Saturday, June 28, 2014

Pryor talks Flyers draft

Courtesy of the Philadelphia Flyers, Director of Scouting Chris Pryor's thoughts on the just-concluded draft.

Chris, can you give us one sentence on each of these guys strengths and weaknesses?

Sure, we can start with Travis Sanheim.  He probably has talked to a few of our guys already but I think if you get consensus throughout the scouting community I mean he’s on his way, he’s kind of a upper trend, he started out coming up into the league, no one really knew about him by the end of the league he was one of the bigger contributors in April on the Canadian team. So that tells you his growth this year and our scout Mark Greig says he is a big guy, skates well, handles the puck, got some poise and it may be repetitive here but once again he’s on the upper trend.

The 2nd round pick?

Nicolas Aube-Kubel is another guy that probably is a little bit under the radar, probably a little over shadowed a little bit over Val d’Or because  the big line he played a lot of minutes there. Todd Hearty and Simon [Nolet] saw a lot of him in Val d’Or in the Quebec league. We are excited because I think next year you are going to see big things from him, because he is going to get some of that quality ice time.  So we are expecting he is going to have a big year coming up.  He brings speed, he is a good hockey player and he is competitive. Those are attributes from a forward side that are pretty exciting.

Friedman?

Our guy in the USHL saw a lot of Mark.  He is going to Bowling Green next year. 5’10”- 5’11” competitive, skilled defenseman. He plays both sides of the puck, he’s got some skill and can run the power play, he is mobile, and he competes and he is going into a good situation at Bowling Green – he is going to get a lot of ice time. He committed real early, people are going to ask about Bowling Green. Why Bowling Green? Well they stepped up early, and he committed and he stuck with his commitment so he is going to attend Bowling Green in the fall and we will see what happens.

Who is your guy in the USHL?

My son, Nick Pryor.

Lindblom?

I think if you were to look at, and we were to have a conversation last summer with him there is predictions that he could have been late 1st, early 2nd round pick. He had a really good tournament with the Under 17’s last year and for whatever reason it happens, he slipped a little bit this year. We were on him from day 1, we’ve seen him a lot this year, he’s got a big body, a lot of skill. From the blue line in he’s really good. Like I said he could have been an easy early 2nd pick and we didn’t think he’d be there when we picked him there.

On Radel Fazleev

One thing about Radel, he plays a North American game. Hardworking kid, plays both ends. He had a little trouble… he got hurt a little bit this year so he is a little under the radar but if you look at his playoff numbers he had really good numbers in the playoffs, so I think you are going to see as with Travis Sanheim they are both kids that are on the upper trend. So right now he is trying to out for the under 20 team in Russia, so he has a really good chance of making that under 20 team in Russia next year.

Pettersson?

Well he is a little bit older guy.  He has been through the draft a couple times already, but just by the scouting fraternity we have seen him a lot in the last couple years.  Not overly flashy guy, just plays the game the right way, he’s not big but he’s very thick, he’s competitive, got a good stick, has a really good head for the game, and he plays the game the right way. He is a big leader with the Swedes this year, I think they missed him, he got a suspension there at the end of the tournament.  They got a little pushing and shoving with a Russian, he got kicked out for the last game and I think it really hurt the Swedes there. So I don’t know if you guys remember the kid we had Freddy Meyer a few years ago, he has kind of a similarity there. Not real big but he’s really solid on his feet, highly competitive and he’s a character kid. Each one of these kids have spent a lot of time with individual scouts so they stepped up on these guys and they like them.

I think the Russian was drafted by the KHL, right?

He was in Calgary this year. He’s committed to coming back over here. He’s a North American player.

Would you have taken him if he weren’t already in North America?

It’s a tough question. You’re dealing with that question over there. Unfortunately, in the KHL, those kids it’s an enticing thing for them to go back over there and play, so it’s something that you do probably have to deal with. Him being here and playing here shows you that he wants to play over here and he wants to be a player in North America and try to make the NHL. He’s kind of answered a lot of those questions already.

What about the depth of the defenseman that you have in your system?

We feel good about it. Over the last couple of years, I think we’ve made not so much of a conscious effort, but I think we’ve done a good job. Now, we’ve got Travis Sanheim, Friedman, and Pettersson. I think we’ve done a really good job of filling some of that gap maybe that we haven’t had for a while. We’re excited about the depth we’ve got. If you look at us right now with Hagg and Morin and now Sanheim and a couple other kids that are in the American league, it’s something that’s pretty exciting.

What was it like working with Ron, not just at the draft, but leading up to the draft and in preparations? Was there any different feel at the table than Paul?

Hexy and Homer and Flyer philosophy, and Hexy’s got a little bit, everybody’s got a different way of looking at things and doing things, but for the most part it was the same atmosphere, same environment. There wasn’t any remarkable difference in our approach. The way we do things I think it’s pretty exciting. Our philosophy is intact.

Lindbloom’s the guy you said he’s slipped a little bit over the course of the year. Some of the best games in the Sweedish Junior Playoffs in the U-18 Worlds, did you feel he kind of pushed himself back up again in the way he finished the year?

He seemed to rise at those tournaments. Our guy’s seen him a lot in his league over there. Maybe a little bit inconsistent, but it’s tough for those kids sometimes. They get juggled back and forth from the men to the juniors. It’s hard for them to get on track. But again, if you look at his resume starting from last year at the U-17, I think he led that tournament in scoring. Coming into the year he had a lot of hype on him, maybe a little bit of inconsistency. Again, if you would have told me in the fall that we would be talking about him where we got him, we would be really excited, so we’re happy.

Both Ron and Paul acknowledged that speed is key now with the game.

It is pretty attractive in this game. If you look at the way the game’s going and the way it’s been played, you need to be able to skate. Mobility and speed is a big part of it, so the Kubel kid in the second round, Sanheim skates well, Friedman has good mobility. I think it’s something that you need to play now. I don’t know if we’d pay more special attention to that but it’s something you have to keep your eye on, for sure.
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