Flyers draft Noah Powell, a potential sleeper pick who can score

Noah Powell had a slow start to the season before things things around and finishing the season as the USHL's leading scorer.
2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft - First Round
2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft - First Round / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

After going a bit younger with some of the draft prospects, Daniel Briere went older with the Flyers' fifth-round pick. Selected at 148th overall, is forward Noah Powell, a 19-year-old, 6'1", 210 lb scoring threat. Fun fact: this was NOT his first time in the NHL draft.

I give this kid credit. He was eligible last year after one year with the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the USHL. He scored just eight goals with eleven assists. Those numbers weren't enough to get noticed by anyone. He went undrafted, not even an afterthought to anyone. Even this year, he wasn't on any pre-draft midseason rankings as he had a slow start to this season scoring just five goals in the first 17 games of the season, including only three points in the first 14 games.

Flyers nab USHL’s top scoring forward in fifth round

Something clicked. He finished the season scoring 38 goals in the final 44 games. Whatever happened, it worked. His 43 goals are the highest single-season total by a Fighting Saint ever, besting Mike Szmatula's 37 goals and Johnny Gaudreau's 36. So, is this a fluke or is this just a kid hitting his stride finally?

His 43 goals were also tops in the USHL this past season. His 84 points were good for fifth overall in the league. In the playoffs, he scored two goals with three assists in 11 games for Dubuque as the Fighting Saints would fall three games to one in the Clark Cup Final. And yet despite all of this, he was not even listed on the USHL page as a top NHL-ready prospect.

Elite Prospects wrote one of the few pre-draft reports on him.

""Powell’s an intelligent, inside-driven power forward who easily manipulates opponents. He baits defenders to charge at him, then intercepts them with a shoulder and attacks the inside. He deftly pulls pucks off the wall, often in highly creative ways.""

As for right now, he is committed to Ohio State. We'll see how his game elevates after playing against elite NCAA competition over the USHL as an older prospect. It's a gamble, but hey, it's a fifth-round pick. You're most likely not going to find a Wayne Gretzky here.

However, this is a kid who's flown under the radar. Perhaps nobody selected him because he has had just one good season to his name. A pick like Powell could pan out. If whatever he is doing differently sticks and he has found what works for him, this could be one of the steals of this draft. It could be that he becomes one of the people that years from now, NHL fans will wonder "How'd we miss this kid?"

He could be a bust, but again, he is a fifth-round pick. He seems to be one of the more intriguing prospects selected by the Flyers in a while. Hopefully, he brings that scoring touch to the NHL soon.