2014 NHL Draft Grades and ETAs for Philadelphia Flyers' Picks

Garrett BakerSenior Analyst IMarch 31, 2017

2014 NHL Draft Grades and ETAs for Philadelphia Flyers' Picks

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    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    The Philadelphia Flyers had six picks in the NHL draft on Friday and Saturday, and they held off on making any trades but still obtained a wealth of talent for the future.

    The theme was certainly defense, as three of their six picks, including two of their first three, were defensemen. 

    It was Ron Hextall's first as Philadelphia's general manager, and while there was nothing that stood out about his selections, they were very solid from start to finish.

    Here are the grades and ETAs for each of the Flyers' picks from the 2014 NHL draft.

Round 1 (17): Travis Sanheim, D, Calgary (WHL)

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    Sanheim is a long athlete who skates really well in every direction and handles the puck well, which is clearly his biggest asset as a defenseman. 

    He was virtually unknown at the start of this season, as it was his first year playing in the WHL, which makes him a pretty big rarity as a first-round selection.

    But his natural ability helped catch the eye of scouts, and he became the biggest riser in the draft. Seventeenth is pretty high for a kid with basically just one good season under his belt as a prospect, and there were some really talented players still on the board.

    If his upside is reached, he could easily be a top-four blueliner and potentially a No. 2 defenseman who plays on both the power play and penalty kill. But it's still hard to figure out how likely it is that he will reach his potential. 

     

    Grade: B

    NHL ETA: 2016-17

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

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    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    This was an interesting pick because there was a lot of talent still available when they decided to draft Aube-Kubel.

    This in-depth profile from In Lou We Trust really gives a good look at Aube-Kubel as a player, bringing up both his positives and shortcomings.

    He seems like a guy who brings some energy and is smart in all three ends of the ice, which is always encouraging. He also scored the most points on his team for draft-eligible players, as Val-D'Or's other top scorers were all older than him.

    But his size is only average (5'11", 180 pounds), and he isn't a very strong player. It's hard to see him having too much upside in the NHL, but as long as he contributes then it can't be looked at as a bad pick.

     

    Grade: C+

    NHL ETA: 2016-17

Round 3 (86): Mark Friedman, D, Waterloo (USHL)

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    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    Friedman is an intriguing prospect who might remind some of Shayne Gostisbehere because of his 5'10" stature and offensive game.

    He was fourth in the USHL for defensemen with 40 points in 51 games, and he provides a lot of upside there. His defensive game still needs work, but there's a lot to be encouraged about with him.

    ESPN's Corey Pronman sung his praises, which is never a bad sign. Friedman is committed to Bowling Green State in the fall. It's likely that he'll play all four years there before heading to the pros.

     

    Grade: B+

    NHL ETA: 2018-19 

     

Round 5 (138): Oskar Lindblom, RW, Brynas (SWE)

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    In what could be looked at as one of the best value picks in the entire draft for any team, the Flyers grabbed Lindblom 138th overall despite his high ranking in the media.

    ISS ranked him 51st overall, and Pronman had him 43rd. Clearly there's some disconnect here because teams passed on him 137 times before Philadelphia took him, but that's still pretty good.

    He's a powerful winger who has a lot of ability to work around the net. After dominating as an underage player against elite competition in the 2013 U-17 World Championships, Lindblom was a highly regarded prospect, but a poor 2013-14 season hurt his stock.

     

    Grade: B+

    NHL ETA: 2017-18

     

Round 6 (168): Radel Fazleev, C, Calgary (WHL)

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    In a rare move by the Flyers, they drafted a Russian player who just so happened to be a teammate of their first-round pick Travis Sanheim.

    Fazleev is a really skilled player who is mostly one-dimensional but still brings a lot of talent to the table. He was solid in his first year for Calgary this past season, and he also played on Russia's U-18 World Juniors team.

    While he was selected in the first round of the KHL draft, I actually have a good feeling about him and wouldn't be surprised if he made the NHL club one day. As a sixth-round pick, that's good enough.

     

    Grade: B-

    NHL ETA: 2018-19

     

Round 7 (198): Jesper Pettersson, D, Linkoping (SWE)

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    If nothing else, Pettersson is a really scrappy player (he's No. 6 in the video). At 5'9", he's very much undersized for the NHL, but it seems like he's not backing down.

    He's already 19, making him the oldest player the Flyers drafted, as he wasn't drafted in either 2012 or 2013. But he's held his own against men in the Swedish Elite League, which is probably the second-best league in the world.

    But, realistically, Pettersson doesn't really have a chance to make the NHL. Very few seventh-round picks ever do, and being 5'9" without any particularly brilliant skill set doesn't help.

     

    Grade: C