By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor
The first night and first round of the NHL Draft is typically where teams take their shot to find an impact player. In a draft that was heavy with forwards, the Flyers took one that possesses a quick and deceptive shot and playmaking ability in Tyson Foerster.
That doesn’t mean the Flyers are done with finding any other forwards available. The Flyers have six more picks on Day 2 of the draft, scattered between the second and seventh rounds and will look for more potential talent and try to continue to add balance to the farm system.
“We absolutely in no circumstances will go for position [in the second round],” GM Chuck Fletcher said on Tuesday night. “Definitely take the best player like we did today. There will still be, based on what our list looks right now, there’s at least 15 players right now I think we would be thrilled to select. Basically we should have a really good chance at falling into one of those players. Regardless of the position, we’ll be very happy to call the name.”
“We’ll look at what players are left and targets for our second round pick,” assistant GM Brent Flahr said. “Maybe there’s a chance to move up or back. Obviously we’ll have certain players for certain rounds. We’ll have a game plan and really target the guys.”
As Day 2 prepares to begin in just a few hours, here are a few players left on the board that the Flyers could target with their picks.
(All players are sorted by position and listed in alphabetical order)
C Thomas Bordeleau – A talented offensive forward with the ability to create. He’s part of the US National Team Development Program and produced 16 goals and 46 points in 47 games last season. His great speed, agility and high motor keep him active and attacking the game and he’s got excellent puck skills that make him shifty and difficult to take off the puck.
C Jean-Luc Foudy – The brother of Columbus forward Liam Foudy, he has speed and a strong and quick stride that helps him hit the blue line with purpose. His acceleration is excellent and it helps him to get into the zone quickly. He can sometimes lose possession due to his great speed, but he has a quick shot and handles the puck well to create space and set up his teammates with great vision. He posted 15 goals and 43 points in 59 games with Windsor last season.
C Marat Khusnutdinov – Though he is a smaller player at 5’10” and 168 pounds, he has high-end skill. He’s the type of player who typically has the abilities that you want to find in a first-round player, but the size that drops him back into the second round. Despite his size, he’s got great speed, active feet and playmaking ability that makes him a threat, evident by his 13 goals and 38 points in 44 games in the MHL.
C Jan Mysak – Made the jump from playing in Czech leagues to the OHL and scored 15 goals and 25 points in 22 games with Hamilton. He’s an energetic winger with great speed, a tenacious presence and fluid motion through the zone to open up scoring chances.
C/RW Tristan Robins – A talented skater with the ability to change up his approach to create space and turn defenders around or put them on their heels. He helps to open up passing lanes for teammates and can showcase his hockey smarts with good setups and timing to find the right pass or take an effective shot. His numbers at Saskatoon last season are going to be enticing the later it gets in the draft, with 33 goals and 73 points in 62 games.
RW Sam Colangelo – Using a big frame and power in his strides, he’s difficult to move off the puck, especially when he reaches top speed. He’s good in transition, can find open space and can be effective on the forecheck. He isn’t afraid to go to the net and let a shot go. He needs to work on his passing and puck-handling, but he’s got the size and upside to be a talented player at the next level.
RW Luke Evangelista – An above-average skater with good burst and strong edges, his small size allows him to stay centered and helps him against bigger opponents. He’s got a lot of skill with the puck and can wait for a play to develop. His offensive awareness is excellent and he can make plays with well-timed and well-executed passes and locates his shot well to score on occasion as well. His posted 23 goals and 61 points in 62 games with London last season.
D Lukas Cormier – Not the biggest defenseman, but a strong skater that can move the puck well and is always keeping his feet moving. He scored six goals and 36 points in 44 games with Charlottetown in the QMJHL last season and has to work on his defensive game more, but has some good qualities to his game that will make him a good project.
D Helge Grans – Playing in SuperElit league in Sweden, he has showcased an offensive mindset and strong speed. He’s a big defenseman at 6’3”, 206 pounds and is a rare find as a right-handed shot. His size helps him out tremendously as he uses his large frame and reach to break up plays and add physicality to the game while playing a very smart game.
D Daemon Hunt – A two-way defenseman that can move the puck up ice and play a solid defensive game, he has a powerful core and good size that helps his skating. He has good instincts to gain good positioning in the defensive zone and get set up in the offensive zone. He won’t light it up with point production, but he can contribute. He needs to grow a lot of his game and he will likely be a mid-round pick that requires some work, but could become a smart defenseman that plays a crucial role.
D Yan Kuznetsov – Big and physical at 6’4”, 209 pounds, the Russian blueliner plays the game simple. He needs to work on his skating and need to improve positioning, but he’ll have time to grow playing in college. In his freshman season with UConn, he scored two goals and had 11 points in 34 games.
D Topi Niemela – An offensive defenseman that jumps into the play and on the rush, he has great speed, but needs to work on his stride. He’s got some flash to his game and he’s shown he can hold his own at the highest level of Finnish hockey, scoring one goal and posted seven points in 43 games in his first season in LIIGA. He’ll need to add size to his 156-pound frame, but could be a good project on the blue line.
G Drew Commesso – The 6’2”, 180-pound netminder for the USNTDP had a solid showing in 27 games with a 2.05 GAA and .920 save percentage. He will hopefully start his freshman season at Boston University. He’s an athletic and quick goalie that works hard, tracks the puck well and positions himself well to make plays. He needs to work on rebound control, but he’s so composed in his play and so athletic that he can make saves out of desperation. As goalies start to go in the middle rounds, this could certainly be a target to take another flyer and add another netminder to the pipeline.