2020 Flyers Mock Draft 1.0: The wind beneath our wings

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Flyers

In the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, the Philadelphia Flyers have seven draft picks. Their first will be the 25th overall pick in the first round. The 2020 NHL Entry Draft was scheduled to take place this weekend on June 26th-27th but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic back on March 25th.

Under Chuck Fletcher and Alain Vigneault’s leadership, the 2019-2020 Philadelphia Flyers have become one of the strongest Flyers teams since the 2009-2010 season. Ten years ago, Philadelphia made it to the Stanley Cup Finals. Something the Flyers have struggled with for a long time is putting together a quality draft. Fletcher and Vigneault have proven that they have an eye for talent this season.

Due to the strength of the Philadelphia Flyers system and the current roster, a trade-up doesn’t seem likely. The depth on defense is wonderful throughout the Flyers system, and Carter Hart is the “today and tomorrow” at goaltender. I expect Philadelphia to select a forward with the 25th overall pick.

The fourth-round and seventh-round picks come as a result of a trade including the Nashville Predators and the Montreal Canadiens. When the Philadelphia Flyers traded Wayne Simmonds for Ryan Hartman, the Flyers also received a 2020 conditional fourth-round pick. With the Canadiens, Philadelphia traded their 2019 seventh-round pick for a 2020 seventh-round pick. The Flyers third-round pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft was included in a trade to the San Jose Sharks for Justin Braun. The Simmonds package to the Predators gets a fourth-round pick back after a 2020 fourth-round pick was packaged with Kyle Criscuolo to the Anaheim Ducks for Derek Grant.

Now that we’re all on the same page about the draft picks and where they come from, here is my mock 2020 NHL Entry Draft for the Philadelphia Flyers:

Round 1: Tyson Foerster (RW)

“With the twenty-fifth pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, the Philadelphia Flyers select…” followed by the name Tyson Foerster is a more than solid pick. He has a snipe of a shot and his strength is on the powerplay. Foerster is a quick-draw, more than ready to find a shot off the faceoff with accuracy. His elite shooting makes him a forward with first-line potential at the NHL level. If Foerster is on the board at 25th overall, he’s a gift wrapped with a bow waiting to be torn open by Gritty.

Round 2: Ridly Greig (LW/C)

His father is a scout for the Philadelphia Flyers and I think that Ridly Greig will be drafted by the Flyers. Whether or not that has something to do with it, Greig is a versatile left-wing with first-line NHL potential. He’s at home with the speedy forwards in Philadelphia. Greig will likely be a fan-favorite if he is selected by the Flyers because of his competitive level. If all goes well, expect him to chirp alongside Travis Konecny.

Round 4: Ryan Francis (C/RW)

In the fourth-round, Ryan Francis could be a certified steal. His season in the QMJHL with the Cape Breton Eagles was his best of his hockey career, ending with 72 points. He averaged more than a point per game because he is effectively able to work through traffic on offense. Alain Vigneault is a superior coach for developing players in the weight room and on the ice. Francis could peak at a second-line forward after developing his puck handling at the NHL level.

Round 5: Patrick Guay (LW/C)

Patrick Guay improved in his latest season in the QMJHL with Sherbrooke Phoenix. With 40 points in 55 games, Guay improved from 36 the year before. He’s a balanced scorer with decent stick handling. Similar to Ryan Francis, he needs to get stronger in the weight room. Guay tends to get knocked off the puck but is an absolute competitor.

Round 6: Axel Kumlin (RD)

Yes, the Philadelphia Flyers have the depth at defenseman. In this forward-focused mock draft, it’s worth taking a look at a defenseman. While it isn’t a priority, it’s a low-risk option in the later rounds of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. Axel Kumlin had a productive 2019-2020 with Frolunda HC in the J18 Elit, SuperElit, and SHL. Kumlin earned an average grade in the international prospect pool per NHL.com.

Round 7: Lukas Svejkovsky (RW/C)

Chris Stewart is on his way out of Philadelphia and he played more than David Kase. Versatility is key to creating a career for yourself as a forward in the NHL. Lukas Svejkovsky is coming off his best season in the WHL after being shopped around. He played eighteen games with the Vancouver Giants and another 34 with the Medicine Hat Tigers. Even after being traded, he produced more than his previous season with only the Giants.

If Lukas Svejkovsky were to be drafted late by the Philadelphia Flyers, he would work on carving a career as a right-wing. Of course, there is a probability that Svejkovsky’s ceiling is with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in the AHL.

Round 7: Vsevolod Skotnikov (G)

In the seventh-round, Vsevolod Skotnikov has minimal value. For the Philadelphia Flyers, this is what I call a “mandatory goaltender pick.” Think of this in the same way that the Philadelphia Eagles called themselves a “quarterback factory.” The Flyers should be a “goaltender factory.” It took eighteen years for Philadelphia to find a premier starting goaltender since the turn of the millennium.

Vsevolod Skotnikov finished 2019-2020 with a 93.8% save percentage in 27 games while playing for Krasnaya Armiya Moskva in the MHL. His goal against average was 1.39 during the regular season. Those stats improved in the playoffs through four games. Skotnikov had a 95.6% save percentage with a 1.30 goal against average. As a “mandatory goaltender pick,” he has some potential to develop.

Mandatory Credit – © Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

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