Flyers

2019 NHL draft profile: Peyton Krebs, an impressive center Flyers should like

robert_murray_whl_peyton_krebs_nhl_draft.jpg
Robert Murray/WHL

2019 NHL draft profile: Peyton Krebs, an impressive center Flyers should like

The 2019 NHL entry draft is Friday and Saturday in Vancouver, British Columbia. General manager Chuck Fletcher, assistant general manager Brent Flahr and the Flyers hold the 11th overall pick and nine selections in total.

"This draft's a little unique," Flahr said last week. "Especially in the top 15, there are a number of different types of players, which is interesting — some power wingers, some smaller scoring wingers, some centermen, there's a number of D, a goaltender.

"We've identified probably five or six guys that we think have a chance to be there at 11 and probably some of the other teams in front of us will dictate that. But we're really confident we're going to get a good player."

This week, we will break down options for the Flyers at No. 11.

Peyton Krebs

Position: Center
Height: 6-foot
Weight: 183
Shoots: Left
Team: Winnipeg ICE

Scouting report

If Krebs was on a more competitive junior team in 2018-19, his offensive production could have been through the roof. He scored 68 points (19 goals, 49 assists) over 64 regular-season games for the ICE, who went 13-45-10 in the WHL.

Krebs is an elusive and intelligent playmaker. With top talent around him, he scored 10 points (six goals, four assists) in seven games for Canada during the U-18 IIHF World Junior Championship.

He has a little bit of Sean Couturier in him with the way he thinks and plays the game. Interestingly, his ICE head coach is James Patrick, the uncle of Flyers center Nolan Patrick.

One caveat for now is that Krebs suffered a partial tear of his Achilles this offseason.

"It's unfortunate, but he's an unbelievable kid character-wise, drive," Flahr said. "He'll miss some time but he's young, he'll heal fully. I don't think it's going to drop him too far in the draft. We'll know more about it as we get closer to the draft. 

"Basically what I've been told is he's going to miss the summer. It's not ideal, but at the same time, he's going to get back to where he was."

Fit with Flyers

Flahr talked about how difficult it is to find true centers at the age of 18. The Flyers, like so many other NHL teams, are always looking to build depth at center.

"It's a hard position, you have to be smart," Flahr said. "Not only skill and vision, but you have to be responsible in the back end, be able to play a 200-foot game and be trusted by your coaches.

"It's a must-have position and it takes a long time for players to learn to play correctly. There are very few Crosbys that can come in the league and play that way."

The Flyers went center early in the 2016 and 2017 drafts. Krebs would be a fine pick if he's available. Many have him in the Nos. 9-12 range. He could fall with the injury and if he's up for grabs at No. 11, the Flyers will likely be interested.

"Centermen are hard to get and if they're there, typically they don't last very long in the first round, the top ones anyway," Flahr said.

More on the 2019 NHL draft

• Flyers take one of draft's best D-men in this 1st-round mock

Trading No. 11 pick? Draft dynamic? That and more here

Flyers like 'unique' winger Boldy as option for No. 11 overall pick

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Penguins' Evgeni Malkin may have complimented Flyers fans

Penguins' Evgeni Malkin may have complimented Flyers fans

At least Evgeni Malkin understands he is not well-liked in Philadelphia, nor are his Penguins.

That is clear.

The three-time Stanley Cup champion Malkin was unhappy with Penguins fans Sunday when they sarcastically cheered Matt Murray for some saves after the goalie had allowed two markers in just over two minutes of a game against the Bruins. Murray, who has won two Cups with the Penguins, surrendered three goals in the first period of the game Pittsburgh eventually won, 4-3.

Malkin was annoyed by the mock cheers for the 25-year-old Murray.

Via a story by The Athletic's Rob Rossi, here's what Malkin said:

It was stupid.

I’m not understanding our fans. Muzz won two Cups for us. You boo him — why? If you come to the arena, support our team. All of us. We try. We play so hard this year. We work so hard through injuries. We play good hockey. Maybe not last couple games, not early this game. But we try.

I understand: You pay money for ticket, you do what you want. But it’s tough to sit on bench and hear that. I don’t like it. We hear that in Philly, not Pittsburgh.

What Malkin likely meant by his Philly comment was that the Penguins expect to be jeered in Philadelphia by the rival fans, but not by their home fans in their own building.

That irked the 33-year-old Malkin, who has played in Pittsburgh his entire 14-year career. Malkin was sticking up for a teammate, which anyone can respect.

What's also clear is Malkin probably wouldn't love playing in Philly full-time. Everybody knows the city's tough love with its sports teams. Boos are expected when expectations aren't met.

Carter Hart put it well in December:

“Sure, they get on us when we’re not playing well, but as an athlete in a big sports market, what more could you ask for?” Hart said. “They’re loyal and they’re passionate.”

Maybe Flyers fans will sarcastically cheer Malkin Tuesday night. You've got to love their creativity.

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More on the Flyers

Flyers vs. Penguins: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

Flyers vs. Penguins: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

The Flyers would much rather go into their NHL-mandated Jan. 22-30 bye week riding a win over the Penguins than stewing over a loss to the division rival.

They'll decide their fate ahead of the break Tuesday night when the Flyers (26-17-6) host the Penguins (31-13-5).

Let's get into the essentials:

When: 7:30 p.m. ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Broadcast: NBC Sports Network
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com

• If the Flyers want to beat Pittsburgh, they'll have to find a way to at least somewhat slow down Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

Since returning from core muscle surgery, Crosby has eight points (three goals, five assists) in four games, while Malkin has gone scoreless only twice over his last 19 games, a stretch in which he has put up 28 points (nine goals, 19 assists).

Those two have notoriously hurt the Flyers. Crosby owns 102 points (42 goals, 60 assists) in 68 career games against the Flyers and Malkin boasts 70 points (27 goals, 43 assists) in 56 lifetime meetings with the orange and black.

During the Flyers' 7-1 loss to the Penguins on Oct. 29, the lone matchup thus far in 2019-20, Crosby enjoyed a three-point game and Malkin was out. The Flyers have been far better defensively at home, so let's see what adjustments they make in Game 2 of the four-game regular-season series.

• Speaking of playing at home, the Flyers have taken significant strides in that area. They are 16-4-4 with 36 points at home after going 19-18-4 with 42 points last season.

Another important improvement has been their play against the Metropolitan Division. The Flyers are 8-2-3 vs. divisional opponents compared to a 10-16-2 mark against the Metro last season.

Interestingly, the Flyers and Penguins have been polar opposites against the Eastern and Western Conferences. The Flyers are 18-6-4 vs. the East compared to 8-11-2 against the West, while the Penguins are 11-9-3 vs. the East compared to 20-4-2 against the West.

• The Flyers will be without Michael Raffl (upper body) as rookie call-up German Rubtsov enters the lineup.

Joel Farabee, who has goals in back-to-back games, should see greater minutes.

Projected lineup

Forwards

James van Riemsdyk-Claude Giroux-Travis Konecny
Joel Farabee-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
Scott Laughton-Kevin Hayes-Nicolas Aube-Kubel
German Rubtsov-Connor Bunnaman-Tyler Pitlick

Defensemen

Ivan Provorov-Matt Niskanen
Travis Sanheim-Philippe Myers
Robert Hagg-Justin Braun

Goalies

Brian Elliott
Alex Lyon

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More on the Flyers