The one thing that the Flyers team always seems to lack is a good defensive team. So with the absence of big defender Chris Pronger and the impending (maybe) retirement of veteran Kimmo Timonen, what the Flyers needed in this off season was to acquire some heavy defensemen.
So when the Flyers made their first pick a center in this year’s draft, many fans were baffled by the choice. We need a defensemen, but here’s the thing, first draft pick Scott Laughton plays both sides of the ice. So although he is a forward, he plays a defensive forward style which will be good for the team overall. Also, as CSN reporter Sarah Baicker cleared up via her twitter account, “The Flyers’ thing is to draft the best player available at his position when it’s their turn. We didn’t think Laughton, but it makes sense.”
Among the other six draft picks, only one other player is a forward, the rest are defensemen and one goalie, which shows that the organization knows what us fans know about the team. We need some big guys to cover the crease in front of Bryz and block shots. After trading Bobrovsky over to the Blue Jackets for draft picks, in the second round the Flyers took new jersey native and goaltender Anthony Stolarz. While acquiring the goaltender was probably a good pick, we might not see him suit up for the Flyers for a while, as he plans to attend college at The University of Nebraska.
In the third round the Flyers picked their first defensemen Shayne Gostisbehere followed by Swedish defenseman Fredric Larsson. In the fifth round, the flyers picked another forward, this time, left winger Taylor Leier. They finished up their draft picks with two more defensemen; Reece Willcox and Valeri Vasiliev.
Picking this many defenseman was a smart move, and if we see more breakout rookies this season like we did with current flyers like Rinaldo, Schenn, Couturier, etc, the Flyers will get the coverage they need in front of the net to assist our goaltender. Also, as discussed before we do have a few prospects that are defensemen who already have entry level contracts with the franchise. We won’t really see how this will effect the team until training camp and pre-season, but picking defensemen was smart move if the team wants to win just as much as the fans want them to.
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