This year’s draft is stacked and is looking like one of the most “win-win” drafts in a decade. The top few rounds are loaded with top talent from around the world and whether offense, defense, or goalies are fit your team needs, the draft has what you need. And what the Philadelphia Flyers really need is defense and what this year’s draft really has is defense.
First, the Flyers are going to have to be lucky, a word not currently in the vocabulary of Philly fans. The team is going to have to beat the odds and win the Draft Lottery on Monday. Depending on how they finish these last few games, the team has anywhere from a 1% to a 4% shot of getting the first pick of the draft, something the team hasn’t had since 1975.
If the Flyers get the first pick, the obvious choice is Seth Jones. Beyond being the unanimous number one pick across nearly all-mock drafters, his nearly point-per-game pace in the WHL and his impressive gold medal win at the 2013 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. Teams at the bottom of the barrel are already secretly starting to “Suck For Seth,” the term dubbed by NHL fans continuing the annual tradition of hoping your team fails hard enough to earn the top pick overall.
If Jones gets picked up before GM Paul Holmgren gets his chance to draft, Darnell Nurse, Mirco Mueller, and Rasmus Ristolainen are all worthwhile choices.
Nurse fits the bill for the Flyer above the others with 41 points in 68 games in his current OHL season, but his 116 PIMs screams “Broadstreet Bully.” In fact, those PIMs are more than all of the four players combined. Nurse also has ties to Philadelphia, as his uncle is former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. His 6’4” frame and cheap entry-level contract is exactly what the team needs. Even if they need to trade up with a veteran or prospect, this season’s draft class is deep enough that it might just be worth it.