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Philadelphia Flyers’ Season Concludes, awaits for the 2017 NHL Draft
- Updated: April 14, 2017
The 2016-17 NHL playoff season is currently underway as the teams that are in are hungry for the Stanley Cup. Unfortunately, the Philadelphia Flyers are not one of the teams in the playoffs. They became the first team in NHL history to win 10 games in a row, but miss the playoffs. So far in their off-season, it was revealed that defensemens Nick Schultz and Michael Del-Zotto will not be returning with the team next season, therefore making them free agents. As for goaltender Steve Mason, chances of him returning to Philly is 50-50 as General Manager Ron Hextall has not counted him out yet. However, Mason does not want a sharing role at goaltending.
With Philly in the off-season early, they will have the 13th pick overall unless they make a trade to move up or down. Last year, the Flyers had the 18th pick overall until they moved down to 22nd via trade with the Winnipeg Jets. The Jets and the Flyers selected defensemen Logan Stanley and Centermen German Rubtsov, respectively.
This year, history can repeat itself according to multiple mock drafts. Hextall could draft yet again another European player, but this time at wing. According to the scenario, Hextall selects Russian right winger Nikita Popugaev (Pah-poo-goo-ive) or Finnish left winger Eeli (E-E-lee) Tolvanen. The Flyers are in need of wingers, especially the left side; let alone centermens that can shoot.
On the other hand, the Flyers draft defensemen Cale Makar. While Makar is putting up great numbers for the Brooks Bandits, there are a ton of prospects at defense; especially when Ivan Provorov made his rookie debut this year. The Flyers have promising prospects like Sam Morin, Phillipe Myers, Robert Hagg and Travis Sanheim. It would be best for Hextall to focus on getting wingers and centermens that put up more goals than assists.
A good example of a player that shoots would be Kitchener Rangers Centermen Connor Bunnaman, who has 37 goals and 15 assists this year with his team. A player with those kind of points can steal the spotlight at the top six.