The Philadelphia Flyers have the 17th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft. They need to upgrade their organizational depth on the wings and skilled left winger Sonny Milano may be just the guy to do just that.
Milano is a 6’0″, 185lbs winger who is known for his skill and puck-handling. This video of his stick-handling off the ice has garnered a lot of attention, but it is his skills on the ice that will make Milano an impact NHL player.
Milano has spent the last couple of years as a member of the US National Development program. The line of Alex Tuch (another potential Flyers pick in 2014), Jack Eichel (a potential top 5 pick in 2015), and Milano has been a dynamic trio for USA. Milano earned 47 (20G, 27A) points in 56 games during the 2012-2013 season and 72 (24G, 48A) points in 50 games this past year.
Milano is a skilled winger with good hands who likes to carry the puck and have it on his stick. He has a quick first step as well as good straight line speed and able to use his edges well to elude and evade. He uses finesse puck skills and change of direction to beat defenders.
So if the Flyers do draft Milano, what can they expect from him?
Like most prospects in the 2014 draft class, Milano is not NHL ready. He has already committed to play for Boston College in the fall of 2014 along with his linemate Alex Tuch. He will take a few years in the NCAA to hone his skills and learn to be a more disciplined player.
Much has been made in recent years of drafting players based upon skill level instead of size. Milano fits that bill perfectly. Although Milano is not a huge player, he possesses high end skills and would be a long range prospect. Even if he takes a few years to develop into a top six forward, Milano would be a boon to the Flyers as they prepare for the future.