The Flyers will head into this coming June’s draft with two picks to make. Maybe they’ll look to trade up using those picks, maybe they’ll dangle one or both of them as bait to get an established player, maybe they’ll use them to do something else. But there’s also, of course, a decent chance that the Flyers go ahead and just take two good prospects with those two picks, and it’s time we start figuring out who we want them to take if they end up doing just that.
With that, welcome to the 2018 BSH Community Draft Board. We went through this exercise in 2015, the last time the Flyers entered draft night with two picks in the first round, and we’ll be going through it again this year. In an idea originally lifted from our friends over at Liberty Ballers, the concept here is pretty simple: each day (or maybe every couple of days, we’ll see), we’ll put out a poll featuring a number of NHL draft prospects. You’ll vote for the one out of all of the choices that you would most like the Flyers to pick if they were all available.
At the end of each day, we’ll tally up the votes and tell you all who the winner is, and we’ll talk about that winner a bit — what’s good about him, how would he stack up in the Flyers’ system, can the Flyers actually get him, etc. Then, we’ll put that player on the board, add a name or two into the poll to replace him, and take your votes once again for the next spot on the list. Simple enough? We hope so.
We’re going to start at No. 2, because everyone and their mothers knows that Rasmus Dahlin is the top prospect in this draft and is going first overall to the Sabres, and spending any words pretending that the Flyers can get him would be wasteful. From that point, the options open up at least a little bit, so that’s where we’ll begin. We’ll start with the top five non-Dahlin guys on ISS’ final rankings and go from there.
Andrei Svechnikov — RW, Barrie Colts (OHL) — 40 G, 32 A in 44 GP
Svechnikov is blessed with a very enticing combination of elite-level skill and excellent size. Standing at 6’2” and 187 lbs, he is a powerful skater with great footspeed, and is surprisingly shifty for his stature, able to burn laterally, juke, and fake defenders to create open ice for himself like a much smaller player. He is very strong on the puck, able to protect it while in full flight through traffic and along the boards. He is a beast along the boards, and is able to use his size to his advantage to get better real estate in the offensive zone in the dirty areas of the ice. He can beat defenders in any number of ways, be it with his finesse and stickhandling abilities, or with his sheer power. He possesses electrifying skills with the puck, and his one-on-one moves make him lethal in close when it’s just him with the goalie.
— via Winging It In Motown
Filip Zadina — LW, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL) — 44 G, 38 A in 57 GP
There’s one aspect in Zadina’s toolkit that separates him from others and it is his ability to protect the puck. He routinely switches to one hand on his stick when he has possession to put as much of his body in front of the puck, using his other arm and knees to shield the puck from what are sometimes multiple opponents. With his shifty stickhandling and strong balance, he seems almost immune to takeaways when he is at the top of his game.
Zadina complements this ability with an almost instinctive usage of deception, opening up his hips, going 10-and-two with his skates to fool opponents into thinking he is going in one direction, before exploding in the other. He can also use head fakes just as well to attract defenders onto him before passing to open teammates, creating lanes to the net for them.
— via Eyes on the Prize
Brady Tkachuk — C/LW, Boston University (NCAA) — 8 G, 23 A in 40 GP
The question for Brady Tkachuk is not what strengths does he have, the question is what strengths does he not have. Tkachuk is a 6-foot-3 power forward and is only 18-years-old. “Brady Tkachuk plays the game as his name would suggest, physically, aggressively and with a significant amount of skill” said Peter Harling of Dobber Prospects.
Tkachuk’s main advantage of his game is that he uses his size and agility in-front of the net to create that presence every team needs and goes for the greasy goals. Lastly, for his size, Tkachuk is already an incredible passer which really showed in the U20 tournament this year. “He’s a lot bigger than me, a lot faster than me,” Matthew Tkachuk told Michael Traikos of The National Post of his younger brother. “He’s kind of that dual threat where he can beat you with power and with quick, tight plays as well.”
— via Fear the Fin
Oliver Wahlstrom — C/RW, US National Under-18 Team — 48 G, 46 A in 62 GP
A sensational scoring threat, Oliver Wahlstrom is a fierce competitor that preys on weak play. He exploits gaps in the neutral zone; his positioning allows him to carry the puck forward immediately or shift up and into stride off of an outlet pass. He promptly takes easy lanes away from the opposition along his own blue line, but could stand to be more proactive defensively. Offensively, he might be described as uncontainable: the confidence he has in his individual puck skill, paired with a high level of thinking, makes him a difficult cog to take out of alignment. He is able to create opportunities for himself, as well as teammates, out of nothing; this, in turn, translates to energy on the ice and in the building as a whole. All-in-all, Oliver Wahlstrom is an instinct-driven hockey player gifted with the size, skating, skill, and smarts that coaches yearn for.
— via Elite Prospects
Evan Bouchard — D, London Knights — 25 G, 62 A in 67 GP
Where Bouchard really shines though, is on offense. Bouchard is as good of a quarterback on the point as you’re going to find in an OHL prospect his age. He is essentially the fulcrum on which London’s offense is based. Bouchard is involved in the play in just about every facet you can think of, and much that contribution starts from his own end, where he not only possesses a very good first pass up the ice, but his ability to rush the puck and control the play coming out of his own zone is marvelous. On the transition, Bouchard’s maneuverability and his ability to use his transitioning teammates makes him unpredictable, and dangerous every time there’s a break up ice. In the offensive zone, he almost always keeps his feet moving, unless he’s looking to accept a pass for a one-timer, and more than capable of holding the line and keeping the play alive. Bouchard covers a lot of ice in the offensive zone, makes smart pinches, but also knows when he needs to fall back to intercept a transitioning opponent.
— via Winging It In Motown
Please use your vote below to answer the following question: If all of the players listed were available when the Flyers were on the clock, who would you want them to pick?
Who should be No. 2 on the 2018 BSH Community Board?
This poll is closed