With their second pick (41st) the Flyers pick Robert Hagg:
The second round pick was met with a bit more enthusiasm than the first. Hagg is a Dman who has everything that Morin doesn’t have yet; Already considered a good two-way defenseman who is solid in every aspect of his game. He also doesn’t make mistakes with the puck and is considered a smooth skater, and at 6’2″ he has a definite physical presence. He was considered to be a late 1st round player and most fans and critics think that he should have been the Flyers 1st pick, but picking him mid 2nd round gets the Flyers more value from the pick.
The International Scouting Service described Hagg as:
The stereotypical big and mobile Swedish defender of this draft, Hagg is already very good but still shows a lot of need for technical development. This is something that works more in his favor than against him, but he does fall under the category of a project pick. He can be a very explosive skater; he is poised and confident around the puck and loves to rush up ice with it. He moves the puck effectively and can be very dangerous from the point with his shot. Hagg continues to develop well but will require 3-4 more years of technical development before a true read on just how good he can be will be clear.
Where Morin is a big stay at home defenseman, Hagg is a puck mover with stick skills and a strong shot reminiscent of Kimmo Timonen which earns him points. Hagg has realistic views for himself and is pretty aware of his strengths and weaknesses on the ice. Being aware of himself is also a bonus and probably shows that he is likely to improve even more.
“I need to be more consistent,” he said. “Play on the highest level every game. Because now, I can play in a high level maybe two games and after that maybe be down under the ground for a couple games. I need to be more consistent.”
What the Flyers absolutely don’t need is more inconsistency. In a shortened season full of inconsistency the city was disenchanted and wary of winning streaks. We can hope that Hagg develops enough to be able to play at the same level every game.
Hagg was surprised to be picked by the Flyers at all, and admits he has little knowledge about the city. He also said that he’s never had a favorite NHL team and has looked primarily to Swedish Players, watching the Flyers when Peter Forsberg was here. Should we be wary of a Swedish Defenseman who hasn’t been watching Kimmo Timonen?
“Yeah, I got a little bit surprised,” he said. “I only talked to them once at the combine. So when they called my name I got a little surprised, but I’m really happy to get the Flyers. I look up a lot of them, their season, that’s a pretty good team. I’ll go to their camp and do my best and let’s see what happens after that.”
Overall Hagg is a well rounded player who can handle the puck well, while still being big enough to be a physical presence on the ice. Hagg could’ve been picked at a higher spot in the draft, but he’s not at all concerned about being picked a little later than projected. I think his attitude could apply to more areas of the game besides just the draft.
“It’s just a number,” he said. “So of course I got a little surprised. But I’m just happy to be in a good organization like the Flyers.”
Here’s some Hagg highlights: