Friday, June 27, 2014

Flyers choose Sanheim at #17

Shocking many in the crowd and at broadcast centers, the Philadelphia Flyers chose Calgary Hitmen defenseman Travis Sanheim with the 17th overall pick in Friday's draft.

Against the expectations of some who thought a try for Sami's son Kasperi Kapanen or Boston College commit Alex Tuch was in the cards, Flyers GM Ron Hextall even-handedly announced the selection, now destined to enter into the competition for the young vanguard on the blueline.

"This is a dream. To have the year that I did and the success that I did over the course of the year, this is very fulfilling. I played in all situations, and I thought I played with confidence. That was a big part of my success."

Sanheim, 18, has the height at 6-foot-3, and the smooth stride, but not the bulk the franchise is used to seeing at the position by weighing in at 190 pounds. Nonetheless, he recorded five goals and 29 points over 67 games with only 14 penalty minutes and a plus-25 during his first season in Canadian juniors.

Here's a sampling of his wares:

The native of Manitoba is just the third #17 pick in the first round in franchise history, following Kevin McCarthy and Mark Suzor.

Next season in the rough-and-tumble Western Hockey League, Sanheim will have to begin to lay the groundwork to distinguish himself among the likes of Oliver Lauridsen, Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg, Brandon Manning, Samuel Morin, Mark Alt and others to gain a spot with the organization.

Bang the link here, where the distant relative to Hextall discusses his time at the NHL Combine, from the Calgary Flames. Hextall himself had some strong words for his new prospect:

"It's time for Travis to take the next step and work hard and eat right and develop his body and develop himself mentally and become a more impact player. There is a growth player here. He is a long way from playing in the NHL."
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