Thursday, May 16, 2013

Who Might the Flyers take in the 2nd Round?

We all have an idea of who the Flyers should take in the first round. And while I have my own ideas of who they might take with the 11th Overall pick I wanted to take a look at who they might take with the 41st Overall pick.

I mentioned in my article yesterday that the Flyers have traded away every one of their second round picks with Paul Holmgren as GM (they did have second round picks in 2007 and 2012 that they got via trade). While the Flyers trading their pick is still a possibility, I don't think it is likely. Holmgren has started to value the draft more and specifically the second round. Last year was there first time picking in the 2nd round in five years and their two major prospect acquisitions from this season (Mark Alt and Petr Straka) were both second round picks in 2010.

The second round is less predictable. You have less of an idea of who is going to be on the board and you never know who if the team values a player higher than NHL Central Scouting. So I tried to cast a wide net.

These are players that are expect to be available when the Flyers pick. Ranked by how likely I think the Flyers are to draft them.

Madison Bowey - Defense - Kelowna Rockets - 6'1 200 lbs
I've seen Bowie compared with former Rocket and current Flyer Luke Schenn. He is not quite as physical (few defensemen are) but he is a better skater and has more offensive potential. Another plus for Bowey is where he plays. Kelowna has a reputation as a defenseman factory producing 2nd Rounders like Shea Weber and Duncan Keith (though Keith was drafted out of Michigan State).

Linus Arnesson - Defense - Djurgarden (Sweden) - 6'1 179 lbs
I mentioned in my article yesterday (not to continuously pimp that article) that this draft is loaded with Jonas Brodin type defensemen. While Arnesson may take slightly longer to develop than Brodin he plays a similar style game. Not overly physical, not overwhelmingly offensive, but very very smart. He made Sweden's World Junior team and he spent most of the season playing professionally in Sweden.

J.T. Compher - Center - US National Development Team - 6'0 161 lbs
Compher would probably me much higher if he had not been plagued with injury all season. Instead of improving his draft stock he has fallen in the rankings from 20th to 34th among North American prospects. Compher still has a ton of skill. According to TSN's Craig Button he has "the attributes of skill and will in his game" which sounds like the type of player the Flyers like. Compher will attend Boston College in the fall so he'll be attending an elite program with a history of producing NHLers.

Dillon Heatherington - Defense - Swift Current Broncos - 6'3 196 lbs
Heatherington is a large smart defenseman. Not overly physical not an offensive dynamo, but both aspects of his game have been steadily improving all season. Which is probably why Heatherington jumped for 44th to 31st in the final North American draft ranking. The Flyers have shown that they like big defensemen which could bode well for Dillon.

Nicolas Petan - Center - Portland Winterhawks - 5'8 161 lbs
Petan tied for the WHL lead in points this past season with 120. He finished second in playoff scoring to linemate Ty Rattie. In total he scored 148 points in 92 games this season. Those numbers are pretty gaudy but there are a few reasons Petan might be a riskier pick. First is his spike in point production. Last year Petan only scored 35 points in 83 games (combining regular and post seasons). That massive spike could be caused from his development as a player or because he started skating on a better line. I think it was a combination of both. Another warning sign will be his size. He is quite small and for every Marty St. Louis and Danny Briere there are a hundred skilled small forwards who never make it to the NHL. But the Flyers do have a recent history of selecting players who are currently playing with Flyers draft picks so Petan is probably on their radar.

These are players who should go a few picks after the 41st Overall pick, but the Flyers could pick if they have them ranked highly.

Oliver Bjorkstrand - Right Wing - Portland Winterhawks - 5'11 163 lbs
I think that the Flyers are actually more likely to take Bjorkstrand than Petan, but it would probably come as a surprise to people. Bjorkstrand plays on a line with Flyers prospect Taylor Leier and has quite the scoring touch. He played pro hockey in his native Denmark and did pretty well (26 points in 36 games) before coming to the WHL. He models himself after Zach Parise.

Viktor Rydberg - Center - Linkoping (Sweden) - 6'0 187 lbs
Rydberg spent most of his season in the Swedish junior league where he scored 35 points in 35 games. He played one game with Linkoping in Sweden's top league and will likely spend most if not all of next season in the Elitserien. He's defensively responsible and has been steadily improving as he's moved up the ranks.

Wilhelm Westlund - Defense - Farjestad (Sweden) - 6'0 178 lbs 
Westlund played 26 games with Farjestad in the Elitserien and while he was only able to score one goal in Sweden's top league he was able to score 15 points in 33 games in the Swedish junior league. Westlund was a late addition to the Swedish U18 team where he was quite impressive at the U18 Championships.

Adam Tambellini - Center/Left Wing - Surrey Eagles (BCHL) - 6'2 174 lbs
The son of LA Kings GM Steve Tambellini has had an impressive showing in his two seasons in the BCHL. He's scored 121 points in 107 games over two seasons. The older Tambellini is close with Paul Holmgren, and the Flyers have signed players out of the BCHL so they have probably given Adam a look. He will be playing for North Dakota in the fall. 

Jonathan-Ismael Diaby - Defense - Victoriaville Tigres - 6'5 223 lbs
Big physical defenseman who is a pretty skilled fighter. He has good speed but I've seen multiple places refer to him as a project or even a gamble.

Players that will likely be off the board before the Flyers 2nd Round pick comes around, but could right into the Flyers lap. Ranked by how likely they are to fall.

Adam Erne - Left Wing - Quebec Ramparts - 6'0 210 lbs

Though Erne is slightly undersized for a power forward, he still has the strength speed and net know how to be effective. The Flyers love for strong forwards who can crash the net could mean that they snap up Erne if he falls to where the Flyers are picking.

Joshua Morrisey - Defense - Prince Albert Raiders - 6'0 186 lbs

Morrisey is the lead singer of The Smiths one of the fastest defensemen in this years draft. His point production wasn't incredible for such a fast player, but if you have speed you will likely have a spot on an NHL roster. If Morrisey falls he'll be too good of a prospect for the Flyers to pass up.

Morgan Klimchuk - Left Wing - Regina Pats - 5'11 180 lbs
Klimchuk has steadily improved an will likely be one of the bigger name players taken in the second round. His ability to improve all aspects of his game and his willingness to do the dirty work to improve his game could make one of the top prospects of the second round. If he fell to 41st Overall I don't think the Flyers would pass him up.

Ian McCoshen - Defense - Waterloo Blackhawks (USHL) - 6'3 207 lbs
McCoshen is a big strong defenseman who can also produce points (44 points in 53 games in the USHL). Probably the best of this group and could go late in the first. It would take a little bit of luck if he fell to the Flyers.

Zachary Fucale - Goalie - Halifax Mooseheads - 6'1 176 lbs
The top goalie in this years draft; Fucale has lead his Mooseheads team to a QMJHL Championship and could easily win the Memorial Cup. Slightly smaller than most goalies in the league now, but a lot of people have called Fucale "dominant". Some people have Fucale going in the top 10 picks, but drafting goalies is weird and he could fall all the way down to 41st Overall.

These are players will likely be available but may not likely be picked by the Flyers. These three players have one thing in common. They all play or are going to play in the KHL.

Marko Dano - Center - Slovan Bratislava - 5'11 178 lbs
Dano spent most of this season with Slovan in the KHL. He put up pretty good points for a 17 year old playing in the second best league in the world and he scored a goal and an assist in 5 games at the World Championships. Dano's production and the fact that he is Slovakian and not Russian makes it more likely that he will be first KHLer off the board in the second round. In an interview he did with Anthony SanFilippo Flyers Alum and European scout Ilkka Sinisalo said he was traveling to Slovakia for scouting, and according to the date of the interview he was likely going to see Dano and Slovan play a home game on December 8th of this year. Slovakia isn't a heavily scouted area and if the Flyers were sending one of their scouts there it was likely to see Dano. If he had a good showing (he led his team in shots in a 2-1 loss) than maybe the Flyers take him.

Andrei Mironov - Defenseman - Dynamo Moscow - 6'2 176 lbs
Mironov was arguably Russia best defenseman for there Bronze Medal winning world junior team. He spent pretty much the whole season with Dynamo Moscow which is an impressive feat. Dynamo won back to back KHL championships in 2012 and 2013. That means that Mironov made the best team in the KHL and stuck with them as they won another Gagarin Cup. Mironov who likely has at least another 1 or 2 years left on his KHL contract could be the most NHL ready defenseman in this draft outside of Seth Jones or Rasmus Ristolainen.

Bogdan Yakimov - Center - Nizhnekamsk - 6'4 201 lbs
If the KHL season was as long as a full length NHL season we may be looking at Yakimov the same way we are looking at Valeri Nichushkin. Yakimov excelled in the Russian junior league and was then bumped up to the VHL, the Russian minor league scoring 13 points in 16 games after being traded to the Nizhnekamsk organization. The big center would likely have been bumped up to the KHL if their season was just a little bit longer. I feel like the Russian factor will affect Yakimov's draft position quite a bit and he could be available when the Flyers pick in the 3rd round. But if Yakimov makes it known that he wants to come over to North America then the Flyers would be hard pressed to pass up the big center.

Pavel Buchnevich - Left Wing - Cherepovets - 6'1 161 lbs
The small yet skilled winger is the highest ranked of these four dark horses. He like Dano and Mironov spent some time in the KHL; Buchnevich scored a goal and an assist in 12 games with Cherepovets. He's got skill and could be a top six player in the NHL, but I think if the Flyers have to choose between Buchnevich and guys like Dano (who will likely come over), Mironov (an NHL ready defenseman), and Yakimov (the big power forward) he would be ranked the lowest on their list. But if Buchnevich is available later in the draft they may snatch him up.

And those are the players I think the Flyers might take in the second round. There are a lot of names, but there are a lot of factors that could change who is on the board when the Flyers are drafting.

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