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2019 NHL Draft: The top prospects heading into the second round

The Flyers were going to head into today without a second round pick, then Chuck got to trading.

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Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

With the Flyers having acquired the 45th overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft in their trade with the Arizona Coyotes yesterday, some guys we didn’t expect the Flyers to have a chance to draft have now become available. With the Flyers having eight picks at their disposal today, let’s take a look at some of the big names to keep an eye on for their second selection. With their selection of defenseman Cam York yesterday, going to preface this with the fact I’m leaving off all defensemen since I doubt Fletcher goes back-to-back on the blueline.

Bobby Brink — RW/Sioux City Musketeers, USHL

2018-19 Statistics: 35 G, 33 A in 43 GP

A projected late first round pick, Brink was a surprising player absent from the first round of the draft. Brink’s size and skating concerns may have held him back from a first round selection, but his compete level and overall hockey sense could make him a day two steal. His passing is regarded as one of, if not his best talent as a player. I’d expect him to go before the Flyers pick at 45, but he was also expected to be drafted last night as well.

Brett Leason — RW/Prince Albert Raiders, WHL

2018-19 Statistics: 36 G, 53 A in 55 GP

Leason is the definition of a late riser and it’s all due in part to his improvements in his skating. Leason’s skating, as described by Corey Pronman of The Athletic, turned from “poor to potentially above-average.” This along with his soft hands for a big man and the puck protection skills he brings to the table, Leason could be a very effective power forward at the NHL level. Chuck Fletcher seems to like having a good amount of size on his roster, and the 20 year old winger definitely fits that bill.

Raphael Lavoie — RW/Halifax Mooseheads, QMJHL

2018-19 Statistics: 32 G, 41 A in 62 GP

The fact Raphael Lavoie slipped out of the first round was a bit of a shock. Virtually every single ranking he was given was projecting him late in the first round somewhere at the very least before pick 25. Instead, Lavoie is on this list and possesses one of the best shots still available in this year’s draft class. He’s regarded as a pure goal scorer and has legit sniper potential at the NHL level. The Flyers passed on the pure goal scorer Cole Caufield at pick number 14, if Lavoie continues to fall, the Flyers could very well still find their sniper.

Arthur Kaliyev — LW/Hamilton Bulldogs, OHL

2018-19 Statistics: 51 G, 51 A in 67 GP

Speaking of prolific goal scorers, another one comes in the presence of Arthur Kaliyev. Again, this was someone who was widely considered to be a late first round pick. The concerns with his consistency and effort seemingly pushed him out of the first 31 picks, but Kaliyev fits that same bill of the Flyers having a chance to find their sniper. Also, someone please draft him soon so we don’t see his death stare he was giving almost all of last night, that was terrifying.

Nils Hoglander — LW/Rogle BK, SHL

2018-19 Statistics: 7 G, 7 A in 50 GP

Hoglander, albeit not as talked about as the Lavoie’s and Kaliyev’s of the draft fallers, is a bit surprising to still be here on day two. His rankings had him fairly clear to be picked in the first round and the fact he already has experience playing against professionals in Sweden seemingly would have been a draw for NHL teams. The main skill with Hoglander is his puck skills. His skating is fluid but he doesn’t possess a great top speed, and he’s not the biggest forward at just 5’9” weighing in at 185 pounds. The Flyers could have another day two Swedish steal to go along with Oskar Lindblom a few years back.

Nicholas Robertson — LW/Peterborough Petes, OHL

2018-19 Statistics: 27 G, 28 A in 54 GP

Another smol boi here, Nicholas Robertson could fit with Kaliyev and Lavoie as the Flyers find for a pure goal scorer. Robertson is regarded has having one of the better shots in the draft and he has the puck skills to boot. He’s a flashy player that would no doubt be a fun player to watch progress in the Flyers system. He’s not the biggest surprise to see available in the second round, especially with how far Caufield slipped and the bias against smaller players seemingly present in the latter stages of the first round.

Egor Afanasyev — LW/Muskegon Lumberjacks, USHL

2018-19 Statistics: 27 G, 35 A in 58 GP

Afanasyev will be joining the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL next season, but last season he was one of the better point producers in the USHL. Afanasyev’s skating is seemingly the one thing holding him back from being one of the top prospects of the draft, given the high skill is there. His puck skills and shot along with his 6’4” 201 frame make him a very intriguing proposition for the Flyers in the second round. He’s not the pure goal scoring option that a Kaliyev or Lavoie could be, but I think he’d be just a notch below that.

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