Throughout this Philadelphia Flyers three-round mock draft, there’s been a recurring theme. That is, players who are smart, see the game well, and use their tools to take advantage of their knowledge. Even with two picks late in the third round, the Flyers can find more players as intelligent as Matvei Michkov and Calum Ritchie.
With the 87th pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, the Philadelphia Flyers select…
Like many players in the last six months, Anton Wahlberg has been a late riser up many draft boards. Wahlberg is seen as a safe and projectable draft pick thanks to his size (6’3″, 194 pounds), hockey IQ, and strong tournament production. Wahlberg was an excellent producer within his age group, which prompted his call-up to the Malmo Redhawks’ senior team from the J20s. Wahlberg played with the J18s, J20s, and the adults in the 2022-23 season, and produced at all three levels. In 2021-22, Wahlberg crushed the J18s as a full-timer. In 2022-23, Wahlberg crushed the J20s as a full-timer. At this rate, the sky is the limit for the Swedish center.
Wahlberg isn’t quick and has average hands, but can absolutely take over a game at the NHL level. Wahlberg can impose his size over his opponents and is aggravating to play against as a relentless defender and ruthless attacker. Offensively, Wahlberg’s upside is questionable, but he is determined to make things work in his favor. A bit of elbow grease and NHL-level skills training would do wonders for him. It would be an absolute blessing for Anton Wahlberg to be available this late in the draft for Daniel Briere and the Flyers as his stock has started to skyrocket towards the first and second rounds, but this draft has proven to be very tricky to get reads on with the constant stock changes.
Pro Comparison: Barclay Goodrow
With the 95th pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, the Philadelphia Flyers select…
Danny Nelson is a former defenseman who transitioned to forward, and, as you might expect, plays pretty good defense for a forward. Nelson’s versatility is unmatched, and the 6’3″ Notre Dame commit loves to get into dirty areas and shoot the puck. Nelson is also an excellent skater for his size and will utilize the two together to advance the puck, retain it, and move it into a scoring position.
Nelson is also seen as a late riser, but hasn’t been as popular lately as he was in May. It’s possible that some teams don’t know whether or not he really is a defenseman, or if he’s a power forward, at the next level. Nelson is intelligent and skilled enough to play both positions though, and several great NHL players have managed to do both. Some of those include Phil Housley, Dustin Byfuglien, and Brent Burns. Like Burns, Nelson is a lethal shooter from all areas of the ice. With proper coaching and development, Danny Nelson can become the ultimate Swiss Army knife for an NHL club.
Pro Comparison: Brent Burns
The suspense is building for the Philadelphia Flyers, and everyone is waiting for their next move. It remains to be seen whether that move comes before or after the 2023 NHL Draft.