It has been mentioned several times before when discussing draft prospects and will be said several more times leading to Draft weekend at the end of June. This draft is deep with talent.
In particular, this draft is deep with talent among forwards, meaning there should be stiff competition for some of the top centers and wingers.
There will be defensemen that get stuck waiting because of the forward talent and perhaps one could slip to the Flyers in the late first round.
Our series on draft prospects continues with Sherbrooke Phoenix defenseman Jeremy Roy.
The QMJHL blue-liner has already become a player to watch, posting 43 points in 46 games this past season with Sherbrooke, including 38 assists.
There was a noticeable drop-off in his scoring – five goals this season as compared to 14 in his first season in the QMJHL – and is easily the class of the league at defenseman.
He is a great talent in the defensive zone, tough to beat and very smart with the puck. He seldom makes a bad pass and is a leader on the ice with his physicality, command with the puck and hockey knowledge.
Offensively, he has the potential to be a power-play specialist for sure. He has an excellent point shot that is very accurate and provides a lot of power. And obviously he has a knack for finding teammates in scoring situations.
He commands both zones of the ice – he can quarterback a power play or make the smart and focused play in the defensive zone.
His defensive play is what really has Roy underrated in this draft. At 17, he's mature beyond his years, which only makes him a more valuable pick-up, especially if he falls later in the draft.
Given the college, junior and European successes that Noah Hanifin, Zach Werenski and Ivan Provorov had, Roy will easily fall in behind the three and given the forward talent in the draft, a player who has the qualities to be a Top-10 pick and the potential to be a top-pair defenseman will likely go more in the range of 15 to 20 or later in the first round.
What makes Hanifin, Werenski and Provorov more appealing is how close they are to NHL-ready, right on the cusp if not there already. Roy, who is 6'0" and 183 pounds, will probably need at least one to two seasons to reach that level.
But his outlook and potential could make him the most successful defenseman out of this draft class in just a few years. And if the Flyers could grab him late in the first round, it might turn out to be the steal of the draft.
Kevin Durso is managing editor for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.