Flyers Faithful is pleased to have Ed Miller from The Hockey Writers, Mark Edwards from HockeyProspect.com, Chris Shafer from Hockey’s Future, and Corey Pronman from Hockey Prospectus participate in the current iteration of Five Questions. This is the fourth of a five part series focusing on the upcoming draft.
The Flyers have historically had success drafting in the last 10 picks of the first round (Giroux, Richards, Williams, Gagne), and they find themselves in that same position for the first time since 2006 (Giroux). Who do you like that you would project to be available in that spot?
Ed Miller: The biggest worry is defense, so I would hope the Flyers address that issue. I would like to see them select defenseman Hampus Lindholm out of Sweden, as he’s got just what Philadelphia needs. He’s one of the better puck-moving defenseman in the draft and although he’s not the biggest player out there at 6-foot 2 and 185 lbs, he plays the game with grit, something the Flyers could use on the blue line. He was named the U20 Super Elit League’s Best Defenseman this past season after notching five goals and 12 assists in 28 games with Rogle BK U20. The only worry I have is that he might get picked by one of the two or three teams ahead of the Flyers but hopefully he will fall right into their lap.
Mark Edwards: A very ‘Flyer like’ player might just survive to their pick. Tom Wilson of the Plymouth Whalers is a very physical power forward. We have him ranked 19th. Remember the names Bozon, Hertl, Aberg and Di Giuseppe. All would be great picks at #20 in our opinion.
Chris Shafer: A guy like Slater Koekkoek immediately comes to mind as the kind of guy you find in the late first round who can do a lot of good things for an organization. In this year’s confusion, it is very likely he will end up somewhere in the Flyers’ range as a solid defenseman who can do a little bit of everything. He chews up big minutes in chunks and can take complete control of his blueline late in the game. Injury history aside, there is not much you can really argue against with a guy like Koekkoek.
Another possibility to get lost in the confusion of this year’s first round is a guy like Hampus Lindholm or even a Brady Skjei. The good thing about where the Flyers’ pick is that if there is a team that goes for a defensemen early, it only means that a different potential NHL blueliner will fall to them at 20. Guys like Lindholm, Skjei, Codi Ceci, Olli Matta, Matt Finn, Ludvig Bystrom, Dalton Thrower, and Derick Pouliot could all find themselves in that 15 through 30 range.
Corey Pronman: You can find my rankings here.