NHL Draft: With the 27th Pick in the Draft, the Philadelphia Flyers Select...
Attempting to guess what a team might do on draft day in any sport is the textbook definition of "effort in futility."
In hockey, this becomes magnified even more so, as the playing field becomes more level after the first ten or so picks—much more level than in just about any other sport. It is hard to make a guess for who might go where, or at what number, or in which round even.
The latter stages of the first round are very hit-or-miss. There tends to be a sizable drop off in talent after the first half of the round and finding a quality player at this point can be a shot in the dark.
The Flyers, however, have had success finding quality talent in the late picks of the first round. Simon Gagne was picked at No. 22 overall back in 1998, and is now regarded as one of the top left wingers in the league.
Justin Williams was 28th overall in 2000. Mike Richards was 24th in 2003. In 2005, the Flyers traded down from 20 to 29 and took Steve Downie. In 2006, the Flyers found Claude Giroux sitting at No. 22.
All of these players are either stars already or have the potential to be solid players in the league.
Of course, there are also some busts. In 1999 and 2001, the Flyers chose Maxime Oullet and Jeff Woywitka respectively.
However, the Flyers have done a better job than most at separating the "musts" from the "busts", so to speak, over the last decade in mostly the bottom part of the first round.
With this year's draft class being widely viewed as deeper than usual, given the Flyers' (Paul Holmgren's) recent success drafting in the 20's, the odds that the Flyers repeat history again and find a good player at 27 appear to be very good.
With that said, the question now becomes: "who?" This is where things become difficult.
This draft looks fairly deep in both defensemen and goaltenders—two positions the Flyers sorely lack in quality within their system. However, the Flyers look to be committed to choosing the best player available and if that player isn't a defenseman or a goalie, Paul Holmgren will have no reservations about choosing him anyway.
By the time 27 rolls around, top-ranked defensemen Doughty, Pietrangelo, Schenn, and Myers should all be long gone. However, there is a good chance that guys like John Carlson, Tyler Cuma, and Jake Gardiner could still be around.
New Jersey's own John Carlson, in particular, would appear to be a good fit for the Flyers. At 6'2" 210 lbs, he has size, but he also has good speed and is smart with the puck. He has shown the ability to show up on the stat sheet, putting up 43 points in 59 games for the Indiana Ice of the USHL this past season. He also is a strong defensive presence, excelling at killing penalties. Carlson has the potential to be a powerplay QB as well.
Carlson is the real deal. He has the ability to be a solid all-around top four guy in the NHL and he would fit in perfectly with the Flyers.
Chet Pickard is viewed by most as the best goaltender in this year's class. There is a chance that he could be around at 27, but it is more likely that he will be gone by that time.
Goalies like Thomas McCollum and Jacob Markstrom could still be there, though.
McCollum, in particular, appears to be a solid prospect. His stock might have fallen a little bit over the past year, but he still put up a very respectable 2.50 GAA and a .914 Sv% for Guelph of the OHL while logging a 25-17-6 record.
In terms of potential, the top four or five goalies of this class really are not too far off from each other and if Homer chooses to go this route, the potential is there for the Flyers to get a very special player.
In my personal opinion, if Carlson is available, I would pick him at 27. With Biron and Niittymaki both here at the moment, the Flyers aren't exactly in need of a goalie prospect at the moment, but having strong defensive prospects in the system is always a necessity, especially with the holes created by the trade of Alexandre Picard to Tampa Bay (in the original Prospal trade), Ryan Parent's likely graduation to the Flyers as a full-time defenseman, and Jason Smith's departure in free agency.
Carlson would have a good chance at making this team in the next two years once Hatcher's contract expires. This pick would appear to be very safe and help solidify the Flyers' future at defense for years to come.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?