By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor
The Flyers have the 11th overall pick in the NHL Draft on Friday, for now anyway. There is speculation that the pick could be available for the right price, but all signs point to the Flyers using the pick.
The 11th pick can offer a great opportunity for teams to build their prospect system and get a piece for the future.
The Flyers have had the 11th overall pick twice before. In 2003, they used it to select forward Jeff Carter. Carter’s greatest achievements came in Los Angeles following a trade, but in six seasons with the Flyers, he established himself as a high-end goal scorer, scoring 181 goals and 343 points in 461 games. In 2011, the Flyers selected defenseman Sam Morin, who made his NHL debut in April of 2017, played in two games in November of 2017 and suited up for five of the final six games of the 2018-19 season. Morin has battled injuries through the early part of his career, including a lengthy ACL recovery last season.
Another Flyers connection selected with the 11th overall pick was defenseman Brad Marsh, who was selected by the Atlanta Flames and spent seven of his 15 NHL seasons with the Flyers, scoring 14 goals and adding 96 assists for 110 points.
Other picks at the 11th overall selection have been hit or miss.
It’s too early to judge the picks of Gabe Vilardi (Kings) last year or Logan Brown (Senators) just yet. 2015 pick Lawson Crouse has played in 83 NHL games with just six goals and 13 points.
Kevin Fiala has proven to be a solid player to come out of this spot. In 140 games, he has 35 goals and 65 points, though he was traded by Nashville, the team that drafted him, to Minnesota last season.
The Predators also are reaping the rewards of the 11th overall pick in 2012. Filip Forsberg was selected by the Washington Capitals in that spot, and was traded in April of 2013. Forsberg has 117 goals and 255 points in 331 games with the Predators.
Nashville also had the 11th overall selection in 2009. The Predators are known for a balanced defensive core, and one of those players was added with this pick. Ryan Ellis has 55 goals and 173 points in 396 games.
A goalie has been selected 11th overall four times, notably Jonathan Bernier in 2006 and Jack Campbell in 2010 as recent selections.
You can also get a high-end player at 11th overall. Jarome Iginla was taken with the 11th overall pick in 1995. In 2005, the Kings selected Anze Kopitar with the 11th overall pick. Other notable selections at 11th overall include Brandon Sutter (2007), Brian Rolston (1991), Mike Sillinger (1989), and Scott Young (1986).
Every draft is different, and while the potential is usually good at minimum, there really is no way to tell until years later. There is a lot of uncertainty around where players will be selected outside of possibly the Top 4 and certainly the Top 2. The Flyers will look to use the 11th pick to get better somehow, whether that is through a trade or selecting a player they hope will be a key part of their future.
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