2019 NHL Draft Profile: Philip Broberg may not be the flashy pick, but could be the right one

The 17 year old Swedish defenseman skates like a gazelle, but can that overcome his decision making offensively?

With the promotion of Philippe Myers late this past season, the Philadelphia Flyers’ defensive prospect pool has taken a significant hit. With essentially all of the Flyers’ best defense prospects already in the NHL, the need for defense has intensified. The man that could fill that need is the Swedish born defenseman Philip Broberg. He may not be the pick that turns heads, but he could be the pick that makes the most sense for this hockey team. The question is, will his skating prowess overcome his deficiencies offensively?

2019 NHL Draft Profile: Philip Broberg

Position/team: D/AIK, Allsvenskan
2018-19 Statistics: 2 G, 7 A in 41 GP
Size: 6’3” 201

Pre-draft rankings

No. 5 (European skaters) by NHL Central Scouting
No. 17 by Future Considerations
No. 16 by ISS Hockey
No. 9 by Pronman/The Athletic

What’s there to like?

Well first of all his last name is Broberg, how can you not like that? Anyway, the 17 year old blueliner has all the makings of a very good two-way defenseman in the NHL. Despite his bigger frame, he can skate with the best of them and his top speed is honestly incredible. He’s smooth on his skates and simply blows past his competition at full power. For example: the below clip of him going coast to coast practically effortlessly and making an, albeit unsuccessful, attempt to create a scoring chance.

This isn’t just fast for a guy his size, it’s fast period. Having defensemen who can move the puck up the ice like this is such a hot commodity in today’s NHL and Broberg seemingly fits that bill quite well. And although he’s fully capable of skating the puck up the ice, his breakout passes are an added bonus. Although he can struggle with them at times, Broberg is able to analyze the defense and make successful breakout passes more often than not.

Broberg’s long reach allows him to make plenty of strong defensive plays in his own zone and recover if he’s beaten. Something that the Flyers very own Travis Sanheim excels at is getting back into position after a pinch, and this is something he’s able to do because of his reach and speed. These are the same two talents that I believe Broberg possesses and will help him be a quality NHL defenseman.

Overall I believe he’ll be more of a defensive defenseman who can move the puck rather than a true two-way defenseman. I’m more confident in his defense becoming above average in the NHL than I am his offense reaching that point and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. A defenseman’s main job after all is to play defense, not scoring goals. The fact his skating is as good as it is and how much of a threat that makes him on the breakout is good enough for me if his defense continues to improve.

What’s not to like?

The main knock on Broberg is his offensive upside. His puck skills can be shaky at times and it seems like he over thinks himself into a turnover on occasion. In watching film, there was a play where he had all the time in the world to make a pass and it’s almost as if you could see the gears turning in his head. What resulted was a turnover that didn’t need to happen. I don’t think this is something to be too concerned about, but he definitely needs to tighten up in that area.

His decision making overall is something that a lot of scouts are pointing to as a weakness and this is to be expected with some draft prospects. He’s definitely a raw talent which could be described as a negative despite having some flashes of brilliance.

Otherwise it’s simply that Broberg doesn’t seem like he’ll be a high scoring defenseman which again, is perfectly okay! It would of course be nice to get more scoring all throughout the lineup but with the issues this team has had at defending over the past couple of years, maybe a guy who is primarily good at defense isn’t that bad.

How would he fit in the Flyers’ system?

I would rank Broberg ahead of Adam Ginning, the Flyers second round pick in the 2018 draft. While Broberg doesn’t have a ton of offensive upside I think he definitely has more than Ginning and combine that with his skating and you have my reasoning. The Flyers do need to replenish the defense prospect pool at some point, and Broberg may not be a bad place to start.

Could the Flyers actually get him?

Yes, it looks like it. Broberg really isn’t that high on a ton of rankings due to how raw of a prospect he appears to be. I don’t think a team will take the chance on him in the top 10 given the concerns in his game, which means he’ll most likely be there for the Flyers at 11.