At 16, we’re getting to the point of our list with guys who the Flyers still could potentially select but would probably end up looking like a reach, at least to fans and other outsiders. Today, we’ve got Pavel Mintyukov, a Russian-born left-handed defenseman who came over to North America to play his final two years (though he only got one of them thanks to COVID) in the OHL.
BSH 2022 Community Draft Board, No. 16: Pavel Mintyukov
Team: Saginaw Spirit (OHL)
Statistics: 17 G, 45 A in 67 GP
No. 6 (NA skaters) by NHL Central Scouting
No. 16 by McKenzie/TSN (midseason)
No. 12 by Dobber Prospects (April)
No. 25 by Wheeler/The Athletic (midseason)
What’s there to like?
Mintyukov has received praise for his play in all three zones, which, as a mobile defenseman who handles the puck well, is even more important than usual for his perceived value around the league. It seems the stronger your offensive talents are, the harsher the Old Hockey Man World is on your defensive flaws. Mintyukov is fairly big at 6-foot-1 but still considered mobile and athletic for a defenseman. He’s big enough to be able to separate guys from the puck with his body, but plays small enough to make some tight turns in traffic with the puck. He’s got a big one-timer and he handles puck at the blue line well. He projects as a top four defenseman who can play at all strengths and situations.
What’s not to like?
The knocks on Mintyukov that have been repeated by a few scouts are mostly about his decision-making. It seems he leans towards defense, not always feeling like he can give his full offensive ability the freedom to do its thing. There’s nothing wrong with focusing on stopping the puck, but a top pick should be somebody who can help put the puck in the net without sacrificing anything. Scouting reports suggest that Mintyukov is capable of doing both, but needs to work on the timing of when he takes those risks.
Also, while a top four defenseman is nothing to sneeze at, the Flyers are desperate for top end talent. Is Mintyukov as the reward for one of the worst season’s in franchise history going to feel worth it?
How would he fit in the Flyers’ system?
Well, theoretically, the Flyers’ depth chart at LD has a lot going on—Ivan Provorov, Travis Sanheim, and Cam York are all currently at the NHL level, though York has played on the right side as well. For Mintyukov to crack the lineup in Philly, it’d mean that he’s playing RD or that one of those three guys is gone (not outside the realm of possibility). Yegor Zamula has also been fighting for that lineup spot for a few years, but he’s not someone who should block a first-round pick.
Practically, though, the Flyers need all the help they can get on both offense and defense. Mintyukov doesn’t project to be in the NHL by next season, so it’s not like the current lineup should dictate whether or not they’re picking him.
Could the Flyers actually get him?
Yes, they could. Mintyukov has been a bit of a riser on draft boards, but it would still probably be a surprise if they picked him at no. 5, especially since there’s been so much talk about trading down. If they pick a guy they think they could have gotten outside the top 10 without trading down, it’d be a pretty poor strategy. They’d come out looking like Costner in the 2014 Ivan Reitman movie Draft Day—Vontae Mack no matter what! Sorry, spoilers for the 2014 Ivan Reitman movie Draft Day, I guess.
Our addition to the poll today is going to be Jimmy Snuggerud, a winger from the USNTDP who is committed to the University of Minnesota for next season:
Jimmy Snuggerud — RW, US NTDP — 6 G, 26 P in 26 GP (USHL) and 24 G, 63 P in 59 GP (USDP)
Snuggerud is a well-rounded three-zone player with a versatile offensive game. His head is always up and on a swivel, even in congested areas. He’s good below the goal line and makes a lot of low-to-high plays into the slot to find cutting teammates for chances. He sticks with the play and follows shots to the net to get to rebounds. — Scott Wheeler, The Athletic
Who should be no. 17 on the 2022 BSH Community Draft Board
This poll is closed
1. Shane Wright — C, Kingston (OHL)
2. Juraj Slafkovský — LW, TPS (Liiga)
3. Logan Cooley — C, NTDP (USDP/USHL)
4. Simon Nemec — D, HK Nitra (Slovakia)
5. Matthew Savoie — C, Winnipeg (OHL)
6. David Jiricek — D, HC Plzeň (Czechia)
7. Joakim Kemell — W, JYP (Liiga)
8. Conor Geekie — C, Winnipeg (OHL)
9. Frank Nazar — C, NTDP (USDP/USHL)
T-10. Brad Lambert — C, JYP/Pelicans (Liiga)
T-10. Cutter Gauthier — C, NTDP (USDP/USHL)
12. Ivan Miroshnichenko — LW, Omskie Krylia (VHL)
13. Jonathan Lekkerimaki — RW, Djurgårdens IF (Ligga)
14. Danila Yurov — RW, Metallurg Magnitogorsk (KHL)
15. Isaac Howard — LW, NTDP (USDP/USHL)
16. Pavel Mintyukov — D, Saginaw Spirit (OHL)