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.
Team: Acadie-Bathurst Titan
An offensive talent that takes pride in all situations, Dobson has done everything possible to improve his draft status.
Playing with Flyers prospect German Rubtsov, the 18-year-old Dobson registered 69 points (17 goals, 52 assists) and a plus-33 rating in 67 regular-season games for Acadie-Bathurst. He then added 13 points in 20 playoff games, leading Titan to a QMJHL championship, before capping off his draft year with a Memorial Cup title as the right-handed shot posted seven points over four games.
Dobson can do damage with a quick and accurate shot, as well as create offense for his teammates. Impressively, he's just as good in his own end, making him one of the best at his position in this draft.
He has nice size but wants to build strength and speed as he starts to eye the pro ranks.
"My goal this summer is to get my body ready and add some strength," he said June 1 at the NHL combine, via the Canadiens' official website. "Put some weight to my frame and get my body to a level to go into an NHL camp next year and be able to compete versus the men, not look out of place and make a decision hard on management to send me back to junior."
Fit with Flyers
General manager Ron Hextall will never stop looking to add future cornerstone defensemen. Bringing in a player the caliber of Dobson would brighten an already up-and-coming blue-line nucleus that is going to get only younger.
The problem here, though, is Dobson likely won't be available when the Flyers hit the clock at No. 14 overall. If the NHL Central Scouting's fifth-ranked North American skater is the Flyers' can't-miss guy, a trade up would have to be the course of action because Dobson's stock has risen beyond their reach.
Would the Flyers make a deal? Don't rule it out (see story), but it seems more likely the Flyers will eye a forward, preferably a winger, with their first selection.
But no one would complain if a player like Dobson joined the system.