Flyers

2020 NHL draft profile: Ozzy Wiesblatt, who has 'lots of juice and generates offense,' should attract Flyers

2020 NHL draft profile: Ozzy Wiesblatt, who has 'lots of juice and generates offense,' should attract Flyers

The entire picture for the 2020 NHL draft remains cloudy with the ongoing suspension of the 2019-20 regular season because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Where will the Flyers be picking? When and how will the draft be held? Those questions are currently unanswered.

The Flyers hold seven total selections and, as of right now, are slotted with the 26th overall pick.

“I think it’s a decent draft — I don’t know if it’s top end," Flyers assistant general manager Brent Flahr said April 25 in a phone interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia. "The top 10, 12 guys look like pretty high end. There’s a bit of a drop-off, but there’s some depth to the draft for a couple of rounds. We don’t know totally where we’re picking, but we have an idea. We have some guys targeted we feel we would be very happy with in the top couple of rounds and then we still have some work to do to clean up the mid-to-later-round picks.

"Obviously you’d want the big, scoring, playmaking center, anybody does. We’re in a position where we’ll likely be taking the best player available. 

"Realistically the players you draft now are two or three years down the road, best-case scenario. Some cases you get surprised. But by then, your team needs are different. We’ll do the best we can, we have an idea of where our holes are going forward and places where we certainly want to add depth to, whether it’s center or scoring winger or defense, we’ll see what happens. We’ll prepare, we weigh guys against each other, the pros and cons and we’ll do the best we can there.”

This month and into June, we'll continue to break down options for the Flyers at No. 26.

Ozzy Wiesblatt

Position: Winger
Height: 5-foot-10
Weight: 183
Shoots: Right
Team: Prince Albert Raiders

Scouting report

After playing a depth role last season on a veteran Prince Albert team that won the WHL championship, Wiesblatt took on much greater responsibility in his draft year and capitalized. The winger who turned 18 years old in March registered 70 points (25 goals, 45 assists) and a plus-20 rating over 64 games.

Constantly making things happen and pushing the puck north, Wiesblatt has the capability to dazzle with finesse and also outwork you with effort.

“Last year, they were a deep, older team, but he contributed," Flahr said Tuesday. "Obviously a little undersized but a great motor to him, he’s a driver of offense for their team. Every time you go watch a game he plays in, you notice him, for sure. He’s got lots of juice and generates offense, a real good motor to him which will certainly give him a chance as a smaller player.”

Raising five kids, Wiesblatt's mother Kim White is deaf and communicates with her children using American Sign Language. Wiesblatt's three brothers also play hockey.

"The fact that we all kind of play in junior hockey right now and hopefully in the NHL one day, I think it's really special," Wiesblatt said in a video feature produced by the CHL, "and we couldn't have done it without our mom."

Fit with Flyers

Wiesblatt is not very big for a winger and he had a quiet 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game performance in January, putting up no points or shots and a minus-2 mark.

Those factors could cause him to drop a tad in the draft but many will be happy if he's up for grabs at their slot. He's the 19th-ranked North American skater by NHL Central Scouting and TSN's Craig Button has him as the 29th-best player in the draft.

The Flyers have a strong track record of drafting WHL products. Over the past six drafts, the Flyers have taken eight WHL players, four of which were selected in the opening two rounds.

Wiesblatt should be available at No. 26 (and maybe in the second round) for the Flyers. He would be a quality selection with his ability to dictate tempo and play in all situations.

(Lucas Chudleigh/Apollo Multimedia)

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Flyers Talk podcast: Head of strength and conditioning Chris Osmond gives insight on team's adjustments

Flyers Talk podcast: Head of strength and conditioning Chris Osmond gives insight on team's adjustments

On the latest Flyers Talk podcast, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Katie Emmer and Jordan Hall are joined by special guest Chris Osmond, the Flyers' head of strength and conditioning.

From Osmond's insight on the Flyers' fitness to our analysis on prospects/awards, let's dive in:

1:00 — Which defenseman will climb the fastest to the Flyers — Egor Zamula, Wyatte Wylie, Linus Hogberg or Wyatt Kalynuk?

7:05 — Osmond discusses the Flyers' daily questionnaire with players

9:40 — Ivan Provorov has a unique style of working out

11:45 — The big adjustments Osmond has had to make with players in quarantine

15:45 — What will be the toughest challenge for the Flyers leading up to a possible resumption?

• 17:25 — The importance of a good diet for Carter Hart and the team

• 19:00 — "None of us have been through this" 

20:10 — Osmond loves the Flyers' victory song

24:50 — Is Sean Couturier the Selke Trophy winner?

29:20 — Who is Alain Vigneault's biggest competition for the Jack Adams Award?

40:00 — Which former Flyer would we pick to be our favorite teammate?

• 45:15 — A taste of the "Marathon on Ice"

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Flyers lose rights to prospect David Bernhardt

Flyers lose rights to prospect David Bernhardt

Two days after signing one of their 2016 draft picks to an entry-level contract, the Flyers lost the rights to a prospect from the same class.

The club opted to not sign David Bernhardt before Monday's 5 p.m. deadline. As a result, the 22-year-old Swedish defenseman has become a draft-related unrestricted free agent.

Bernhardt was a 2016 seventh-round draft pick of the Flyers, when Ron Hextall was general manager and Chris Pryor was director of player personnel. Linus Hogberg, another blueliner from Sweden who was taken by the Flyers in the fifth round of the same draft, inked his ELC on Saturday.

The Flyers' decision to let Bernhardt's rights expire is not considered surprising. Below the pro surface, the club is pretty well-stocked at defensemen with prospects Egor Zamula, Wyatte Wylie and Hogberg set to join AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley in 2020-21, while the signing of Wisconsin product Wyatt Kalynuk could be around the corner. Kalynuk is an offensive-minded defenseman who has developed a ton with the Badgers. His rights were set to expire next summer. Now that it appears he will forgo his senior season at Wisconsin, it would be surprising if he's not signed soon by the Flyers. If, for some reason, both sides don't agree to terms, Kalynuk can eventually become a free agent.

Furthermore, the Flyers have unsigned blueliners Cam York, Mason Millman, Adam Ginning, Ronald Attard and John St. Ivany in the system. York, a 2019 first-round pick at Michigan, is the most touted, while Millman, a 2019 fourth-round selection, is coming off a 44-point, plus-31 junior season with the OHL's Saginaw Spirit.

Bernhardt, a 6-foot-3, 203-pound, lefty-shot defenseman, had seven points (one goal, six assists) through 33 games in the Finland pro league Liiga after opening 2019-20 in the SHL.

Here's a look at the Flyers' 10-player 2016 draft class:

First round — German Rubtsov (Flyers/Phantoms)
Second round — Pascal Laberge (Phantoms/Royals) 
Second round — Carter Hart (Flyers)
Second round — Wade Allison (Phantoms) 
Third round — Carsen Twarynski (Flyers/Phantoms)
Fourth round — Connor Bunnaman (Flyers/Phantoms)
Fifth round — Linus Hogberg (Phantoms)
Sixth round — Tanner Laczynski (Phantoms) 
Sixth round — Anthony Salinitri (no longer in organization)
Seventh round — David Bernhardt (no longer in organization)

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More on the Flyers