The Flyers Select in the Remaining Rounds…BREAKING NEWS, Flyers, News, NHL Saturday, June 23rd, 2012
#45 – Goaltender Anthony Stolarz
Stolarz was ranked 10th by International Scouting Services, but his stock has risen steadily over the last year; he finished at 4th among Central Scouting’s North American goaltenders. He is a 6′-5″ goaltender from Jackson, NJ who played with the Corpus Christi IceRays of the North American Hockey League last season. He posted a 0.920 save percentage and 2.84 goals-against-average in 50 games played.
He was the only player from the NAHL invited to the NHL Combine. For an excellent read on Stolarz, check out what the Goalie Guild had to say.
I wrote recently that the Flyers needed to take the position seriously, and they have. One has to trust their scouts on Stolarz, but there were no “safe” picks on the board as Malcolm Subban, Oscar Dansk, and Andrei Vasilevsky had all been taken.
Stolarz is committed to college next season at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
#78 – Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere
A 5′-11″, 19 year-old defenseman at Union College, Gostisbehere finished his freshman season with 5 goals and 22 points in 41 games. He’s considered to be a good puck-moving defenseman. He was named to the ECAC Hockey All-Rookie team as well. Just speculating here, but Gostisbehere could be a player similar to Erik Gustafsson in time. Hopefully he continues to develop next season to be a #3 or #4 defenseman.
#111 – Defenseman Fredrik Larsson
A 6′-3″, 190 lbs. defenseman from Sweden. From USAToday‘s Kyle Woodlief, “Larsson came out of nowhere late in the season and was terrific in Sweden’s junior under-20 playoffs for Brynas, and had scouts taking notice with his raw size and skating ability. At 6-3, 172 pounds, he’s thin as a rail and lacks strength right now, but his development curve appears to be headed straight upward. He shows good poise and patience handling the puck, always skating with his head up looking to make plays, and usually makes very good decisions in puck movement. He’s raw as hell, but has the kind of tools that project well down the road.”
He doesn’t appear to be an elite puck-moving defenseman as much as he is a good-sized physical defenseman with good hockey IQ.
In other words, he’s still a “project,” but could be a much better player in a few seasons. Good depth for the Flyers.
#117 – Left Winger Taylor Leier
This is the first pick that felt like a stretch to me. Leier is a 5′-11″ winger for the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL. He was a teammate of last year’s fourth round pick, Marcel Noebels, so I’m sure the organization saw a good deal of his talents. Leier finished his first season with an adequate 13 goals and 37 points in 72 games played.
His mid-term ranking from Central Scouting was 117 among North American skaters, but he fell to 131 in the final rankings. Dustin Leed of The Hockey Guys wrote via twitter, “Taylor Leier could be a breakout player next year according to one WHL scout and writer.” Let’s hope so.
#141 – Defenseman Reese Willcox
Continuing to re-stock the shelves with late blooming defenseman, the Flyers selected 6′-3″ Reese Willcox of the Merritt Centennials. Willcox was ranked 90th among North American Skaters by Central Scouting Services and finished this past season with 5 goals and 23 points in 52 games played. He has committed to Cornell University for next season, giving the organization time to let him develop.
From the Centennials GM Luke Pierce: “He’s very composed; he can make the game look easy… He’s a great passer, he’s got the ability to jump and join rushes and to create offense, and he’s very good with his body position, with his stick defending; he’s a fairly well rounded kid, but he’s definitely a puck mover and a kid you like to have settle down the whole group.”
Sounds like a good player for the Flyers’ current system, no?
#201 -Defenseman Valeri Vasiliev
Vasiliev was ranked 16th among European skaters and may end up being a steal for the organization. He played for Spartak of the Russian Junior leagues. My guess is that he went so late because nobody knows what his preference is for coming to North America, but as a 7th round pick, it’s not a “bad” selection. Hopefully the Flyers have much better luck than they did with the likes of former Russian draft picks Denis Bodrov and Andrei Popov.
As Bill Meltzer pointed out via twitter, though, the Flyers won’t have to make a decision on him after two years, since the NHL and Russia don’t have a transfer agreement.
As one last kick in the cojones by the hockey gods, forward Tomas Hyka was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the sixth round, using the draft pick that the Flyers gave them along with prospect Stefan Legein to reduce their contract limit and keep Sean Couturier in the NHL. Hyka was the prospect that they passed on in 2011 for Derek Mathers and then tried to sign during the preseason, before learning that the CBA didn’t allow it.
For the latest Flyers news and updates, you can follow me on twitter (@JoshJanet).
Short URL: http://gcobb.com/?p=31173