Matthew Boldy (don't worry, we didn't forget about Krebs, we'll get to him in a minute)...
At The Hockey Writers, we not only got a first-round mock draft, but we also got a full seven-round consensus mock draft. Here's a look at what they think the Flyers could do this weekend, starting with out first repeat prediction for the 11th pick — winger Peyton Krebs.
11) Peyton Krebs (LC/LW, Canada, Kootenay/Winnipeg WHL)
41) Connor McMichael (LC, Canada, London OHL)
65) Samuel Bolduc (LD, Canada, Blainville-Boisbriand QMJHL)
72) Artemi Knyazev (LD, Russia, Chicoutimi QMJHL)
103) Matvei Guskov (LC, Russia, London OHL)
165) Gianni Fairbrother (LD, Canada, Everett WHL)
169) Artyom Galimov (LC, Russia, Bars Kazan VHL, overager)
196) Keean Washkurak (LC, Canada, Mississauga OHL)
201) Keegan Stevenson (RC, Canada, Guelph OHL)
TOTAL: 9 (5 LC, 3 LD, 1 RC)
ANALYSIS: Philadelphia fans aren’t in for much of a surprise — or much change — since the consensus stuck with the top three picks from my mock, along with Galimov as a fourth repeat pick. Krebs isn’t a lock here, certainly not after his Achilles injury, but he still felt like the right fit for the Flyers. Ditto for McMichael and Bolduc. Carter Hart’s former goaltending partner in junior, Dustin Wolf, was available again at No. 72 — he was my pick for Philly there — but the consensus opted for Russian defender Knyazev. Not a bad choice by any means.
The consensus also took McMichael’s teammate Guskov and a teammate of current Flyers defence prospect Wyatte Wylie in Fairbrother. In the seventh round, the consensus went with two more OHL forwards instead of the two over-age Czech defencemen from my mock, which admittedly feels more fitting for Philly. [thehockeywriters.com]
Here are some highlights of Krebs:
And here's what writer Larry Fisher had to say about that 11th overall pick and Krebs, specifically...
11) Philadelphia Flyers — Peyton Krebs (LC/LW, Canada, Kootenay WHL)
Height/Weight: 5-foot-11.5, 183 pounds (CO)
ANALYSIS: Philly also strongly considers Caufield and Boldy — again, shocked that both are still on the board — but the Flyers stick with their pre-draft plan to pick Krebs, who has a little bit of Matt Barzal in his game and also a little bit of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Krebs is a big-time talent, the first overall pick from his WHL bantam draft year ahead of Dach and Byram. Krebs played for a very poor junior team and his numbers reflect that to a degree, but he’s such a smart player that he’ll rack up the points as a pro with a better supporting cast.
The Flyers would be getting a mature, motivated kid known for his work ethic as much as his skill. Krebs has the drive to develop into a star. Because he’s been developing on such a bad junior team, Krebs has been forced to play in all situations and become more well-rounded beyond his offensive contributions, which could also mean he’s closer to being NHL-ready than most would expect. Krebs is a pretty polished player, yet has a ton of upside. [thehockeywriters.com]
If the Flyers decide to go defense in Round 1, Jordan Hall of NBC Sports Philadelphia believes that Victor Soderstrom, who already has some pro experience in Sweden, could be the pick for the Flyers.
11. Philadelphia Flyers
Victor Soderstrom - D - Brynas
With plenty of forwards already gone, general manager Chuck Fletcher, assistant general manager Brent Flahr and the Flyers can grab one of the better defensemen in the draft at No. 11 overall. They'll do so by drafting Soderstrom (6-0/182), a mature and developed blueliner who played 44 games in the Swedish Elite League.
"We'll take the best player, especially at 11," Flahr said June 10. "We have some young defensemen that are in the NHL right now and a couple coming, but we'd probably like to add defensemen depth to our organization going forward. Whether that's at 11 or in the second or third rounds, we'll see."
The Flyers haven't drafted a defenseman in the first round since Ivan Provorov (2015) and they like blueliners that move the puck up ice, which Soderstrom does well (see story). NHL Central Scouting's third-ranked European skater plays the right way, helps dictate possession and might not have a long path to the NHL. [nbcsports.com]
You can take a look at Soderstrom for yourself:
There could be a different Swedish defender on the Flyers' radar, Philip Broberg.
11. Philadelphia Flyers – Philip Broberg, D, AIK (Sweden 2), 6-3, 200, Shoots left: Named the best defenseman at the U-18 World Championship for gold medal-winning Sweden. Two-way defenseman with elite skating ability and good hockey sense. Under contract for one more year in Sweden. [newsday.com]
And, interestingly enough, Newsday isn't the only publication predicting the Flyers take Broberg with the 11th pick, marking just our second repeat selection of the day.
11) Philadelphia Flyers - Philip Broberg, D (AIK, Allsvenskan)
2018-19 stats: 41 GP, 2 G, 7 A, 9 P
The Flyers haven’t taken a defenseman in the first round since the 2015 NHL Draft, and they’ve got a good stock of forwards in their farm system. That tilts Chuck Fletcher toward a defenseman in the first round here, and he goes with Broberg, a Swedish blue liner. [nj.com]
Broad Street Hockey believes Fletcher will go offense with the Flyers' first pick, and they're big fans of center Alex Newhook, who they compare to Travis Konecny...
With the 11th overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, Philadelphia selects, from the Victoria Grizzlies of the BCHL, center Alex Newhook. ...
What did we like about Newhook?
A lot! Newhook has been dominant for multiple seasons in the BCHL — which, in fairness, is exactly what a player worthy of being selected in the lottery range should be when going up against Canadian Junior-A competition, but he certainly has done it. Newhook is (well, will be when it eventually happens) the first BCHL player chosen in the first round since Colorado took Penticton’s Tyson Jost at No. 10 back in 2016, and we think he’s worthy of that perch.
There aren’t many obvious holes in Newhook’s game. He’s a plus skater with impressive skill, and is able to put those two attributes together in a way guys his age sometimes struggle to. He’s got impressive abilities on the puck, showing off creativity both as a shooter and a passer. And while he’s likely not going to win many Selkes in his NHL career, he’s a willing competitor on every part of the ice and will make his opponents work for what they get.
In some ways, Newhook reminds us of Travis Konecny, another smallish but dynamic center from Canadian juniors who played with a ton of speed and wasn’t afraid to play a bit of a rough-and-tumble game at that level in doing so. Like Konecny has, it wouldn’t be surprising if Newhook ends up spending time at wing if/when he makes the NHL, but it doesn’t seem like a lock, and that kind of positional flexibility would make him even more valuable. And even if all of the skills don’t quite translate as he moves up the ranks, his well-rounded ability makes it hard to imagine he would totally bust. [broadstreethockey.com]
And don't worry, we've got highlights:
11. Philadelphia Flyers: Arthur Kaliyev, LW, Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL) [bleacherreport.com]
Bleacher Report didn't have any more information on Kaliyev, so here's a little bit from NHL Central Scouting, where he ranks seventh among North American forwards:
• Kaliyev (51-51—102 IN 67 GP) ranked fourth in the Ontario Hockey League in Goals and tied for sixth in points as the Hamilton Bulldogs' offensive leader. He became the first player in Bulldogs team history to score 50 goals in a single campaign and the first to do so with the Bulldogs/Bulls franchise since Tyler Donati in 2006-07 (54-75—129 IN 66 GP).
• He notched 31 goals during his OHL rookie campaign in 2017-18 to become the first 16-year-old in the league to hit the 30-goal mark since Alex Galchenyuk did so with the Sarnia Sting in 2010-11. Kaliyev added 3-8–11 in 21 postseason contests to help the Bulldogs capture the J. Ross Robertson Cup as OHL champions in 2018.
• Kaliyev represented Team USA at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup where he ranked second on the team with 3-3–6 in 5 GP.
• Models his style of play after former NHL forward Rick Nash. [nhl.com]
Plus, a highlight video:
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