Jun 27, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers general manager Ron Hextall announces Travis Sanheim (not pictured) as the number seventeen overall pick to the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Beyond The Numbers: Mark Friedman

The Philadelphia Flyers selected Mark Friedman with the 86th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft. Friedman is a right-handed defenseman who plays a similar game to, fellow Flyers prospect, Shayne Gostisbehere. Friedman played for the Waterloo Black Hawks of the USHL last season and he will attend Bowling Green in the fall. Here are Friedman’s basic stats:

Height: 5’10″/5’11” (depending on where you look)
Weight: 185lbs
Games Played: 51

Mark Friedman is a welcome addition to an already deep stable of defense prospects. Let’s go beyond the numbers and find out why there is reason to have high hopes for Friedman.

First, he is a right-handed defenseman. The majority of the Flyers defense prospects, including Sam Morin, Robert Hagg, Shayne Gostisbehere, Frederik Larsson, Valeri Vasiliev, Terrance Amorosa, and David Drake, are all left-handed. The only other right-handed defense prospects in the Flyers system are Mark Alt (6’4″, 201lbs), Reece Wilcox (6’3″, 184lbs), and Jesper Pettersson (5’9″, 187lbs). Although having right-handed/left-handed balance is not a life and death issue, having a good balance within the organization is helpful in the long run.

Second,  Mark Friedman is primarily a puck moving defenseman. His offensive prowess is something that the Flyers defense corp (both on the NHL team and among the prospects) is sorely missing. With the exceptions of Kimmo Timonen and Mark Streit (in the NHL), and Shayne Gositsbehere and Robert Hagg (among the prospects), there is little offensive firepower on the Flyers present and future blueline. According to the Flyers scouting director Chris Pryor,

He’s a competitive, skilled defenseman. He plays both sides of the puck. He can run the power play. He’s mobile. And he competes.

When speaking of his style of play, Friedman had this to say about himself:

I’m a scoring defenseman, I like to join the rush.

Finally, Friedman has been productive at even strength. Not only was Friedman the fourth highest scoring defenseman in the entire USHL last year, he was also the youngest defenseman in the top eight.

Below is a chart breaking down the points of all USHL defensemen who scored at least 30 points in 2013-2014. As you can see, Friedman was 2nd in points per game and 2nd in even strength points per game. Take a minute to examine the chart.

Total Points (G, A)
ES Points (G, A)
ES Pts/Game
Brandon Montour206062 (14, 48)1.0333 (7, 26)0.55
Alexx Privitera215744 (11, 33)0.7724 (7, 17)0.42
Tucker Poolman215841 (15, 26)0.7117 (5, 12)0.29
Mark Friedman185140 (10, 30)0.7823 (4, 19)0.45
Garrett Cecere195437 (3, 34)0.6918 (0, 18)0.33
Steven Johnson205631 (5, 26)0.557 (1, 6)0.125
Tyler Mueller205830 (6, 24)0.5220 (4, 16)0.34

Mark Friedman will attend Bowling Green next year and figures to get a lot of playing time. He was supposed to attend this past year, but he was unable to due to an enrollment mishap.

There is a lot to like in the game and the numbers of Mark Friedman. We’ll keep you updated on his growth.


More in this series:

Beyond The Numbers: Travis Sanheim

Beyond The Numbers: Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Beyond The Numbers: Oskar Lindblom

Beyond The Numbers: Radel Fazleev

Beyond The Numbers: Jesper Pettersson

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