Flyers Faithful is pleased to have Adam Kimelman from NHL.com, Mark Edwards from HockeyProspect.com, Chris Shafer from Hockey’s Future, Todd Cordell from The Hockey Guys and HockeyBuzz and our very own Jared Abbott participate in the current iteration of Five Questions. This is the second of a five part series focusing on the upcoming draft.
Last year the Flyers picked up defenseman Valeri Vasiliev in the 7th round and he was considered one of the dark horse picks of the whole draft. What sleeper picks might there be in this draft that could fill this role?
Adam Kimelman: With the draft this deep — there could be top-end players going as deep as the end of the second round — it’s hard to pick out a “sleeper.” But one player who possibly could slip a bit is Eric Comrie, a goalie with Tri-City in the WHL. He missed most of the season with a hip injury so a lot of scouts might not have seen him. But he was considered the second-best goalie in the draft for most of the season. I think he could go in the first round, but there’s just as good a chance he slips a bit.
Mark Edwards: From the west, our Vancouver based scout, Charles An thinks Nolan De Jong of the Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL) could be a nice late round pick. He is heading to the University of Michigan and will have the opportunity to play good minutes. In the WHL, Charles personally likes Macoy Erkamps a lot. He’s not particularly big, but he likes to use his body, and is above average at moving the puck. A euro player we like is Gustav Possler. He is quite skilled, played in the Eliteserien for a few games with Modo and impressed us last season. We struggled to get views this season but he left an impression on a couple of our scouts, including me. We don’t think people talk enough about Possler. You might see a kid like Eric Locke from Saginaw go late in the draft. He is a re-entry guy and posted big numbers.
Chris Shafer: The answer to this question is literally like drawing names out of a hat. Guys that had poor combines, awkward interviews, or are coming off major injury could always turn out to be late-round gems because they fall significantly, often stealthily, until one team decides to nab them as a sink-or-swim guy around the end of the draft. The vast majority of these low-risk/high-reward picks end up being no-risk/no-reward selections. For what sleeper picks may crop up this year, we will have to wait until after the draft has finished to see what could possibly be considered a sleeper.
Todd Cordell: One of my favorite sleepers in this year’s draft is Sergey Tolchinsky of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. He’s a high-end talent who, for the most part, has been projected to go in the mid-to-late rounds of the draft because of his small frame (5’9″, 160lbs). If he bulks up and gets stronger on the puck, he could make a team very happy because he’s loaded with potential. If he goes where he’s projected to go (mid-to-late rounds), he’ll be a great pick because the potential reward far outweighs the risk.
Jared Abbott: In 2011 the Chicago Blackhawks used the 139th pick overall on a tenacious forward from Owen Sound. That former Memorial Cup leading scorer, who is now driving their Stanley Cup hopes is Andrew Shaw. Valuable pieces for a championship team can be found even in the 5th round or later. A teammate of Shaw’s on that 2010-11 OHL champion Owen Sound team is Cameron Brace. Much like Shaw, Brace has been passed over twice already in the NHL draft. The third time is the charm for this small, yet feisty forward. Brace led the OHL in shorthanded goals the past two seasons and has developed a solid two-way style of play. He is a speed demon who doesn’t back down from larger foes. Given his 5’9″ 157-pound frame, he is likely to fall into the later rounds. A team like Philly would be wise to select the hungry speedster with the heart to succeed in the NHL. Just ask Chicago about that.
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