Once upon a time in the annual SB Nation NHL Mock Draft, we here at Broad Street Hockey were forced to sit on the sidelines and watch as all of our friends at the other blogs made their picks.
That's all changed in the last few years, though -- and this year, it's even more fun for us: we have two first round draft picks. What is this weird world we're living in?
With our first pick at No. 7, we selected Brandon Wheat Kings defenseman Ivan Provorov, adding yet another skilled blueliner to the Flyers organization -- and hey, this guy might even be the best prospect of the bunch, clearly making the "Big Four" a solid "Big Five."
From there, the draft unfolded as follows:
- 8. Columbus: Zach Werenski, via The Cannon
- 9. San Jose: Pavel Zacha, via Fear The Fin
- 10. Colorado: Mikko Rantanen, via Mile High Hockey
- 11. Florida: Lawson Crouse, via Litter Box Cats
- 12. Dallas: Kyle Connor, via Defending Big D
- 13. Los Angeles: Travis Konecny, via Jewels From The Crown
- 14. Boston: Timo Meier, via Stanley Cup of Chowder,
- 15. Calgary: Jeremy Roy, via Matchsticks & Gasoline
- 16. Edmonton: Jakub Zboril, via The Copper & Blue
- 17. Winnipeg: Nick Merkley, via Arctic Ice Hockey
- 18. Ottawa: Oliver Kylington, via Silver Seven
- 19. Detroit: Jeremy Bracco, via Winging It In Motown,
- 20. Minnesota: Evgeny Svechnikov, via Hockey Wilderness
- 21. Buffalo: Paul Bittner, via Die By The Blade
- 22. Washington: Joel Eriksson Ek, via Japers' Rink
- 23. Vancouver: Colin White, via Nucks Misconduct,
- 24. Toronto: Daniel Sprong, via Pension Plan Puppets
- 25. Winnipeg: Jansen Harkins, via Arctic Ice Hockey
- 26. Montreal: Thomas Chabot, via Eyes On The Prize
- 27. Anaheim: Jacob Larsson, via Anaheim Calling
- 28. Tampa Bay: Anthony Beauviller, via Raw Charge
With the 29th overall pick in SB Nation's 2015 NHL mock draft, the Philadelphia Flyers are proud to select, from the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League, winger Brock Boeser.
The dude's got Tim Riggins hair
One of the USHL's top scorers
Boeser (pronounced BES-ur) had a great rookie season in the USHL in 2014-15, scoring 68 points in 57 games for Waterloo. His numbers were third amongst all scorers in the USHL, behind potential top-15 draft pick Kyle Connor and Sioux City's Adam Johnson, a player nearly three years older than Boeser.
To put it simply, he has great offensive skills and he's only going to get better, and he could jump into the Flyers system as their most promising prospect at the forward position.
Boeser was invited to Team USA's National Junior camp this summer as an 18 year old, and is one of 39 players with a chance to make the World Junior U20 squad this winter. He's already played on the U19, U18 and U17 teams, so he's well-versed in playing for his country.
What the scouts say
Boeser was ranked as high as No. 9 by TSN's Craig Button. NHL Central Scouting ranked him at No. 27 and he generally fell around that range in most rankings. ISS Hockey ranked him just outside the top 30 at No. 35.
A big power winger who utilizes his size and strength to generate offensive chances...a real do-it-all guy...plays hard in all three zones...has a great compete level...protects the puck extremely well, especially with defenders draped all over him...fights through any contact he encounters...has a lethal shot, quick release and very accurate...drive the net...can also pull up and set-up his teammates with a skilled pass...defensively he does a great job taking away shooting lanes and forcing the other team to adjust their plan...a real pro-style player.
A dynamic offensive winger and natural goal scorer. Has great instincts and is able to quickly get into position for premium scoring chances; possesses an accurate release on his shot which he can get off in the blink of an eye. He always knows where his linemates are, and is a great passer; that being said, his individual puck possession play is incredible and sets him apart as an offensive player. He will need to work on defensive zone coverage and a slew of small details such as board battles, but Brock Boeser has a ton of elite-level scoring potential due to the way he can read, make, and finish plays.
Some scouts are seeing quite a bit of Patrick Sharp in Mr. Boeser. He skates well and has a complete set of goal-scorer's tools. Doesn't give up his own end, and transitions to offense in such a quick and concrete way that he can catch the opposition off-guard.
The Hakstol connection
Boeser is committed to the University of North Dakota for the 2015-16 season, his freshman year. He originally committed to the University of Wisconsin as a high school sophomore, but that program fell apart so rapidly in the years since that original commitment that Boeser opted to go elsewhere. He found a home in Dave Hakstol's program, choosing it over other college hockey powers Minnesota and Minnesota-Duluth.
Boeser's a likely first round pick, so obviously Hakstol was happy to welcome him into the program no matter what, and he'll be a big piece of that UND team going forward. But the connection is already there between the new Flyers coach and one of his more recent college commits.
All in all, Boeser joins the Flyers organization as their top prospect on the wing -- a desperate organizational need at this point. His offensive game is already there, and if his defensive game improves the way many expect it to at North Dakota, Boeser could be turning pro before we know it.