There's room for excitement around basically any of the top 10 or 11 picks in this NHL draft, and while that excitement is stronger with some guys than others, looking at any ranking of prospects in this draft should get you damn excited for the guys the Flyers will have the chance to select at No. 7 on June 26.
- Connor McDavid, center, Erie (OHL)
- Jack Eichel, center, Boston University (NCAA)
- Noah Hanifin, defenseman, Boston College (NCAA)
- Mitch Marner, winger, London (OHL)
- Dylan Strome, center, Erie (OHL)
- Pavel Zacha, center, Sarnia (OHL)
- Lawson Crouse, winger, Kingston (OHL)
- Ivan Provorov, defense, Brandon (WHL)
- Mathew Barzal, center, Seattle (WHL)
- Mikko Rantanen, winger, TPS (SM-liiga)
- Zach Werenski, defenseman, Michigan (NCAA)
- Timo Meier, winger, Halifax (QMJHL)
- Kyle Connor, forward, Youngstown (USHL)
- Jakub Zboril, defenseman, Saint John (QMJHL)
- Travis Konecny, winger, Ottawa (OHL)
Beyond No. 5, there is considerable debate in which order the rest of the Top 10 should play out, but based on the TSN survey, it's should actually be referenced as a Top 11. There wasn't a lot separating Nos. 6 through 11.
TSN says that the top five on this list is pretty solid, so you probably shouldn't get your hopes up on Noah Hanifin, Dylan Strome or Mitch Marner. (Or McDavid and Eichel, but you know.)
After that, there's not much air between 6 and 11. Guess where the Flyers pick?
We've already profiled Crouse, who TSN has right at the spot where the Flyers will pick in Round 1. He's one of the more polarizing prospects in this draft, largely because while scouts love him for his physical tools, he had a terrible (by top-10 NHL draft prospect standards) year offensively in Kingston.
But again -- while the numbers don't really add up for Crouse, scouts do really love him. You could see him falling outside of the lottery picks or at least the top 10, or you could see him being off the board by the time the Flyers walk to the microphone at No. 7 if maybe New Jersey is interested. It's that up in the air with him.
Regardless of what happens with Crouse, TSN's list shows that there's a ton of skill to be had here.
Ivan Provorov has been in the top 5 in some rankings, but TSN has him at No. 8 here. He's physical, was a star on Russia's U20 team this winter, has a devastatingly strong shot, and is a strong stickhandler, especially for a bigger guy.
Then there's a guy like Pavel Zacha at No. 6. That's pretty high compared to a lot of other rankings, but it shows that there is not exactly consensus on how this top 10 will go after the top two. Most rank Zacha much lower -- around the 10-to-15 range -- but it goes to show that somebody could easily go "off the board" and jump at a guy like that, meaning others fall down to the Flyers' range.
Mikko Rantanen or Timo Meier are two wingers that would definitely help the Flyers' organizational need, while Provorov or Zach Werenski are both talented defensemen that could work out quite well -- although we all know the Flyers are in pretty good shape these days when it comes to blueline prospects. Mathew Barzal is an enticing prospect who could be available at No. 7, and we profiled him already too, but he's a center and the Flyers are tight at that position.
The overall point here is that there are too many good players in this draft, and there are certainly more than seven impact players in the first round. The Flyers, and every other team in the top 10, are going to have every chance in the world to pick an excellent hockey prospect.