2016 NHL Draft Recap - Philadelphia Flyers

Monday, June 27, 2016
Outside of guys like Oskar Lindblom and Nicolas Aube-Kubel (pictured above), the Philadelphia Flyers didn't have much in their system as far as talented goal-scoring forwards go entering last weekend's 2016 NHL Entry Draft. Photo: Nina Weiss/The Home News
Editor's Note: This is Tim Riday's first Flyers prospects piece for the website as a new addition to the hockey coverage here at Highland Park Hockey. Make sure you are following Tim on Twitter -> @TimRiday this season for updates on Philadelphia Flyers prospects outside of the pro level. We'll be featuring a weekly update on Flyers prospects here all season long as one of many additional write ups readers can expect this upcoming season.

It was no secret that Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall was looking to add some forward prospects at this year's NHL Entry Draft. With a plethora of highly regarded defensemen in the system and a total of three goaltenders drafted in 2015, the Flyers organization's glaring deficiency was in the form of talented prospects up front.

With 11 picks in last weekend's NHL Draft in Buffalo, NY the Flyers addressed those needs - drafting seven forwards, two defensemen and a goaltender (the first goaltender taken in the 2016 Draft) to sure up the prospect depth across the board.

After the jump, Riday takes a look at each of the players the Flyers drafted over the weekend.

Entering the 2016 NHL Draft with an overflow of defensive talent in the system, the Flyers focused on addressing an organizational need in Buffalo.

When all was said and done, the Flyers ended up selecting seven forwards, including first-round pick German Rubstov, two offensive-minded Swedish defensemen and the top goalie available in
this draft class.

A trend you'll notice with most of the picks is that the words "checking" and "aggressive" will appear in their scouting reports. That doesn’t mean there is a lack of speed or finesse in this crop but it’s clear the Flyers are serious about finding strong, physical prospects.

Hextall opted to get bigger and deeper at the forward position, drafting several youngsters who appear to be tailor-made fits for head coach Dave Hakstol's style and vision for the team. Hence, all of the two-way guys with great hockey sense.

It’ll be a few years before we can get a true gauge on how they’ll fit within the organization. So, for now, let’s provide a little more insight on the newcomers.
First Round: 22nd overall
Forward German Rubtsov

Age: 18 (on Monday 6/27)
Height/Weight: 6-0, 190 lbs
Shoots: Left

2015-16 Season Stats (MHL - Team Russia U18)
28 games played, 12 goals, 14 assists, +12, 10 PIM  

Riday's Report: 

I feel pretty confident saying Rubstov was the best two-way player inthis year’s draft class. The Russian center has the perfect combination of mobility and strength. He's really a coach's dream. His
high hockey IQ and vision enables him to be used in key situations, including special teams. You'll hear a lot about his defensive prowess but make no mistake, this kid has superior playmaking ability as well.

If it weren't for the Russian doping scandal - Rubtsov and his entire team were banned from playing in the 2016 IIHF under-18 world championship after testing positive for a banned substance - he
probably would've gone much higher in the draft.

In 28 games for the Russian U-18 national team last season, Rubtsov collected 12 goals and 14 assists and was a plus-12. He was the go-to guy for line matchups against the opposition's best players and was ranked fifth among European skaters by NHL Central Scouting.

Second Round: 36th overall
Forward Pascal Laberge

Age: 18
Height/Weight: 6-1, 174 lbs
Shoots: Right

2015-16 Season Stats (QMJHL - Victoriaville)
56 games played, 23 goals, 45 assists, -3, 64 PIM

Riday's Report:

Laberge, a tough and exciting center who can also play the wing if needed, was projected to be a first-round pick by many draft pundits. Now you know why Hextall was comfortable moving back a few positions in the first round and moving up in the second round in the trade with Winnipeg.

All-in-all, Laberge is an efficient two-way forward with the potential to develop into a playmaker or goal-scorer. He uses his size to his advantage often, whether it's shielding the puck or exerting physical force in board battles.

He recorded 23 goals and 45 assists in 56 games for Victoriaville in 2015-16, leading the Tigres in assists and points (68). He also added three goals and two assists in five playoff matchups.

Second Round: 48th overall
Goaltender Carter Hart

Age: 18 (on August 13th)
Height/Weight: 6-1, 181 lbs
Catches: Left

2015-16 Season Stats (WHL - Everett)
63 games played, 35-23-4, 2.14 GAA, .918 SV%, 6 SO

Riday's Report: 

There is a reason why Hart was the first goaltender selected this year. He plays with a calmness between the pipes that benefits his ability to move from post to post and come up with "the big save."

Hart's puckhandling needs to improve a bit but otherwise he's a pretty versatile netminder. He plays a reactive hybrid style and has been praised by scouts and coaches for his work ethic.

After appearing in 63 of Everett's 72 games and posting a 35-23-4 record to go along with a 2.14 goals-against average and .918 save percentage, Hart was named the Canadian Hockey League's Goaltender of the Year. He finished second among all WHL goalies in GAA and shutouts (six).

Second Round: 52nd overall
Forward Wade Allison

Age: 18 
Height/Weight: 6-2, 205 lbs
Shoots: Right

2015-16 Season Stats (USHL - Tri City)
56 games played, 25 goals, 22 assists, +16, 46 PIM  

Riday's Report:

Following a sizzling second half to last season, Allison skyrocketed up the draft board. He scored 25 goals and finished with 47 points in 56 games for the Tri-City Storm of the USHL before breaking out for nine markers and seven helpers in 11 playoff tilts.

Allison, who was named Clark Cup MVP after scoring five goals and nine points in three Clark Cup Final games, is committed to Western Michigan University in 2016-17.

The Manitoba native is going to be a project. He is strong, tough and makes power moves toward the goal often. But he does have a slow first step and is still honing his game in the defensive zone. Not the best with the puck on his stick, but that's not a concern considering he owns the front of the net and is difficult to move around.

Third Round: 82nd overall
Forward Carsen Twarynski

Age: 18
Height/Weight: 6-2, 201 lbs
Shoots: Left

2015-16 Season Stats (WHL - Calgary)
67 games played, 20 goals, 25 assists, +21, 42 PIM  

Riday's Report:

There's just something about the Calgary Hitmen, eh? Flyers scouts know Twarynski, who played alongside prospects Travis Sanheim and Radel Fazleev, very well.

The winger is a good skater, has solid hands and is remarkably poised given he plays with an edge. His decision-making needs some polishing but his competitiveness and work ethic should never be questioned.

With the Hitmen, Twarynski tallied 20 goals and 25 assists in 67 games last season. He also led the team in plus/minus (plus-21) and shorthanded goals (four).
Fourth Round: 109th overall
Forward Connor Bunnaman

Age: 18
Height/Weight: 6-0, 183 lbs
Shoots: Left

2015-16 Season Stats (OHL - Kitchener)
68 games played, 16 goals, 22 assists, +18, 14 PIM  

Riday's Report:

This kid has a motor. He's always one of the most active skaters on
the ice and really knows how to position himself to make plays.

Bunnaman, another center iceman, appeared in 68 games for the Kitchener Rangers in 2015-16. He potted 16 goals and added 22 assists before chipping in four points in nine playoff contests.
Fourth Round: 120th overall
Traded to NY Islanders for 2017-4th round pick

Fifth Round: 139th overall
Defenseman Linus Hogberg

Age: 17 (18 on September 4th)
Height/Weight: 6-1, 183 lbs
Shoots: Left

2015-16 Season Stats (Vaxjo Lakers HC J20)
39 games played, 7 goals, 18 assists, -7, 14 PIM  

Riday's Report:

One of the most productive defensemen in his junior league, Hogberg has the potential to be a major steal.

The young Swede had seven goals and 18 assists in 39 games as a member of the Växjö J20 team despite being one of the youngest players in the circuit. It's worth noting his team wasn't very strong, either. He did a lot of heavy lifting.

Hogberg excels at joining the rush but needs to add some strength as he continues to work on his overall game. The Flyers are hoping he can earn a job in the SHL, the senior league in Sweden, this upcoming season.

Sixth Round: 169th overall
Forward Tanner Laczynski

Age: 19
Height/Weight: 6-0, 174 lbs
Shoots: Right

2015-16 Season Stats (USHL - Chicago & Lincoln)
52 games played, 24 goals, 39 assists, +1, 18 PIM  

Riday's Report:

Laczynski, a native of Illinois, racked up 24 goals and 39 assists in 52 games between Lincoln and Chicago of the USHL last season. He's committed to play for Ohio State University in the fall.

Laczynski has proved he can be a reliable offensive player at every level but needs to clean up quite a few things, most notably his defensive awareness.

Sixth Round: 172nd overall
Forward Anthony Salinitiri

Age: 18
Height/Weight: 5-11, 170 lbs
Shoots: Left

2015-16 Season Stats (OHL - Sarnia)
62 games played, 17 goals, 13 assists, -5, 29 PIM

Riday's Report: 

The undersized forward spent last season playing with one of last year's first-round picks, Travis Konecny, and for former Flyers defenseman and current Sarnia Sting head coach Derian Hatcher.

You wanted speed? Well, Salinitri certainly has that. He brings a high-end skating tool that most of this year's selections lack.

Salinitri is expected to take on a more prominent role with the Sting in 2016-17 and will look to build on a 17-goal, 30-assist campaign.
Seventh Round: 199th overall
Defenseman David Bernhardt

Age: 18
Height/Weight: 6-3, 203 lbs
Shoots: Left

2015-16 Season Stats (Djugardens IF J20)
45 games played, 10 goals, 28 assists, +13, 30 PIM  

Riday's Report:

Another little-known blueliner from Sweden. Why not?

Bernhardt has great size and ranked second in points among defensemen in the J20 circuit in 2015-16 (10 goals, 28 assists in 45 games).

The offensive upside is likely what made Hextall jump at the opportunity to draft Bernhardt. He needs to improve his decision-making and footwork but there's plenty of time for that.


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