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 eight selections in total (see story).
"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 are breaking down options for the Flyers at No. 11.
The Swedish product is regarded by many as a top-two or- three defenseman in this class. TSN's Bob McKenzie believes Soderstrom is the second-best defenseman in the draft, while NHL Central Scouting has him ranked as the third-best European skater.
Soderstrom turned 18 years old on Feb. 26 and played 44 games in the Swedish Elite League against grown men. He is a mature, modern defenseman who is excellent at moving the puck and dictating pace.
The Flyers' scouting staff is familiar with Brynas, a program the team has drafted out of in recent history, including a 2014 fifth-round selection of Oskar Lindblom. Over the past five drafts, the Flyers have taken four Brynas products.
Fit with Flyers
This may be the Flyers' guy.
The early first round is top-heavy with forwards, which will result in some of the top blueliners being within range of the Flyers at No. 11 overall. The Flyers will draft the best available player at that selection, but Flahr mentioned how the club wants to restock a bit on defense throughout this draft.
"We have a couple of defensemen in our top 10 that we like," Flahr said.
The Flyers haven't drafted a defenseman in the first round since Ivan Provorov (2015) and Soderstrom fits the Flyers' criteria of blueliners.
More on the 2019 NHL draft
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