2010 NHL Entry Draft: Grading the Philadelphia Flyers

June 30th, 2010 No Comments

The Philadelphia Flyers made a total of six selections in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, all of which were taken in the third round and beyond.

As is the case with many player that go in the later rounds, there really isn’t a ton of information on such players, but with the help of the internet and draft reports, we can reasonably make a grade for each player and the Flyers overall draft results.

Looking at the Flyers overall depth in the system it was easy to deduce that the Flyers were in need of some forward depth and, to a lesser extent in need of defense.

With that in mind, it was no surprise to learn that the Flyers selected a total of five forwards and one defenseman at the draft.

First up, the Flyers selected Michael Chaput with the 89th overall pick—a 6’2”, 194 pound centre who scored 28 goals and added 27 assists for 55 points in 50 games as a member of the Lewiston MAINEiacs of the Quebec Major Junior League.

Ritter’s Rundown:

The QMJHL is widely looked upon as an easy league to post points, so I wouldn’t get too excited about Chaput’s better than point-a-game average. Chaput ranked 54th overall amongst QMJHL players (2009-10) in scoring, but has shown considerable improvement over 2008-09 where he scored a paltry three goals and 10 points in 29 games.

Chaput is a project player with decent upside who, if he can improve his defensive game (he was a minus-11 on the season) should emerge as a third line player.

Grade: C-

With the 119th pick, the Philadelphia Flyers selected Tye McGinn—a 6’2”, 205 pound forward who scored 27 goals and added 35 assists for 62 points in 50 games as a member of the Gatineau Olympiques of the QMJHL.

Ritter’s Rundown:

McGinn, ranked 42nd overall in scoring (32nd in goals scored), scored ten of his 27 goals on the power play, which is encouraging. His plus/minus rating of +15 leads me to believe that he plays a decent defensive game, while his 149 shots suggest that there may be more offense yet to be had.

McGinn looks to have all the tools to emerge as a solid two-way forward. In fact, I like him more than Chaput…

Grade: B-

With the 149th pick of the draft, the Flyers selected Michael Parks—a 5’10”, 188 pound right winger from Cedar Rapids of the United States Hockey League, scoring 11 goals and adding 11 assists for a total of 22 points in 51 games.

Ritter’s Rundown:

Parks is your prototypical speedster, who is blessed with a unique combination of offensive skill and defensive play. He is committed to the University of North Dakota and should develop well there.

As good as his skating is (and it’s very good), Parks will need to work on his play without the puck. His ability to make plays at full speed and willingness to learn should serve him well going forward.

Once Parks discover more of an offensive flare he should develop into a strong forward.


Grade: C-

With the 179th pick, the Philadelphia Flyers selected Nick Luukko—a 6’2”, 185 pound defenseman who played with Gunnery Prep School in Washington, Connecticut, posting three goals and adding 22 assists for a total of 25 points.

Ritter’s Rundown:

This pick is completely out of left field—not much information on this kid out there. Could he be a diamond in the rough? Unlikely. That said, he is very young and has a lot of developing to do, but I wouldn’t hold your breath on him becoming an NHL player.

More likely, Luukko will end up a forgotten face as he will be hard-pressed to make it.

Grade: D-

With the 206th selection the Flyers selected little known Ricard Blidstrand—a 6’3”, 202 pound defenseman from the Swedish U-20 Team (Sweden SuperElit), who registered two goals and six assists in 33 games.

Ritter’s Rundown:

Eliteprospects.com describes Blindstrand as “A big and strong defenseman. Plays determined and is pretty physical in his own end. Moves the puck well and has a very good shot from the point. Passing game is a bit suspect as well as his decision making at times”.

While his size is encouraging, unless Blindstrand can get the rest of his game together (passing and decision making) he will likely struggle to make any sort of significant strides to becoming a NHL player.

I am a little confused that they say he “moves the puck well”, yet follow those comments up with “passing game is a bit suspect”…those two normally go hand and hand, don’t they?

Grade: D-

With the 209th overall pick, the Flyers selected Brendan Ranford (The nephew of former NHL goaltender Bill Ranford—Edmonton Oilers, Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals, Tampa Bay Lightning, Detroit Red Wings).

Ranford, who stands 5’10” and weighs in at 182 pounds, is a Left winger from the  Kamloops Blazers of the Western Hockey League. The 2009-10 season saw him register 29 goals and added 36 assists for a total of 65 points in 72 games (a 38 point improve on his 2008-09 rookie season), while also boasting 83 penalty minutes.

Ritter’s Rundown:

While nobody will ever confuse Ranford as a “tough guy” he appears to be a feisty player that will stick up for his teammates and himself. His offensive skills are good, with good instincts and a quick release on his shot.

Could be a hidden gem, could be an also-ran. That said, I liked what I saw of him and feel he has some great intangibles that may make him a decent player one day.

Grade: C+

And with that, the Flyers concluded what many are calling a a sub-par draft from the Orange and Black.

That said, when your first selection is near the end of the third round, what did you expect.

Overall, the Flyers draft will likely go down as one of the teams worst; but who is to say one of these kids doesn’t make the NHL one day?

McGinn looks to hold the most promise, as his skill-set and size are very attractive. Ranford looks to have a bit of upside, but, like many of the Flyers choices, has his fair share of limitations.

Overall Grade: C-

Of Note: While I will likley weigh-in with some thoughts from time-to-time, I will be stepping down as the Philadelphia Flyers FC in order to cover the Toronto Maple Leafs next season.

Thank you to all the Flyers fans who read my material and to BR for giving me the chance to cover the Flyers for the 2009-10 season.

There were plenty of highlights—from the Winter Classic in Boston to the Stanley Cup Final. All in all a great season and a pleasure to cover!

***The following Sources were used in collaborating my thoughts/information on these prospects: philadelphiaflyers.com, HockeyDB.com, NHL.com, QMJHL website, WHL website, eliteprospects.com, hockeyfights.com.

***For more NHL news and notes check out my website—featuring new writers and a new look— at www.theslapshot.com

Until next time,

Peace!

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