General Manager of the Philadelphia Flyers Ron Hextall knows talent when he sees it. According to most hockey analysts the Flyers were the top drafting team at the 2017 NHL Draft. This marks the third straight year most analysts believe the Flyers were one of the best drafting teams in hockey.
The Flyers hoped to gain some quality young prospects in the latter parts of the draft. They hope that some of these young prospects can turn into hidden gems in the future. Will all of them turn into hidden gems? Maybe not, but some will. Without further delay let’s take a closer look at the Flyers draft picks 7-9, in this draft finale part 3 piece.
Noah Cates, LW, (137th Overall)
Cates was born February 5, 1999, in Stillwater, MN. Being a Minnesota native, Cates instantly fell in love with the sport of hockey the minute he put on a pair of ice skates. He continued the love for the sport where he became a dominant forward on his high school team. While playing for Stillwater High School in the 2016-17 season, Cates registered 20 goals, and 45 assists for a total of 65 points in 25 games played.
The young Stillwater prospect, Cates continued his passion and love for the game after his hockey season concluded at Stillwater High. He decided to remain fresh and play for the Omaha Lancers soon thereafter. Cates showed his range and natural scoring abilities for this young team registering 2 goals, and 5 assists for a total of 7 points in 11 games played.
This up and coming prospect, Cates has the will and the work ethic to compete and try to make the NHL. Moreover, he was ranked as the 121st best North American skater on the Central Scouting Final Rankings. Cates is a natural goal scorer, who can learn to become a solid two way hockey player in the future. He has committed to the University of Minnesota-Deluth for his tenure of collegiate level hockey.
Olle Lycksell, C, (167th Overall)
Lycksell was born on August 8, 1999, in Sweden. Being a native of Sweden the sport of hockey is in his blood. He eventually played in multiple leagues in Sweden. For the Linkoping HC J18 Team, Lycksell posted 1o goals, and 11 assists for a total of 21 points in 10 games played. He really showed his range and scoring abilities, which lead him to join the Swedish Super Elite Team.
The young Lycksell continued his passion for hockey, while playing for the Linkoping HC J20 Super Elite Team. He became a force to be reckoned with. For the season he posted 4 goals, and 5 assists for a total of 9 points in 29 games played. Not stellar numbers, but solid numbers for his first taste in an Elite league.
If the small Lycksell who stands at 5’10,” 163 pounds, continues to perform at this high level. He can really develop into a hidden gem for the Flyers in the future. For the time being, Hextall again hits a homerun with this selection in the 6th round of the draft..
Wyatt Kalynuk, D, (196th Overall)
Kalynuk was born on April 14, 1997, in Virden, MB, CAN. His pond hockey childhood days eventually found himself playing for the Bloomington Thunder in 2015-16. There he transformed into a solid two-way Defenseman registering 3 goals, and 21 assists for a total of 24 points in 59 games played.
The razzling, dazzling, Kalynuk continued his success for the Thunder for the 2016-17 season. He refined his shot, and just looked even more composed on the ice, than the prior season. Kalynuk registered 6 goals, and 25 assists for a total of 31 points in 60 games played. He proved that once again he would be a solid two-way Defenseman.
This young up and coming rising star, Kalynuk can take his time to develop into a mainstay NHL Defenseman. He has the speed, vision and poise to become a solid Defenseman at the collegiate level. Kalynuk has verbally committed to the University of Wisconsin to further his hockey skills.
The Flyers yet again drafted solid players in the latter parts of the draft. Will all these players turn into a hidden gem maybe not, but some will. One thing is certain Flyers fans Hextall is a draft Guru, and the future is bright in Flyer land.
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Mandatory Photo Credit: USHL