Philadelphia Flyers 2014 NHL Draft Picks: Grades, Results and Analysis

Tom Urtz Jr.Contributor IJune 27, 2014

Philadelphia Flyers 2014 NHL Draft Picks: Grades, Results and Analysis

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    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    The Philadelphia Flyers were the hosts of the 2014 NHL draft, and they were trying to make a splash for their home crowd. This was Ron Hextall's first draft as general manager, and with the recent trade of Scott Hartnell he has already started to make his mark in Philadelphia.

    Here is an in-depth look at the six players Ron Hextall selected in his first draft at the helm of the Philadelphia Flyers.

Round 1, Pick 17: Travis Sanheim, Defense, Calgary Hitmen, (WHL)

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    The Philadelphia Flyers selected Travis Sanheim with No. 17 pick in the first round of the 2014 NHL draft. The Flyers are looking to improve their blue line of the future, and adding Sanheim is a good start.

    Although he wasn't the best defender left on the board, he is a player with some upside. Sanheim totaled 29 points in 67 games this past season, and he has solid size at 6'3" and 181 pounds.

    He projects to be a future No. 1 or No. 2 defender because of his amazing skating ability, hockey sense and his overall package of skills.

    He is a great all-around defender, and TSN even compared him to Ryan McDonagh, and that would be an amazing ceiling for Sanheim and the Flyers. He won't step right into the NHL, but he will make a sizable impact once that fateful day finally arrives.

     

    Grade: B+

Round 2, Pick 48: Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Right Wing, Val D'Or, (QMJHL)

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    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Nicolas Aube-Kubel has solid offensive skills and has the kind of quick reactions that should allow him to become a solid scorer when he gets his chance to play in the NHL.

    The Flyers drafted Aube-Kubel because of his quickness in the offensive zone, and his ability to release the puck cleanly and accurately. He scored 53 points last year and played a key role in helping Val D'Or earn first place in the QMJHL's West Division.

    Aube-Kubel is a solidly built player who checks in at 5'11" and 187 pounds. He is strong on the puck and will fight to retain possession.

    Look for Aube-Kubel to need at least two more years of development before he pulls on his Flyers' jersey.

     

    Grade: B

     

    ---Update by Steve Silverman---

Round 3, Pick 86: Mark Friedman, Defenseman, Waterloo, (USHL)

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    The Philadelphia Flyers hope that Mark Friedman can bring some quality offensive play to their blue line crew.

    Friedman is a right-handed shooting defenseman with the skills to carry the puck out of the zone and the speed to advance it up the ice quickly.

    Friedman scored 10 goals and 30 assists in 51 games for Waterloo of the USHL last season. That's the kind of solid productivity the Flyers hope Friedman shows as his games continues to develop.

    Friedman is not a big prospect at 5'10" and 185 pounds, but he is an aggressive player who will battle hard for the puck. He is not about to give in to bigger players without a fight.

    Grade: B

     

    ---Update by Steve Silverman---

     

Round 5, Pick 138: Oskar Lindblom, LW, Brynas Jr (Sweden)

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    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    The Philadelphia Flyers may have gotten a steal when they selected Swedish winger Oskar Lindblom with the 138th overall pick in the draft.

    Lindblom fills a need in the Flyers organization for a skilled winger with size. Lindblom won't turn 18 until August but he is already 6'1" and 192 pounds.

    Scouts were high on Lindblom entering last season, but he had a slow start to the 2013-14 season and slipped down many draft boards as a result.

    Lindblom isn't afraid to use his size to get to the "dirty areas" on the ice. He has an edge to his game that will create some space for teammates. He already plays a "North American" style of hockey and shouldn't have much trouble making the adjustment to the smaller rinks and more physical style played here.

    If he hopes to thrive at the next level, the big Swede needs to work on his skating and footwork.

    If Lindblom continues to develop, he could be a great pick for the Flyers.

    Grade: B

    --update by Brad Kurtzberg

Round 6, Pick 168: Radel Fazleev, Center, Calgary WHL

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    The Flyers actually drafted a Russian-born prospect with the 168th overall pick in this year's NHL draft in forward Radel Fazleev.

    Fazleev played for the WHL's Calgary Hitmen last year, but he's still Russian-born and has even been drafted by a KHL team.

    Fazleev stands 6' tall and weighs 176. He has good speed and is dangerous with the puck, especially in one-on-one situations.

    He needs to improve his defense and learn not to shy away from contact. He also needs to learn to keep his cool when opposing players get physical with him.

    Last season, Fazleev scored five goals and 25 points in 32 games for the Hitmen.

    With his skill set, he was a worthwhile pick in the sixth round.

    Grade: B-

    --update by Brad Kurtzberg--

Round 7, Pick 198: Jesper Pettersson, Defense, Linkopings HC (Sweden)

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    Jesper Pettersson is an undersized defenseman.
    Jesper Pettersson is an undersized defenseman.Ludvig Thunman/Associated Press

    With the 198th pick in the draft, the Philadelphia Flyers selected Swedish defenseman Jesper Pettersson.

    Pettersson is an undersized defenseman. He stands only 5'8" and weighs 187, but he plays a lot bigger than his size. He also is a defensive-minded player who is not afraid to play a physical game.

    In 48 games last season for Linkopings, HC in Sweden, Pettersson failed to score a goal and managed only one assist. He played well enough to make the Swedish team at the World Juniors and picked up 14 penalty minutes in six games.

    Pettersson has a ways to go before coming to North America. He needs to improve his offensive skills and adjust to the smaller North American rinks. Adding some bulk would also help.

    Grade: B-

    --update by Brad Kurtzberg--