Here are 5 Options for the Flyers at No. 18
As the NHL packs its bags and heads to Buffalo for the draft this weekend, the anticipation isn’t exactly the same as last year.
Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said that the 2015 draft will eventually produce a bumper crop and while this year might not quite be on that level, it’s also not too bad. His Flyers have the 18th pick and, in a year where there appears to be some depth at forward, the Flyers will have some options if they stay there.
“Our feeling is at 18 we’re going to get a real good prospect and I believe beyond our pick there’s still good players there,” Hextall said last week. “So no matter what, we feel like we’re going to get a good player no matter what the order goes and a lot of it is to see how the board falls.”
What Hextall is hoping to acquire in the first round is size and skill, probably in a forward although he has said he’ll take the best available player. There is certainly a weakness in the organization’s prospect pool at the forward position.
“I think it’s a fairly good group of forwards,” Flyers director of scouting Chris Pryor said. “The top end is obviously very good and usually when the top end is as good as it is it has a trickle-down effect. If I had to give it a grade I’d say A- or B+.”
Auston Matthews is the presumed No. 1 pick when Toronto makes its selection and the next two picks are expected to be Finnish right-wingers Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujarvi. After that, things get murky.
Here’s a look at what might be available for the Flyers if they stay at No. 18.