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NHL draft 2017: Flyers trade up, select Isaac Ratcliffe at No. 35

The Flyers traded two extra picks to move up from No. 44 and select the big winger.

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The Flyers have packaged a few of their 10 Day 2 picks to go up and get a player that they clearly had some interest in, drafting Guelph winger Isaac Ratcliffe at No. 35.

Ratcliffe was a guy seen by many as a potential first-round talent, which helps explain the Flyers’ evident urgency in moving up for him. Ratcliffe stands tall — to say the least — at 6’6”, 200 pounds, and is coming off a year in which he posted 28 goals and 26 assists in 67 OHL games with the Storm.

Our friends over at Fear The Fin pulled together a scouting report for Ratcliffe, who was a highlight on a dreadful Guelph team this past season:

The most notable strength Ratcliffe brings is his size. Ratcliffe, at 6’6” and 203 pounds, is one of the tallest players in the OHL Still, he’ll need to add some mass to his frame to compete with pros at the NHL level, but if you can find an 18-year-old who doesn’t need to add muscle mass in his draft year not named Ekblad, I’d love to meet him. He protects the puck well, which should be expected of someone this massive, but he also has deceptively soft hands, making him both difficult to move out of the crease, and dangerous every second he stays there. Ratcliffe is a decent skater, and if he can improve his skating along with his strength, he has a legitimate shot to be a top 6 winger in the NHL.

Ratcliffe’s maneuverability and hockey sense make it easy to overlook the fact that his north south skating needs work. He’ll have to add some explosive lower body strength and work on his stride to keep up with NHL level breakouts, but hopefully that will come with the size he needs to add anyway. Ratcliffe could clock in at 220 pounds in a few years, and if that comes with a commensurate improvement in his skating ability, he could be a terror out there.


THW Consensus: 38th

ISS Hockey: 20th

Future Considerations: 23rd

NHL CSS: 15th (NA)

As for how they got there:

At first glance, that seems like a lot of value — a third and a fourth — to move up nine picks. Hextall is taking a big swing for the fences here, packaging some of the value they’ve accumulated via trade over the past few years for a guy that they almost certainly had a first-round value on. Time will tell if it works out for them.