Acquired via: 2009 NHL Draft, Round 7 Pick 196
Current Team/League: Adirondack Phantoms, AHL
Contract: $600,000 per year through 2015
As Kurt pointed out in our last 25 under 25 entry, the Flyers have been pretty damn unsuccessful at drafting in the later rounds. So when the Flyers selected Oliver Lauridsen as their last pick in the 2009 entry draft, we probably all figured we'd never see him again.
What made that even more likely was Lauridsen's place of birth. Not to trash Denmark or anything -- I'm sure it's a lovely place -- but they haven't had much success at cultivating NHL level talent. According to HockeyReference.com, only nine Danish players have ever graced NHL ice, and most have played under 300 total games.
Lauridsen played his junior years in his native Gentofte before making the jump to St. Cloud State in the WCHA. During his time there, he wasn't much of an offensive threat, racking up only 22 points in three seasons. Here's what the scouting report looked like for him prior to the 2009 draft, c/o Hockey's Future:
Lauridsen is a huge defenseman with great size and reach. A team player with a good work ethic. Is aggressive and physical with the potential to become a very capable stay-at-home defenseman in the future. Mobility, in terms of skating, agility and acceleration, needs improvement.
Other reports noted that while he showed promise, he was inconsistent and needed a good amount of conditioning before even getting a glimpse at professional play. This assessment stuck when the Flyers signed him to his first contract, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't drooling at the idea of having a huge defensive defenseman in the system.
Due to the injury-plagued defense on the 2012-2013 Flyers, Lauridsen was able to spend pretty much the entirety of last April with the big boys. Looking back at some fancy stats show that he seemed capable enough, but certainly wasn't any type of long-term solution. Zdeno Chara scored Lauridsen's first goal in the NHL (no, that isn't a typo), and in 15 games with the Flyers, he was able to amass a slightly impressive three total points. Since last season, he's been spending all of his time with the Adirondack Phantoms, where he currently has 6 points in 45 games.
So what's the deal?
As we pointed out last summer, Lauridsen remains a depth option for the Flyers right now, and not much more. Considering the Flyers have two of Andrej Meszaros, Erik Gustafsson, or Hal Gill in the press box every night, it seems unlikely that he'll get a call up this season. It will be nice to see if he develops into an NHL caliber defenseman, but given that he was such a low risk pick, I don't think any fans would be upset if he turned out to be a career minor league guy.
How we voted for Oliver Lauridsen:
Who we voted for at No. 19:
|Oliver Lauridsen||Marcel Noebels||Valeri Vasiliev||Matt Konan||Petr Straka||Jason Akeson||Valeri Vasiliev||Brandon Alderson|