The upcoming NHL Draft has Philadelphia Flyers fans pumped and ready to go and for good reason as the team hold the second overall pick in the draft. This is the most anticipated Draft in recent memory for the organization.
Finally the fans can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and they hope to rejoice with a parade down broad street in a few years. People can already hear the voice of the iconic Gene Hart saying, “Ladies and Gentlemen, the Flyers are going to win the Stanley Cup! The Flyers win the Stanley Cup! The Flyers win the Stanley Cup! The Flyers have won the Stanley Cup!.” This draft can be one key to the Flyers immediate success. Without further delay here is my seven round Flyers Mock draft.
Round 1: C, Nolan Patrick
The Flyers draft their first franchise Center with a pick in the top ten, since drafting Sean Couturier in 2011. This pick was a toss-up between Nico Hischier and Patrick. Patrick stands at 6’3” but has had injury issues. However, his skill and power ranks off the charts of other draftee’s. He just has a knack of where to be and when.
Patrick had a coming out party for the Brandon Wheat Kings in the 2015-16 season amassing 41 goals, and 61 assists for a total of 102 points in 72 games played. This really put him on the map as a player to be reckoned with.
In the 2016-17 season for the Brandon Wheat Kings, Patrick had a solid season registering 20 goals, and 26 assists for a total of 46 points in 33 games played. Even with his injury plagued season, Patrick showed his dominance for an under strength Wheat King squad.
If a person has watched Patrick play for the Wheat Kings, then one would notice his smooth silky hands. He is a natural goal scorer and knows how to pass the puck. Patrick has evolved into a solid two way player at his young age, and there is little doubt he will be a mainstay in the NHL.
This pick could be a potential life changing turn of events for this proud franchise. The proud Orange Clad Philly fans will have plenty to cheer about when they announce Patrick’s name at the draft, and there will be plenty of Let’s Go Flyers chants to along with the cheering, as well.
Round 2: LW, Matthew Strome
This pick is a valuable strong pick in the second round. It wasn’t until recently that Strome was viewed as a first round selection.
Strome stands at 6’3″, 201 pounds, and is a big skilled winger that plays a consistent game. The Flyers need help on the flanks. Strome provides that, and has a heck of a shot. However, he needs to get better at skating.
The young prospect enjoyed a career year for the Hamilton Bulldogs in 2016-17. For the season he tallied 34 goals, and 28 assists for 62 points in 66 games played. Moreover, 24 of his 34 tallies came at even strength. He’s not flashy, but Strome finds the open man and connects with accuracy.
Round 3: (Pick 75) LW, Jonah Gadjovich
Gadjovich is a sturdy power winger, and is willing to take a beating on his way to the net. He picks his spot in the front of the net, and places his stick in the right position to tip pucks home.
The Flyers could benefit from a fearless player that is willing to sacrifice his body for a dirty goal. Gadjovoch led all CHL first-year players with 46 goals, while scoring 17 of them on the power play.
Round 3: (Pick 80) C, Zach Solow
Solow is an American born player, who was the USHL’s top scorer. While playing for the Dubuque Fighting Saints, Solow typically ran the offense and power play.
The Fighting Saints product, Solow is a skilled offensive player that makes his linemates better. He has great vision and has the ability to find the man that nobody knows is open.
Solow may be undersized, but he’s strong and will try to finish his checks. He can change gears quickly, and will outmanevuer defensemen. For the 2016-17 season he registered 18 goals, and 51 assists for a total of 69 points in 56 games played. This really solidified his status for the upcoming NHL Draft.
Round 4: (Pick 106) C/RW, Kyle Olson
Olson is a gritty two way forward who fit in nicely for the Tri-City Americans, after Center Michael Rasmussen got hurt. His strong second half of the season for Tri-City, lead him to a spot on Team Canada’s U18 worlds squad.
For the 2016-17 season for Tri-City, Olson garnered 20 goals, and 37 assists for a total of 57 points in 70 games played. He has a good hockey IQ, in terms of his playmaking ability and vision of the ice. He would be a strong pick here in the 4th round.
Round 4: (Pick 107) D, Will Warm
Warm is a smooth skating defenseman with offensive upside. After just playing one season for the Edmonton Oil Kings in 2016-17, he really showed his composure on the ice by taking on a larger role as the season wore on.
For the 2016-17 season for the Oil Kings, Warm registered 9 goals, and 15 assists for a total of 24 points in 67 games played. He was rock solid defensively all season for the Oil Kings, and showed he had some offensive flare, as well. Warm would be a value pick at this point in the draft.
Round 4: (Pick 108) LW, Ivan Chekhovich
This dazzling playmaker was asked to carry his team in his first season with Baie-Comeau. Fresh off his stint from Russia, Chekhovich led an inexperienced Baie-Comeau team to the playoffs.
Chekhovich was the leading point scorer for Baie-Comeau amassing 26 goals, and 33 assists for a total of 59 points in 60 games played. He is a quick skater with great vision of the ice. Chekhovich would be hard for Hextall to pass up at this point in the draft.
Round 5: RW, Marian Studenic
Can we say explosive? Studenic is an explosive winger with tons of potential. He is very fast, and his agility is off the charts. His inconsistency is one main reason his stock dropped this low in the draft.
Studenic had a decent year while playing for the Hamilton Bulldogs in 2016-17. He registered 18 goals, and 12 assists for a total of 30 points in 58 games played. Studenic played in any situation the coaches asked of him. One part of his game that is underrated is his vision of the ice. He would be an asset to the Flyers for gaining zone entries. Studenic could take his time to develop within the Flyers system.
Round 6: C, Ryan Hughes
Hughes is a fast skating centerman, who appears to be a natural goal scorer. He learned a lot from his rookie season with the Portland Winterhawks in 2015-16. For the season he registered 3 goals, and 10 assists for a total of 13 points in 71 games played.
At age 17, Hughes enjoyed a stellar sophomore season with the Portland Winterhawks. He had career highs in goals (27), assists (30), for a total of 57 points in 70 games played. Hughes showed his skating, good hands, and playmaking abilities. This young prospect will need time to grow, but as time goes along he could develop into a hidden gem for the Flyers.
Round 7: G, Victor Brattstrom
Brattstrom is a die hard butterfly goaltender. He was the heart and soul of a Timra team that had trouble scoring. For the 2016-17 season Brattstrom posted a 2.29 GAA, and a .935 save percentage in 31 games played.
The young prospect looked far more composed in net from the start of the year. Brattstrom showed his quickness with his glove, blocker saves, and his quickness moving from post to post. However, with playing deep in the crease he often gets beat high with goals over his shoulders. The Flyers have no need to rush his development with the likes of Anthony Stolarz, Felix Sandstrom, Alex Lyon, and Matej Tomek waiting in the wings.
Round 7: C, Micah Miller
Miller poses as an offensive threat, who is very shifty with his skating. He isn’t very big, but he is very good at battling for pucks. Miller uses his heavy wrist shot to his advantage.
The young prospect has committed to St. Cloud State, after he finishes his tenure at the Grand Rapids Junior Academy. He was an intrical part to the Grand Rapids title win, where he displayed his skills on the top line. Miller had a career year for the Grand Rapids in the 2016-17 season, as he registered 21 goals, and 35 assists for a total of 56 points in 25 games played. The Flyers could let him develop, and take his time to get to the big club. He has the work ethic to possibly turn into a hidden gem for the Flyers organization.
The 2017 NHL Draft will provide the Flyers with some players that will have an immediate impact. Of course there are some that will need more time to grow and develop. Will all these young players work out maybe not. However, one thing that is clear is that this draft is the next step of the rebuild. We will begin to see some instant ramifications next season. With the likes of Philippe Myers, Travis Sanheim, Samuel Morin, Robert Hagg, Connor Bunnaman, Oskar Lindblom, Taylor Leier, and German Rubtsov, the future is bright in Flyers land.
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Mandatory Photo Credit: Larry MacDougal via AP