NHL draft: Which players fit Flyers' needs?

NHL draft: Which players fit Flyers' needs?
June 13, 2013, 10:45 am
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As we approach the draft (June 30), it's time to consider which players the Flyers might have a legitimate chance of drafting.

Based on the team's first-, second-, third-, fifth-, sixth- and seventh-round selections, here are some players the Flyers have a shot of acquiring:

Sean Monahan - 6-2/193 – Center
You can never have too many centers. If he were to fall to 11th, I believe the Flyers would snap him up in a heartbeat. His nose for the net and power-play skill would be two reasons the Flyers would gladly draft him.

Max Domi – 5-9, 197 – Center/Left Wing
Tie’s son has to remember his dad “wrestling” a Flyers fan who jumped too hard on the glass and fell into the penalty box only to be devoured. Oh wait - he was just 6 years old. But still, I bet he’s seen the YouTube videos and I bet the “Flyers Faithful” will appreciate this Domi, who not only has toughness but also a lot of skill and speed to boot. He might not be there at 11, however.

Bo Horvat - 6-0/206 - Center
Could the Flyers use a player who can score tough one-on-one goals down low? Or on the power play? Besides blocking shots and playing the PK? You betcha they could. They’ve certainly scouted London Knights players many times over this season. Horvat’s a solid first-round selection.

Ryan Pulock – 6-0/211 – Defenseman
Flyers fans would love this heavily armed blueliner, especially after his solid showing at the Combine. Alas, this might just be a “frozen dream,” because they might not be able to get into position to grab him. But if they could, he would be their power-play quarterback of the future.

Rasmus Ristolainen - 6-4/207 - Defenseman
This Finn moves the puck and plays the power play just like another one currently on the Flyers' roster. He could be a future replacement for Kimmo Timonen, if he should drop down to 11.

Darnell Nurse - 6-5/192 - Defenseman
This tough defenseman who has an offensive upside just might be there when the Flyers make their first pick. If he is, he won’t get booed like his uncle Donovan McNabb was by Eagles fans. Instead, Flyers fans will be thrilled to have a rearguard with tons of upside and size.

Chris Bigras - 6-1/189 - Defenseman
The Flyers have had a lot of luck with versatile defensemen, and this kid can seemingly play any assignment with skill. He’s a solid two-way blueliner who works the power play as well. He would be a perfect second round selection if he slips to them at 41.

Olivier Bjorkstrand - 5-11/175 - Right Wing
Skates well. Solid stick and puck control. Will do anything to get the shot off. He’d be a great pick at 41.

Connor Hurley – 6-0/154 – Center
He lit it up for Edina high school this year, recording an 89.7 shooting percentage. Good on the power play, decent on face-offs. He showed some push-up strength at the combine as well. If he slipped to 41 he’d be tough to pass up.

Jimmy Lodge - 6-2/170 - Center
This Downingtown, Pa., native was invited to the U-20 World Junior Championship camp in Lake Placid this summer and he played well in the All-American Prospects game this past winter. He averaged more than a point per game in his second OHL season with Saginaw. He has improved a lot this season and skates well for a big man. He has good second-round value with upside.

Ryan Kujiwinski - 6-0/174 - Center
He’s been a decent scorer and good on the power play. He has good instincts and very good stick and puck control but needs to work on his two-way play. He had a check that cracked the glass this year while playing for Kingston this year. Another solid second-rounder.

Mike Downing – 6-3/185 – Defenseman
Downing is a big lanky kid who skates well in both zones. He knows where to go on the ice without the puck and has good stick and puck control. He's a solid passer who could work on his skating. He played for Dubuque in the USHL, and he might still be there at No. 41.

Tristan Jarry - 6-2/181 - Goalie
This prospect challenges shooters, featuring a fast glove hand. He hugs the post well, is always aware of the shooter and has fast reflexes. He could be there at 41 or at 71. You never know with goalies - and you can’t have too many in your system.

Marko Dano- 5-11/183 - Center 
This forward is an excellent skater with good hockey sense. He’s excellent on the power play. He knows where to go without the puck. He’s not a defensive liability. He came in third in the medicine ball toss at the combine. He's perfect at 72nd overall, the Flyers' third-round pick, if he lasts that long.

Jean-Sébastien Dea - 6-0/160 – Center
This pivot is a whiz on the power play. He had an eye-popping 21 points in 14 playoff games for Rouyn-Noranda in the “Q” this year. If the Flyers could get him in the fifth round or later, he’s worth the risk.

Thomas Ebbing – 6-0/170 – Center
Ebbing is a good skater, and he's around the net a lot. He can get behind defenders and has been a decent performer for the Chicago in the USHL this year. He'd be a solid choice in the fifth round or later.

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