In the weeks leading up to the 2018 NHL draft, we're providing prospect profiles and how those players would fit with the Flyers, who have two first-round picks — Nos. 14 and 19.
The NHL draft takes place June 22-23 at American Airlines Center in Dallas. The Flyers have nine picks with two in the first, fifth and seventh rounds and one in the second, fourth and sixth. They do not own a third-rounder as it went to the Detroit Red Wings for Petr Mrazek. The 14th pick conveyed from the Brayden Schenn trade. The final details were Schenn to the St. Louis Blues for Jori Lehtera, a 2017 first-round pick (Morgan Frost) and the 14th pick.
Our prospect profiles will touch mostly on prospects projected to go in the 10-20 range but some may require the Flyers having to trade up to select. We’ll identify those prospects.
Position: Left winger
Team: Loko Yaroslavl
Denisenko is ultra talented and dangerous with the puck on his stick, a true threat to make a highlight-reel play whenever he touches it. The Russian product, who turns 18 a day after the draft, is an elusive puck-handler and dazzles with skill.
However, he's been regarded as an inconsistent player lacking an all-around game, so some maturation is needed, both cerebrally and physically.
Playing Russian junior hockey in 2017-18, Denisenko had 22 points (nine goals, 13 assists) in 31 regular-season games for the MHL's Loko Yaroslavl. He added seven points (five goals, two assists) over 12 playoff games en route to a championship title.
Fit with Flyers
Given the organization's willingness to be patient with prospects and the need for more wingers in the farm system, Denisenko would be a nice selection by the Flyers.
The ability is certainly there and the Flyers believe greatly in their development staff, so drafting a winger with potential but work to be done makes sense.
Denisenko projects to be a mid-to-late first-round pick. His high ceiling should be enticing and it will be a matter of which team takes a chance on the upside. With two first-round slots, the Flyers should have their shot at Denisenko and his talent would be exciting in the system.