Before I begin my mock drafts, here are four potential Philadelphia Flyers targets available in the seventh round of the 2021 NHL Draft.
The 2021 NHL Entry Draft can replenish the Philadelphia Flyers. In the first couple of rounds, the Flyers have an opportunity to draft a potential game-changing forward and a sizeable, stable defenseman. Those selections are vital after the depth changes following a potential trade for a top-pair defenseman and the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft.
A successful draft doesn’t include a wasted round. Chuck Fletcher and his staff will have a shortlist of potential gems primed for the taking. In the sixth round, there is a goaltender worth the time put into development. For each pick, there’s a prospect who could push Philadelphia in the right direction. Yes, even in the seventh round.
Usually, the final round of a draft is full of projects. Ian Laperriere and Alain Vigneault are on the same page, developing the future in the image of the current Flyers system. Fletcher’s regime has settled ahead of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. All the selections made in this draft will directly reflect the leadership of this current front office.
Before these prospects reach the NHL, they’ll spend time with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. These seventh-round targets are no exception.
Could be a steal for the Flyers
Standing in at 6′ and 161lbs from the Dodge County Wildcats, Brody Lamb was the best high-school hockey player in Minnesota and will play for the state’s university.
He scored the most goals in the state (52) and totaled 72 points in 24 games. Drafting him in the seventh round means a commitment to development in the NCAA and minor league for the next five years before he sees an opportunity to play for the Philadelphia Flyers.
Lamb did play ten games with the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL. In those games, he tallied two assists while finishing with a plus-one rating. Playing in the top USA Hockey junior league helps the resume before playing at the University of Minnesota. It would be intriguing to watch him grow through college and with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
If the Flyers franchise can unlock his potential, a superstar player might be available here in the seventh round.
When government restrictions would allow, Frasca would skate and train with NHL and AHL players in Mississauga. If he couldn’t, he would in his neighbor’s farm in Ontario. He studied how Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant trained to become more explosive. Frasca has an unwavering work ethic, which fits Philadelphia.
There’s a lot to clean up about Frasca, which comes with development and understanding in the AHL. If he can grasp Alain Vigneault’s system handed down through Ian Laperriere, then the Philadelphia Flyers have drafted an opportunistic, athletic center in the seventh round. The raw talent and tangibles are there; it’s just missing the direction.
Through one season with the Colts, Frasca totaled sixteen points in 51 games with a minus-four rating. He’s transformed into a different animal during his year away from competitive hockey (6’2″ and 189lbs in 2019-2020.)
Standing in at 6’1″ and 181lbs from the Rayside-Balfour Canadians, Nick DeGrazia was one of nine CJHL players to receive a “B” grade from the NHL scouts.
While the OHL had their doors locked in 2020-2021, DeGrazia scored fifteen points (7G, 8A) in ten games with the Canadians. He’s a seventh-round selection with second and third-round talent. A lot of the reason why there are good finds deep in this draft is because of the impact COVID had on hockey. With a shortage of footage on OHL players who didn’t sign entry-level contracts, the late draft rounds flood with low-risk, high-reward players.
Consider DeGrazia as a versatile player at the center and left-wing. If he’s considered a second or third-round talent available in the seventh, where is the risk in selecting him? If at all, he’s a last-round gem. He was a first-round draft pick in the 2020 OHL Draft for the Sudbury Wolves. In four games, he scored a goal and registered an assist before finishing with a minus-one rating.
Flyers could find a diamond in the rough
Standing in at 6’4″ and 201lbs from the Lincoln Stars, Charles-Alexis Legault may be selected as early as the fourth round.
Previously highly touted, Legault missed time due to injury with the Lac St. Louis Lions in 2018-2019. He’s committed to Boston University but only scored five points and finished with a minus-five rating in 23 games on the Stars. His story would be one of redemption, proving his previous injury didn’t derail his former status.
Legault is offensively gifted and a solid skater. If it weren’t for his previous injury, he would be off the board before the last round. He’s still a risk because of his injury history, which may deter Chuck Fletcher from Legault as a seventh-round selection. While the potential is there, the defense should be restocked earlier in the draft, not later.
Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre