In my previous article, I discussed the Flyers’ defensive need for this upcoming draft. Another need that is not so urgent, but is one that they need to address is goaltending.
Martin Biron is a very capable starting goaltender, as one can see from this year’s conference finals run. However, he is 31 years old, and is not the goaltender of the future. The Flyers have not had a franchise goaltender since Ron Hextall, and the only one before that was Bernie Parent.
There are a few good goalies that are ranked in the first or second round that the Flyers could take with their 27th overall pick in this year’s NHL Entry Draft.
· Jacob Markstrom, G, Brynas, Sweden, 6’3”, 176 pounds.
Markstrom will most likely be taken by the time the Flyers pick at number 27, but he is still worth mentioning. He is a great goalie who has had consistently great stats in the Swedish Elite League. He is extremely athletic, and has great positioning. He is rarely caught out of position, and almost never has to guess what the shooter is going to do. He is comparable to Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers, and is most likely just as talented.
· Chet Pickard, G, Tri-City, WHL, 6’2”, 195 pounds.
Pickard is ranked as the second top goalie in the NHL draft by the International Scouting Service. He is an extremely talented goaltender who played with Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens. And we all know how he turned out: great. Pickard is very fit, and can handle the puck very well. He had 46 wins with the Americans this year, and has never had a save percentage lower than .900.
Harri Sateri, G, Tappara, Finland, 6’1”, 198 pounds.
Sateri is compared with Mikka Kiprusoff and Kari Lehtonen, but some scouts also compare him to Hannu Toivonen. He is a typical butterfly goalie, but has unbelievable speed across the crease; it is very hard to beat him with a wrap-around. He has great positioning and will be extremely successful in the NHL. The only problem with the Flyers picking him? The last time they picked a Finnish goalie in the draft, he became their permanent backup (Antero Nittymaki).
Thomas Mccollum, G, Guelph, OHL, 6’1”, 205 pounds.
Mccollum is ranked 38th overall by The Hockey News draft rankings, and is ranked in the second round by the ISS. He is very talented, as he has passed the 25-win mark the past two seasons in the OHL. His GAA has not been above 2.50 since he was 15, and his save percentages the last three seasons are .914, .918, and .905, respectively. He has great athletic ability, and is good at challenging shooters, but often goes down too quickly, which is a huge problem with today’s shooters (see Martin Biron). However, with a little bit of work, Mccollum could become a first round pick, perhaps a Flyers’ first round pick.
I’m looking forward to the NHL draft, and cannot wait to see how this thing unfolds.