Full Seven-Round Philadelphia Flyers NHL Mock Draft
Their farm system has been really weak under Paul Holmgren, but new general manager Ron Hextall has claimed to be a big proponent of building through the draft, per NHL.com. He will have his first chance to do that very soon.
A trade up seems very unlikely at this point, with Brayden Schenn locked up for two more years in a great deal, so I chose to not feature any potential moves in this mock.
Also note that the Flyers' current third-round pick comes from the Boston Bruins and will be upgraded to a second rounder if Andrej Meszaros re-signs with Boston before the draft. That seems unlikely at this stage, so I assume the third-rounder is set in stone.
Here is my 2014 NHL mock draft for the Philadelphia Flyers.
Round 1 (No. 17): Roland McKeown, D, Kingston (OHL)
I've already sung Roland McKeown's praises, so this isn't exactly a shocking selection. McKeown's value is all over the place based on what rankings you look at, but there's a very good chance he's still on the board at No. 17.
That's perfectly fine for the Flyers, who will be happy to take the Listowel, Ontario native.
While he isn't the strongest or most physical player, his 6'1", 197-pound frame is more than adequate already. But his strength is really in his skates.
One could argue that McKeown is the best skater in this entire class, regardless of position. He glides around the ice effortlessly with quick changes of direction and solid acceleration. That type of skating ability is so key in today's NHL—the game will only get faster.
The Flyers would be wise to draft a guy like McKeown to make sure their blue line can keep up.
Round 2 (No. 48): Anton Karlsson, RW, Frolunda J20 (SWE)
For the second year in a row, the Flyers go for a talented Swede in the second round, this time opting for right winger Anton Karlsson.
He's got good size at 6'2", 187 pounds, and is a physical, hardworking player. NHL.com notes that he has a legitimate "warrior" aspect to his game, which is never a bad thing.
But this wouldn't just be your classic Philadelphia "gritty two-way player" pick, because Karlsson has some legitimate stick skills as well. He can drive play on the offensive end, and he brings a well-rounded package that translates nicely to the NHL game.
Round 3 (No. 86): Jacob Middleton, D, Ottawa (OHL)
A really intriguing prospect with lots of upside, Jacob Middleton would be an exceptional third-round selection for the Flyers.
While he's obviously still very young, Middleton was an incredibly highly regarded prospect when he broke into juniors in 2012—he was drafted eighth overall in the OHL draft.
Combining good size (6'2") with high hockey IQ and impressive physicality, Middleton is a solid defensive player in his own zone. He needs to clean up his work with the puck and become a more consistent player, which is the main reason he was ranked really lowly by Central Scouting.
But if he taps into that potential he has, then the Flyers could get themselves a steal here.
Round 5 (No. 138): Ryan Mantha, D, Indiana (USHL)
Ryan Mantha—no relation to Anthony—is a physically imposing player; he checks in at 6'4", 208 pounds.
He has actually played both forward and defense in the past few years, but projects more as a defenseman at the next level due to his size and limited quickness.
But there's always going to be demand for big, smart defensemen, and if Mantha can use those attributes to make something of himself then that's all gravy for Philadelphia.
Round 6 (No. 168): Edwin Minney, G, USA U-18 (USHL)
Edwin Minney has seen his stock drop throughout the past year, but that's just an opportunity for the Flyers to take advantage of.
At 6'4", Minney takes up a lot of the net—and he seems to know how to use that size to his advantage. While his level of competition may be questioned, his natural ability certainly isn't.
It's hard to tell where goalies will end up being taken, but Minney would be a great pick if he's still around in the sixth round.
He is committed to Michigan State, and would have plenty of time to hone his craft there.
Round 7 (No. 198): August Gunnarsson, RW, Farjestad (SWE)
August Gunnarsson's older brother, Carl—pictured above—is a quality defenseman for the Toronto Maple Leafs, so there's got to be some good bloodlines there.
And his numbers from the past couple years are pretty good. Also, I like Swedish prospects. So welcome to the Flyers, August.
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