PHILADELPHIA, PA – One thing the Philadelphia Flyers can never be called on draft day is boring. For the second straight year the Flyers drafted a defenseman, but that’s not the main story. While most of the players were being taken where they were ranked, the Flyers reached for someone a lot higher than they were taken by the team. Last year it was Samuel Morin, this year it was former Calgary Hitmen Travis Sanheim.
At least Morin was expected to go in the first round. Sanheim was slated to go at least into the middle part of the second round at the very least.
For the first time in city history, Philadelphia hosted the 2014 NHL Entry Draft in their own backyard. They didn’t miss the chance to show no matter how low or high he was ranked they didn’t care. The fans gave there seal of approval. Sanheim and his family greatly appreciated it. If he turns out to be something other than the worth of a first round pick, however, there wrath will be felt one way or another.
The interesting part is that that Flyers, who went into the draft needing offense in an offensive minded draft went for defense. The Flyers already have three of their top four prospects considered to be blue chippers with Morin, Shayne Gostisbehere, and Robert Hagg in there system . Adding the 6’ 3” Sanheim was Hextall’s way of solidifying there blueline for the next several years, something they ignored to do prior to last season’s draft. In prior years if you were a center chances were pretty good you were taken by the Flyers.
Time will tell if the Flyers were right or not on the pick. Going for quality defenseman is never a bad thing no matter where they are ranked, or drafted. Look on the bright side Flyers fans, in the next four years all four players should be part of the Flyers bluline. Youth will be served that day. In the mean time you will just have to put up with 40 year old defenseman who can’t say the word retire fast enough.