New Flyers Goalie Anthony Stolarz in action with the IceRays. (Photo courtesy of the NAHL)

Flyers Work On Blue Line In Day 2

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The draft wrapped up Tuesday afternoon, and the Philadelphia Flyers had six picks in Rounds 2-7.

With the 45th Overall Pick, the Flyers selected G Anthony Stolarz who spent the 2011-2012 season with the Corpus Christi IceRays of the NAHL. The New Jersey native played in 50 games for Corpus Christi, finishing with a 23-26 record, a 2.84 GAA and a solid save percentage of .920%. Before the NHL Draft, Central Scouting had Stolarz ranked as the 4th best goalie available. However, his path to the NHL is one that was incredible. Stolarz had been cut by two Tier III Junior A teams before stumbling into an IceRays open camp. He became their starting goalie, and the rest is history. The new Flyers goalie committed to playing hockey at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

Anthony Stolarz is also on Twitter. You can follow him @StolieTheGoalie.

With the Flyers only 3rd round selection, they grabbed D Shane Gostisbehere from Union College. In 41 games, Gostisbehere scored 5 goals and had 17 assists, and just 20 PIM. He also boasted a +/- of +18, good for 8th best in the ECAC conference. The Margate, Florida native was voted onto the ECAC All-Rookie team, and helped lead Union college to a Regular Season Championship. Gostisbehere is rather undersized at 5-11, but has been regarded as one of the more underrated defensive prospects in the draft. Ian Altenbaugh of Hockey’s Future listed him as the 4th best NCAA draft eligible prospect.

Altenbaugh went on to write about the Flyers new Defenseman: “Gostisbehere is a smart, puck-moving defenseman who sees the ice remarkably well. But what sets him apart from many collegiate rookie defensemen is his ability to balance great offensive skills with a solid defensive game. Gostisbehere is smart in knowing when to jump into plays and his decision-making is very good. He moves exceedingly well with the puck and his passing skills are excellent. Gostisbehere also possesses a great stick and does a good job of taking away lanes. While Gostisbehere’s one-on-one coverage is good, he’ll need to continue to improve his gap control. Gostisbehere is a superb skater with good speed and agility. He possesses a very good shot and can get pucks to the net. Gostisbehere’s greatest attributes, such as his skating will be further enhanced with continued physical development.”

The Flyers had two 4th round picks, the first used on D Fredric Larsson, a Sweedish player who spent last season with Brynas Jr. of the Sweedish-Jr. league. The 18 year old had 135 PIM, but was +33 in 35 games last year with Brynas Jr.

Philadelphia used their second 4th rounder to finally select some Offense on Day 2, LW Taylor Leier. Leier spent the previous season with the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL, where he scored 13 goals and had 24 assists in 72 games. With the Saskatoon Contacts of the SMHL, Leier was an absolute sniper, potting 31 goals along with 43 assists in just 44 games. In his first year with Portland, Leier was forced into a more defensive role with the team, but is expected to break out in 2o13.

Leier can be found on Twitter:  @Leier22

With pick 141 overall, the Flyers grabbed D Reece Willcox of the Meritt Centennials of the BCHL. In 52 games last year with Meritt, Willcox had 5 goals and 18 assists, and just 26 PIM. He received a full ride to Cornell University, and will be a big part of their Hockey program.

Reece is on Twitter as well: @RWillcox3

Philadelphia wrapped up their draft by grabbing another Defenseman, Valeri Vasiliev of MHC Spartak in the Russian-Jr. league. He posted only 1 goal and 1 assist and a +4 while with his Russian squad, but his play was limited due to a shoulder injury. Furthermore, Ian Altenbaugh listed Vasiliev as #8 out of the 10 best Russian draft prospects.

Altenbaugh had this to say: “Vasiliev might get some attention during the selections thanks to his size, mobility, and defensive play. He can deliver big hits, but he also needs to avoid overdoing this in North America, because the game there is faster and there is less time to recover if compared to Europe. Vasiliev is right now just a long shot prospect, but things can change if he will play a full season next year.”

 The Flyers were looking for Defensive help, and sure seemed to get that through the draft. Although all are a few years away, players like Gostisbehere and Vasiliev especially seem like they could become serious blue line threats in Orange and Black.
You can follow me on Twitter @JakePavorsky or shoot me an email: [email protected]
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Tags: Anthony Stolarz Flyers Fredric Larsson NHL Draft Reece Willcox Shane Gostisbehere Taylor Leier Valeri Vasiliev

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