Philadelphia Flyers 2020 NHL Entry Draft Preview
The 2020 NHL Draft begins tonight. It’s pretty crazy to think that it’s already here with the Stanley Cup Playoffs just ending, what else would you expect this year? Instead of having the draft in the summer, we’re getting a draft in the beginning of October, right when the regular season would normally be kicking off.
Before we dive into who the Flyers might end up drafting with the 23rd pick, let’s take a look back on the Flyers top draft picks over the last 4 years.
2019 Draft: Cam York (19) #14th Overall
NHL Stats: N/A
With the 14th pick the Flyers went ahead and snagged a smooth skating, future QB of the PP defenseman, Cam York. We touched on York in our “Who can make a difference as a rookie next year” article. Not known for his size, only 5-11, 172 pounds, Yorks game is more about speed, skill and hockey IQ. Scouts are enamored with how well he can read the game, always in the right spot, making the little plays a young defenseman usually don’t make. His speed allows him to keep good gaps and make the right breakout pass. I watched a handful of Michigan games last year and all of his games from the World Juniors the past couple years. For someone who doesn’t have the height or weight, rarely does he ever get beat 1 on 1. He’s always in front of the puck or makes a nice subtle chip play in his own zone to get the puck up ice and out of harms way. After posting 5 goals, 11 assists for 16 points in 30 games as a rookie at Michigan (dealing with injuries too), York heads back to school for his Sophomore season, looking to log the big minutes and take that next step.
2018 Draft: Joel Farabee (20) #14th Overall
NHL Stats: 8G-13A-21P-52GP
Joel Farabee started the season battling for a roster spot, a long with friend and teammate, Morgan Frost. After being one and done at Boston University, Farabee was looking to take that next step and make the Flyers out of camp.
Farabee didn’t start the season out with the Flyers, he and Morgan Frost both couldn’t buy a goal in the pre season. The kids needed to learn how to finish so both were eventually sent down to the Phantoms. For Joel, it wasn’t a very long stay in Allentown. In his first 4 AHL games, Farabee put up 3 goals and a assist. One goal was an absolute highlight reel.
He was just too good for the AHL. His two-way game is more polished then that of Morgan Frost, resulting in Farabee getting the call up to the big club. Farabee played well his first year as a Flyer. Fast, tenacious on the forecheck, makes the smart play. After the Flyers traded for Derek Grant & Nate Thompson (lol). Farabee, along with Connor Bunnaman were sent down to the AHL. It didn’t last very long though, Farabee was quickly called back up and didn’t go back down after. He’s still very young but seeing the things he does at such a young age is scary for the rest of the NHL. There’s one play that sticks out to me. It’s not a goal, it’s not an assist, it’s not even a big hit.
Most young players are going to try and deliver a big hit while the puck is in the defenseman skates, or try to take the puck and make a fancy move. Farabee ties the mans stick up knowing if he takes the defenseman out of the play, Hayes and NAK have a 2 on 1. Veteran play there from the 19 year old. The sky is the limit for Farabee, scoring 3G-2A-5P in 12GP in the playoffs. He did get injured after getting blown up by an Islander in Round 2.
Farabee looks to play in a full 82 next year and really take that next step.
2017 Draft: Nolan Patrick (22) #2 Overall
NHL Stats: 26G-35A-61P-145GP
What a wild year this was. I fell asleep the night of the lottery draft expecting to wakeup and look at whatever teams got the lottery picks, only to have my co-host and friend, @TLYDanny on twitter, absolutely blow my phone up.
“Chris….Chris…pick up the f**king phone right now”
The Philadelphia Flyers won the #2 overall pick, we lucked into either Nolan Patrick or Nico Hischier. It was a toss up between the two players. Nico or Nolan, Nolan or Nico for months. Finally draft day rolled around and the Devils selected Nico Hischier #1 overall.
Ron Hextall, GM of the Flyers at the time, wasted no time selecting Nolan Patrick #2 overall. The city finally got the player who will take us to the next level.
So we thought…
In his first year with the Flyers, Patrick put up 13G-17A-30P-73GP. Not the best point production for a #2 overall pick, but not terrible either. In 2018-2019 he put up 13 goals again adding one more assist for one more point in one less game played. Dealing with injuries since his time with Brandon, he only played 73 & 72 games for the Flyers in his first 2 years.
In September of 2019, Patrick was diagnosed with a migraine disorder. Something that he’s been dealing with since he was a kid.
This injury has sadly sidelined Nolan since then. Not playing in a single game in 2020 or even after the Covid-19 stoppage, when hockey returned in the bubble. Staying home to rest and get ready to try and come back next year, getting healthy and able to lead a normal life is #1 priority for Nolan. Getting back to playing hockey should absolutely come second to that. He’s still only 22 years old and still has a ton of development to do. He participated in a scrimmage in Brandon, Manitoba earlier in the week. We covered that scrimmage if you happened to miss it.
Would be awesome to see Nolan come back and be able to play hockey for the Flyers again. We’ll see soon enough!
Morgan Frost (21) #26th Overall
NHL Stats: 2G-5A-7P-20GP
Ron Hextall decided to jump back into the draft by trading away Brayden Schenn for 2 First-round picks & a salary dump in Jori Lehtera (cringe).
Frost went on to put up back to back 100+ point season for the Soo Greyhounds of the OHL. An elite playmaker, with elite hockey sense & IQ, Morgan made his jump up to the pro ranks, playing in his first professional season.
Frost wasn’t able to crack the roster after having a good training camp, getting snakebitten just as Farabee was.
I mean, how does this not go in?
Playing in his first NHL game on November 19th, Frost scored his first NHL goal with an absolutely disgusting backhand goal.
Morgan Frost made the AHL-All star team scoring 29 points in 41 games only a point shy from the team leading, Greg Carey who had 30 points in 16 more games. I’m looking for Frost to take that next step along with Joel Farabee and take a spot next year.
2016 Draft: German Rubstov (22)
NHL Stats: 0G-0A-0P-4GP
Not known for his offensive skill, Rubstov was known as a good two-way player who was responsible in his own end. A player that could shut down opposing players and add offense subtly.
In his first year as a Phantom, Rubstov played really well. Brining that strong two-way game while adding some offense, things were looking good. He unfortunately suffered a season ending shoulder injury. Still dealing with the same injury on a different play earlier this season. Rubstov in 42 games with the Phantoms, put up 2G-11A-13P.
Personally, I think Rubstov could be a solid bottom six player in the NHL. Will that be with the Flyers, maybe, maybe not. He needs to stay healthy and get a handful of games under his belt to gain the confidence you need at the NHL level. He has the skill and the smarts to excel in the NHL. Rubstov did get 4 games in the beginning of this season, putting up nothing. He was also a part of the black aces, along with Morgan Frost, but didn’t see any action.
Who are the Flyers looking at in the 2020 Draft?
Ridly Greig, C, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)
The son of Flyers scout, Mark Greig. Ridly brings a solid two-way game to the table. Greig is on the younger side, turning 18 on August 8th. So he would need a little bit more development than some other players, needing to add weight, only weighing 159lbs. Greig plays center but can play anywhere you need him too, he brings a heavy game and likes to hit and get involved in scrums.
Ridly Greig Stats:
Looking at Ridly’s stats, in 56 games with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the OHL, he put up 26G-34A-60P. His tenacious, always in your face game allows him to impact all three zones. Whether he’s in on the forecheck, delivering a big hit or coming back his own zone to make the defensive play to break the puck up the ice, he always involved. He’s also always involved in scrums, something Flyers fans can appreciate.
We can talk about his solid two-way game all day but that’s not all he brings to the table. He’s a creative kid as well, with capable passing and a shot that will come as he develops. Greig put up 60 points in 56 games in 2019-2020. Look at this beautiful feed.
The Flyers could be calling Ridly Greig’s name come tomorrow, it would a pretty cool thing to see a kid whose dad is a scout in the organization come here. But, for whoever ends up with this kid is getting a very good, all around hockey player.
Noel Gunler, RW, Luleå HF (SHL)
If you’ve tuned into the last couple episodes of The Liberty Yell, you know how impressed we are with Noel Gunler. Standing at 6’2”, 174 pounds, this kid just has a habit of finding the net. Playing on international ice and even getting repetitions in the SHL will help this kid’s development along as he changes to North American ice. His statistics the last couple years are as follows:
Automatic goal scorer, don’t be alarmed with his SHL numbers as he was playing with grown men in a professional European-league. When I watch him play I see excellent presence along the walls, a decent skater, with a professional finish. In front of the net he has a little Oskar Lindblom in him too with the way he greases it out, but don’t let me get too excited.
Mavrik Bourque, C, Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL)
Mavrik Bourque is a genius, pass-first playmaker who makes his opposition look like traffic cones at times. Bourque is 5’11” and weighs in at 185lbs… not bad for a young playmaker. Some mocks have this kid going at #13, and others have him #25 or so. Personally I think he would be a steal if he was available for the Flyers at #23.
Mavrik is also great at using his hands to shield and protect the puck while posting-up defenders. Expect this kid to be a surefire NHL’er down the line.
NHL Draft is tonight, and the boys over here at TLL/TLY got plenty of coverage coming throughout the week.
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Mandatory Credit: Eliteprospects/NHL.com