The Philadelphia Flyers take a center for the second straight pick, drafting Cole Knuble from the University of Notre Dame at 103rd overall.
If the name sounds familiar, it should. Cole is the son of former Flyer Mike Knuble. Committed to play for the University of Notre Dame in the fall, Knuble is going to take some time to develop. He was originally available in the 2022 Draft, but ended up being passed over despite posting 20 goals and 49 points in 52 games for the Fargo Force of the USHL.
He followed that up with 30 goals and 66 points in 57 games as an alternate captain for the Force. Having that extra year after going undrafted has allowed Knuble to work on the parts of his game that may have been why name went uncalled the year before. One of the most notable things that he worked on was his playmaking ability to help create scoring chances in the offensive zone. And not to mention his offense in general.
He helped lead the Force to the USHL Championship Series, falling to the Youngstown Phantoms. Knuble was also a star on the gold-medal winning United States squad at the 2022 World Junior A Championships. He led the way with three goals and nine points in six games.
One of the knocks on him has been his skating, something the Flyers have heard plenty of times. It’s also often a criticism of players taken in the later rounds. As Brent Flahr previously said, the team will not shy away from a player with concerns if they feel said concern is something they can work on.
"“A great net-front presence with sound puck skills, Knuble’s intelligence has come a long way. He’s added some delay elements to his game, started using his teammates more often, and has become a great competitor off the puck.” Hadi Kalakeche of Dobber Prospects said in their rankings."
Knuble is likely to spend three, if not all four, years at Notre Dame to further develop his game. And that’s exactly how Danny Briere saw it as well. His upside right now isn’t necessarily high, but more development can always change that.