Whoever thought that letting Philadelphia host a draft was a good idea, was ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! Good luck repeating anything that happened in the 1st round, because the constant chorus of boos pretty much drowned out anything anyone on the floor had to say. If you think your team did bad in the draft, it’s probably because they got very scared and disoriented by the disdain of the crowd and completely screwed their pick. We have a way with words here in Philly. Those words mainly being “Boo” and “Sucks”.
After the calling of every team at the beginning of day 1, the fans roared “sucks” a familiar tradition and when a team was set to announce their pick, the boos came raining down, especially hard for the Penguins. NHL commissioner Gary Betteman’s speech was drowned out by boos. I’m not sure what they expected from the Philly crowd, but i doubt they were prepared for the welcome they got.
The biggest headache for Flyers fans was the early rumors surrounding the 1st overall pick. Multiple rumors were out that the Flyers were making offers for the no. 1 pick including trying to shed Vinny Lecavalier. Eventually we got this as an offer rumor: Both Schenns, Matt Read, Wayne Simmonds, and Vincent Lecavalier in exchange for the no.1 pick and a player (most likely Erik Gudbranson). People went nuts! Simmonds and Read for a pick? That’s ridiculous! Well the offer that Hextall did make was: One of the Schenns and Lecavalier for the no.1 pick. Obviously Florida didn’t bite and kept their first pick, which they used to draft Aaron Ekblad.
“We were close,” Dale Tallon, the Panthers general manager said, “They made a legitimate attempt. We had a number of conversations with Ron. They teased me. It was not an easy decision. They were willing. … It was enticing.”
According to Tim Panaccio, “The Panthers wanted Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds and at least one other player, possibly Braydon Coburn. The Flyers balked at Simmonds. In return, however, the Panthers were also willing to take Vinny Lecavalier and his $4.5 million contract off their hands.”
Here’s what the Flyers DID do in the draft.
Round 1, 17th overall pick. Travis Sanheim, Calgary Hitmen, D:
Ron Hextall’s first pick as the Flyers general manager is an 18-year-old defenseman who had five goals and 24 assists in 67 games last season in the WHL. The Flyers first pick was a bit of an unknown, which isn’t really new for the Flyers, and was projected by a couple people to go in the second round, also not a new trend. He was ranked 53rd among North American skaters which was a huge improvement from his previous season. Obviously the defenseman is improving rapidly so there’s no telling how good he could potentially be.
“I started to play with more confidence, … And I’ve been doing more things with the puck. That’s what I need to do to be successful in the Western Hockey League, and I felt like I did that in the second half.” Sanheim said about his rapid improvement.
There is one issue with Sanheim, he’s a Penguins fan. These are tweets seen on the new defenseman’s twitter
Round 2, 48th overall pick. Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Val-d’Or Foreurs, C/RW:
180 pound right handed hybrid forward from Val-d’Or Foreurs of the QMJHL, Nicholas Aube-Kubel was rated 40th among North American skaters, higher than the Flyers 1st round pick. Kubel has played the past few years as a winger, but says he’s also comfortable playing center. His size and strenght were listed as concerns, listed as 5’11 180 lbs, Aube-Kubel knows what he needs to work on and has said he’s working on his weak points.
“I have good hockey sense offensively,” Aube-Kubel said. “And my skating ability is really good. This year I worked hard for being better defensively, and on my consistency.”
He’s a fast player, which we know the Flyers need, but has trouble with consistency, which the Flyers don’t need any more of. Aube-Kubel is pretty enthusiastic about playing for Philly, after experiencing the first round.
“I know they’re loud,” he said. “I heard them yesterday. It was awesome. Just to hear the screaming for the Flyers when they were making their pick, and when I put on the jersey, it was awesome.”
Round 3, 86th overall pick. Mark Friedman, Waterloo Black Hawks, D:
The 5 foot 11 defenseman ranked 124th among North American skaters, scored 10 goals and 30 assists in 51 with Waterloo in his second year in the USHL. Friedman is Hextall’s second drafted defenseman.
Round 5, 138th overall pick. Oskar Lindblom, Brynas IF Gavle, LW:
In Sweden’s U-18 team in the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, the 6 foot 2 left winger had 2 goals and 2 assists in four games.
Round 6, 168th overall pick. Radel Fazleev, Calgary Hitmen, LW:
Fazleev scored five goals and 25 points in 38 games with Calgary this past season. He was out of the Hitmen lineup until the playoffs because of a broken wrist he suffered early in January.
Round 7, 198th overall pick. Jesper Pettersson, Linköpings HC, D:
Pettersson is pretty undersized for a defenseman, standing at only 5 foot 8. He had one assist in 48 games with Linköpings HC of the Swedish Hockey League.