Originally, the 2020 NHL Entry Draft was scheduled to take place on June 26th and 27th, 2020. The Bell Centre would have been the site where a new fraternity of NHL players would have been drafted. Due to COVID19, the 2020 NHL Entry Draft is currently postponed. When a new date is confirmed, the format of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft will likely follow the virtual 2020 NFL Draft. Pushing the date back for the 2020 NHL Entry Draft allows teams more time to ponder who their first-round selection will be.
Under the guidance of Chuck Fletcher and Alain Vigneault, the Philadelphia Flyers have a distinct advantage in terms of player depth. The quality of talent at such a young age is very promising over the 2020s. One of the most important pieces to the puzzle, Carter Hart, is an established goaltender before the prime of his career and he has a young, quality defense to play behind. Vigneault has said previously that “talent has no age.” Keeping that in mind, here are players the Flyers should be eyeing in the first round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.
Tyson Foerster, RW: He’s considered a top prospect for the 2020 NHL Entry Draft throughout the entire player pool. Of the players scouted by the NHL Central scouts, he’s ranked the 21st best North American skater. At 6’1″ and 185lbs, he’s coming off a personal high of eighty points scored throughout his hockey career.
To the Philadelphia Flyers, Foerster brings size and physicality to the table. He’s able to move the puck up ice with good passing vision. A downside is that he isn’t an explosive skater in transition, lacking some quickness. If drafted, Alain Vigneault will be pushing him to be quicker in his stop-and-start footwork.
Dawson Mercer, RW: Another widely considered top prospect for the 2020 NHL Entry Draft is Mercer. There is a small probability that Mercer falls to the Philadelphia Flyers at 25 as he is ranked the 10th best North American skater by the NHL Central scouts. He’s a 6′, 183lb winger who brings the same size that Tyson Foerster does. 2019-2020 was his second-best season in the QMJHL and first split between two teams.
To the Philadelphia Flyers, Mercer is another strong penalty kill and powerplay asset. Mercer is conditioned to wear down his opponents and is equipped with dazzling handles. After he was traded from the Drummondville Voltigeurs to the Chicoutimi Sagueneens, his numbers only dipped because he wasn’t as depended on. He was hindered recently by an injury, which may cause a slight dip on the draft board. There is a lot to like about Mercer.
Jacob Perreault, C: He’s the first center on this list and yet another top overall prospect for the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. Ranked the 17th best North American skater by the NHL Central scouts, the Philadelphia Flyers will have to hope that he’ll be available at 25. He’s 5’11”, 198lbs, and would continue the Perreault legacy in the NHL. In 57 games with the OHL’s Sarnia Sting, Perreault tallied seventy points.
To the Philadelphia Flyers, Perreault is a goal-scorer who finds a way to be productive. His team in the OHL wasn’t opening any eyes, but Perreault scored 39 goals and registered 31 assists. That’s tied with Marco Rossi for second-most goals in the OHL in 2019-2020. Perreault has the potential to open the ice and create space on offense due to his wide shooting range. It’s hard to pass this player up at 25 if available.
Ridly Greig, C: He may fly a little under the radar, which could work in the Philadelphia Flyers’ favor. Not considered a top prospect in the entire 2020 NHL Entry Draft player pool, Greig is still ranked the 14th best skater in North America by the NHL Central scouts. Size may be a turn away for some teams (5’11” and 159lbs), but he was very productive in his best WHL season with the Brandon Wheat Kings. In 56 games, Greig tallied sixty points.
For the Philadelphia Flyers, Greig offers speed as a two-way center. His father, Mark Greig, is a current scout for the Flyers. Almost half of Greig’s points came from the powerplay in 2019-2020 with the Brandon Wheat Kings. He’s an alert special teams player not only on the powerplay but on the penalty kill. Improvement comes in the form of faceoffs, which Greig shows a 47% success rate.
Justin Barron, D: There is one that is unlike the others. Barron could be a defensive prospect that the Philadelphia Flyers select. He’s a top overall prospect in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, ranked the 16th best skater in North America by NHL Central scouts. Barron has the size, 6’2″ and 187lbs, but is coming off his worst statistical season with the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads. That fall in production is due to missing three months with a blood clot.
For the Philadelphia Flyers, Barron is a smooth skater in defensive transition and the defensive talent around him would enhance his strengths. There is a high probability that Barron is available at 25 due to the blood clot he suffered from in 2019-2020. If healthy and selected by the Flyers, Barron’s potential could be that of a two-way, top three defender. He has a heavy slapshot, too. In Philadelphia, a booming slapshot is always welcome.
Mandatory Credit – © Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
Eric is a University of Delaware graduate with a degree in English. While in school, he began writing for different publications such as The Highlight Network, Amps and Greenscreens, and he did color commentary for the University of Delaware Men’s and Women’s lacrosse teams throughout the 2013 season as an alumni. Prior to being featured with Philly Sports Network, he began a pro-wrestling podcast with a childhood friend called the Totally Over Podcast. As an avid sports die-hard for all things Philadelphia, Eric is also a proud supporter of West Virginia University.