Previously, we took a look at four targets the Philadelphia Flyers can select in the first round. Now, we analyze the second.
I have Chuck Fletcher announcing Mason McTavish, a center from the Peterborough Petes, in the first round. He went overseas to play in Switzerland due to the OHL not operating during COVID-19. In thirteen games, he totalled eleven points (9G, 2A.) Standing at 6’1″ and 198lbs, he uses his size to stay on the puck but isn’t speedy. His puck protection skills should harness Fletcher’s focus.
What’s nice about the idea of drafting McTavish is not sacrificing a team need. As the Flyers and Nolan Patrick grow uncertain for 2021-2022, going with a center in the first round makes sense. Even if Patrick extends for a season in Philadelphia, McTavish is a credible selection.
The Flyers can continue to draft for team needs in the second round. Following the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft, the foundation will shift within the forward lineup. At the topic of discussion, two of the four targets today could develop into a replacement. The other two are defensemen, which helps replenish a problem area within Philadelphia’s system.
Fletcher has a strong possibility of landing a can’t-miss talent in the first round. What targets stare him in the face during the second round?
Standing in at 5’10” and 170lbs from the Omaha Lancers, Ayrton Martino is a top-ten winger from the OJHL.
For what Mason McTavish lacks in speed, Martino makes up for. He creates space and constantly is moving to get open in the offensive zone. Without the puck, he’s quick to track a player in pursuit. He anticipates breakouts into the offensive zone on defense, making him a penalty-kill candidate.
Martino could be considered one of the top playmakers in his class, which compliments the McTavish projection. He exhibits skilled passing vision and execution through different kinds of scenarios. Usually, he’ll act as a set-up man during scoring plays, but don’t discount a quick wrist shot.
He’ll be a steal for the Philadelphia Flyers in the second round if on the board. The expectation is Martino could be drafted late in the first round or midway through the second.
Standing in at 5’11” and 165lbs from the Sioux Falls Stampede, Brent Johnson is undersized, but that doesn’t slow his game.
Defensively, the Philadelphia Flyers need to keep incoming shots out towards the boards, away from the slot. Johnson specializes in defensive positioning, limited skaters from closing in on goaltenders. In transition, he gets towards the front of the rush. Chuck Fletcher needs to think about the identity of the Flyers defense. Will the addition of another two-way defenseman work?
With his size working against him, Johnson could disappear from the board midway through the second round or early in the third. If a defenseman is a part of a trade before the draft, Fletcher could like what he sees in the Texas native.
Standing in at 6’0″ and 183lbs from the Malmo Redhawks, Anton Olsson could be the right defensive prospect on this list to select.
Olsson is the bigger of the two defensemen on this list, equipped with a defensive mindset in his two-way game. His solid defensive positioning is a product of his strong skating ability.
He makes secure breakout passes in transition. Olsson’s strength is disrupting passing lanes and keeping shots on the outside. Between him and Brent Johnson, the difference is Olsson leans towards the defensive aspect of his position. Both are prospects who could land in the second pairing of most NHL teams.
If Olsson is available, this is the decision to make in the second round. He could be a late first-round decision for another franchise.
Standing in at 5’10” and 176lbs from Oulun Karpat (Liiga), Samu Tuomaala showed real potential in the U20 and U18 teams. He fell flat with Karpat.
Don’t expect Tuomaala to dazzle with his skating. He would be a project in the Philadelphia Flyers system. Once he has the puck, he possesses one of the best shots in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft class. The indictment on him sounds like the same on Tyson Foerster before last year’s draft. By the time the offseason finished, Foerster was a better skater.
Defensively, Tuomaala is physical while providing support to the defense down low. Under Ian Laperriere, if drafted by the Flyers, Tuomaala will be molded into a grinder. A fully developed Tuomaala could set the energy for Philadelphia while putting the puck in the back of the net. Think Nicolas Aube-Kubel, but with a license to score.
His shooting is incredibly impressive. Despite the skating under construction, Tuomaala could be worth the risk. Some projections have him drafted late in the first round.
My bet is his stock drops into the second round.
Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre