Konsta Helenius should intrigue Flyers

Konsta Helenius isn't the flashiest player, but his all-around skillset should have the Flyers keeping an eye on him if he's available to them.

After Macklin Celebrini, there is a large grouping of players who could go between second and when the Flyers draft. Meaning, it's not easy to mock which players are going to go where. It also means that Philadelphia is likely to have plenty of good players to choose from when it's their turn to pick.

Could one of them be Konsta Helenius?

Helenius was ranked as the top international skater at the midway mark of the season, dropping to third best on the final list. But he may be the most NHL-ready player out of anyone. Playing on loan with Jukurit, Helenius impressed with 14 goals and 36 points in 51 games. While that may not sound impressive, he was doing that as a 17-year-old playing in Liiga, the top Finnish league. Some of his teammates are almost 10 years older than him.

Konsta Helenius should intrigue the Flyers if he's available to them

Helenius' 36 points were the fourth-most ever by an under-18 skater in Liiga history. The only players with more points were Aleksandar Barkov, Mikael Granlund, and Kappo Kakko. Though Jukurit lost their first-round playoff series in six games, Helenius had two goals and six points, the latter good for second on the team.

He was invited to Finland's selection camp for the Men's World Championships. Helenius would become the youngest Finnish player to make the senior men's national team. He also appeared in international games with both the U18 and U20 teams. He was much more effective with the latter teams, posting nine combined points in 12 games. Helenius managed one point in four games at Worlds.

But Helenius showed throughout the season why he could challenge for an NHL spot as early as next season. Olli Jokinen has had a close view of Helenius the last few seasons as the head coach of Jukurit.

""I believe that six months from now when NHL training camps start that (his hockey sense) is going to give him an opportunity to play in the National Hockey League next year,” Jokinen says. “That gives him the opportunity to play and be a really, really good player in the NHL as well. I truly believe that he can make that step because of the way that he plays. (And) he can be a two-way guy too.""

Hockey IQ is used often to describe players who see the game at a different level than others. That is something Helenius excels at. He can quickly read the play and determine where the puck is going to go. He uses his quick speed to change direction and find his teammates for open looks. Despite his smaller stature, he isn't afraid to engage in battles. And with his ability to predict puck movement, Helenius can pressure other players into making mistakes and can pick off errant passes.

If there is to be a knock found in his game, it's that he doesn't stand out in one area. He possesses a lot of skills, but there's not one that he blows the competition away in. That's not exactly the worst fault a player could have, especially at Helenius' age. If that's the worst thing that could be said about him, a team could easily take him and assume that he finds a way to excel as he ages.

He has already shown he can play well against those above his age. He has been doing it since he was at least 16 years old. Helenius wouldn't be the flashiest pick, but the Flyers should keep an eye on him if he is still on the board for their pick.