Flyers Prospects Mailbag: Replenishing the Defense Pool

DALLAS, TX – JUNE 23: Wyatte Wylie speaks to the media after being selected 127th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers during the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 23, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

This week’s Flyers Prospects Mailbag is very brief but still touches on some great topics. We discuss potential entry-level contract candidates, replenishing the defensive prospect pool, and the upcoming draft.

Let’s get this party started.

As I write this, Joel Farabee is still the only college prospect to sign his entry-level contract with the Flyers.

We know that Wyatt Kalynuk is returning to Wisconsin to serve as team captain. As a former seventh-round pick, I believe this was the correct move for him to make. He had a very strong year with the Badgers this season and will look to improve off of that next season. The leadership role will also be a great experience.

The two names to keep an eye on moving forward are Tanner Laczynski and Wade Allison. Both forwards are finished with their junior years. Typically, teams try to avoid having their prospects playing a senior year so there is a strong chance Laczynski and Allison sign an entry-level contract before the June 1st deadline.

I feel that this draft is stacked with talent. After Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko, there is a slight drop. However, there is a great deal of parity in a lot of prospects that will go between the beginning and the middle of the first round.

Although the Flyers may not pick within the top-ten, they are still in a good position to pick up a great player in round one. Taking the best player available is my preferred approach to the draft but Philadelphia needs to restock its defensive prospect pool the most. There is a chance that Bowen Byram is the only blueliner taken in the first ten picks, meaning there could be some very promising defensemen available when the Flyers make their pick. Someone such as Cam York or Victor Soderstrom could prove to be a steal in the middle of the draft. If the Flyers pick in the within that 12-15 range, I believe they will select a defenseman. Still, we need to keep the draft lottery in mind. If they can somehow get a pick in the top ten, I’d love to see them target Trevor Zegras. He can slot in at center or wing and brings top-line to top-six potential. The draft lottery is April 9th and I will be focusing in on potential draft candidates a lot more after that.

As I mentioned, the defenseman prospect pool needs some restocking. Phil Myers is now an NHL player, meaning all of our highly-regarded young bluelines are now in the NHL. Of the remaining blueline prospects, my top three looks like this:

  1. Yegor Zamula
  2. Wyatte Wylie
  3. Linus Hogberg

I want to be clear about something. Although I ranked these three prospects, I believe that all of them have the same amount of potential to be successful NHL defensemen. Zamula and Wylie fit that offensive-defenseman role that has so much value in today’s NHL. Hogberg, on the other hand, is much more solid in his own end put still possesses “top four” potential.

Thank you so much to all of the people who provided questions for Flyers Prospects Mailbag! If you missed out this week, keep an eye on Twitter for my next request for your prospect questions.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images