General Manager of the Philadelphia Flyers Ron Hextall knows talent when he sees it. Hextall’s wizardry on draft is one of many reasons why the Flyers have the best farm system in the NHL. According to most hockey analysts, the Flyers had a really solid draft at the 2018 NHL Draft. Moreover, the sporting news gave the Flyers a draft grade of an “A-.” This restocking of the cupboard filled many holes within the Flyers prospect pool.
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. Without further delay. let’s take a closer look at the Flyers draft picks numbers 143, 174, and 205, in this draft finale segment.
Samuel Ersson, G, (143rd Overall)
Ersson was born October 20, 1999, in Falun, SWE. Being a native of Sweden, Ersson instantly fell in love with the sport of hockey the minute he put on a pair of ice skates. He continued his love for the sport, where he became a dominant Goaltender for Brynas IF SHL. While playing for Brynas in the Super Elite League in the 2017-18 season, Ersson registered a 2.53 GAA, and .920 Save Percentage in 40 games played.
This up and coming prospect, Ersson has the will and the work ethic to compete, and try to make the NHL. He is a classic butterfly netminder that is very good on the edges, which allows for good rebound control. Ersson needs to become quicker for reactionary saves, but he is more often than not very well composed between the pipes.
Ersson was ranked as the 7th best goalie by the NHL Central Scouting (EU Goalies). He is an athlete who can learn to become a solid netminder in the future. Let’s not forget he plays in a very tough Swedish Elite League.
Gavin Hain, C, (174th Overall)
Hain was born on April 3, 2000, in Grand Rapids, MN. Being a native of Minnesota the sport of hockey was in his blood from birth. He eventually found himself playing for the US National U18 Team for the USDP in 2017-18. Hain posted 15 goals, and 20 assists for a total of 35 points in 61 games played. He really showed his range and scoring abilities this season.
This young man in Hain needs to improve his skating. Hain has a crazy, smoking hot shot. He can blast the puck with the best of them. Hain has committed to a familiar University for Flyers fans in the University of North Dakota. Hopefully, his skating improves because Hain has beautiful hands.
If Hain who stands at 5’11,” but is a nice size at 194 pounds, continues to perform at this high level. He can really develop into a hidden gem for the Flyers. Hain was ranked 104 for North American Skaters according to the NHL Central Scouting. For the time being, Hextall again hits a homerun with this selection in the 6th round of the draft.
Trade pick 190 to Montreal for a Seventh-Round Pick in 2019.
Marcus Westfalt, C/LW, (205th Overall)
Westfalt was born on March 12, 2000, in Stockholm, SWE. From the way this young man plays and bleeds the sport of hockey. One can tell he was meant to be a hockey player. Westfalt stands at 6’3,” and is a stocky 203 pounds. He found himself playing for Brynas IF SHL in 2017-18, where he has transformed into a hidden gem. Westfalt plays a solid two-way game, and that became noticeable in the 2017-18 season. For the season, he registered 12 goals, and 15 assists for a total of 27 points in 26 games played.
This razzling, dazzling, playmaker in Westfalt refined his shot, and looked even more composed on the ice for the 2017-18 season. Westfalt is a young up and coming rising star in the Swedish Elite League. He has the speed, vision, and poise to become a solid versatile Center for years to come for the Flyers. Westfalt was ranked 44 for the NHL Central Scouting (EU-Skaters), and there’s no need to rush his development.
The Flyers yet again drafted solid players in the latter parts of the draft. Will all these players turn into hidden gems maybe not, but some will. One thing is certain Flyers fans Hextall is a draft Guru, and the future is bright in Flyer land.
Mandatory Photo Credit: Bildbyrån/Simon Hastegård