PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Philadelphia Flyers went into the 2014 NHL Entry Draft with needs at all positions, but mostly at left wing, where the lack of scoring is obvious not only on the current roster but throughout the Flyers farm system. The Flyers did continue their quest by adding more and more quality defensemen to a blueline that is in dire need or youth badly on the current roster.
Here is a look at the Flyers picks.
Travis Sanheim – 1st round, 17th overall. The Flyers already have 6’ 3” Samuel Morin about to crack the lineup but the main difference between the two is Morin is still filling his frame out whereas Sanheim plays for the Calgary Hitmen and has a lot of filling out to do. Still, the thoughts of both Morin and Sanheim on the same defensive pair looks intimidating on paper. Look for Sanheim to spend at least the next season in Calgary He might stay in Calgary another year after that but once he is done with his time there he will spend at least one season in the AHL. He should in the Flyers lineup starting 2018 at the earliest.
Nicolas Aube-Kubel 2nd round, 48th overall. Despite having few needs on right wing, Aube-Kubel played very well for Val d’Or in the QMJHL. He has improved in each of his two years in the Q and should spend at least one more year in the Q before moving on to the AHL. His time in the A will go a long way to show how NHL ready he is. Barring trades and such Aube-Kubel could make the big squad as early as 2017 but is more likely to be ready in 2018 or 2019.
Mark Friedman – 3rd round, 86th overall. Despite playing in the USHL, the Flyers took their third straight Canadian born player. Like Sanheim he is a d-man but he is only 5’ 10” but he could be in for a position change. He is a right handed shot which is good news for him since the Flyers need right handed shots at the blueline. If he can skate like current Flyer Kimmo Timonen he might have a future in south Philly.
Oskar Lindblom – 5th round, 138th overall. It took five rounds but the Flyers finally addressed their biggest need. The funny part is he could be a quality pick and a real steal. In 2013 he scored 31 goals in 33 games and 13 goals in 44 games.
Lindbolm will most likely spend one more season in Sweden before coming overseas to make the Flyers roster, or spend at least one season in the AHL.
Radel Fazlee – 6TH round, 168th overall. – Another undersized player that is very hard to predict what kind of player he will be. He is listed as playing both left wing and center. He is clearly a project. Only time will tell what kind of player he will become.
Jesper Pettersson – 7th round, 198th overall. The Flyers started their draft taking a big defenseman with their first pick and ended their draft taking their smallest by taking a 5’ 8” defenseman. His future is a mystery and is considered a project.