Do you remember the NHL Network commercial about giving one hundred percent? (If not, here is a refresher.) Well, if you’ve ever watched Mark Friedman at Flyers development camp, you know he gives 100% effort, 100% of the time.
Seriously, watch this guy.
Friedman deposits Cates with ease. pic.twitter.com/VKBJQDuT3x— Charlie O'Connor (@BSH_Charlie) July 8, 2017
The Flyers selected Friedman in the third round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft with a pick they acquired via the Andrej Meszaros trade. Friedman has spent the last three seasons collegiate hockey for Bowling Green State University in the WCHA, but he forwent his senior season to sign a contract with the Flyers back in March. Now, as an official member of the organization, he’ll finally have his chance to impress in professional hockey games, and not just meaningless camps.
No. 25: Mark Friedman
Age: 21 (12/25/1995)
Acquired Via: 2014 NHL Draft -- Round 3, Pick 86 (Pick acquired from Boston in exchange for Andrej Meszaros on March 5, 2014)
2016-17 League/Team/Statistics: Bowling Green (NCAA) - 8 G, 18 A in 40 GP
Ranking in BSH Winter 2017 25 Under 25: 23
A dark horse in the Flyers defensive prospect pool, Friedman is in a position to make a name for himself. After wrapping up three very solid seasons at Bowling Green, he will make the jump to the professional level with the Phantoms this upcoming season. Friedman got his first taste of pro level hockey at the end of last year, seeing action in one game with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. He registered one point (an assist) and was +3 on the game. Playing time should be found on the Phantoms’ defense in 2017-18, as GM Ron Hextall has strongly hinted that two rookies will slide up into the NHL next season.
Friedman does hold one advantage over nearly every other young Flyers defenseman — he is a right handed shot. NHL teams like to balance out their pairings if possible, which helps Friedman since the bulk of Philadelphia’s presumed future defense core naturally play the opposite side. Ivan Provorov, Shayne Gostisbehere, Samuel Morin Travis Sanheim and Robert Hagg are all left-handed shots, and the only RHD on the current Flyers roster is Radko Gudas. Philippe Myers is the only other notable righty blueliner in the system.
During the Flyers development camp this summer, I watched one-on-one drills with Charlie O’Connor. Friedman was a standout in them; we were watching the “Mark Friedman show,” or so it seemed. His work ethic is off the charts, and he was a standout at camp.
My guess is that he approaches these camps with a major chip on his shoulder, trying to ward off the “he’s too small!” tag and to make a name for himself in an organization that has at least six defensemen under the age of 25 above him on the depth chart.
Charlie pointed the above out in his observations from Development Camp. As many things that come from Charlie, it’s a fantastic point. Friedman is currently buried by the abundance of young defensive talent that the Flyers possess. He has to find a way to stand out, and he has done a great job thus far.
It is an uphill climb for Friedman, but he is on the right track to make some noise in the Flyers prospect pool. We’ll get a much better look at him this fall with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. He will also be attending his first NHL training camp with the Flyers this September.
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How We Voted At No. 25
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