Flyers

Is versatile forward with advanced game worth No. 5 pick by Flyers?

Flyers

Brent Flahr quipped that he hopes the Flyers won't be picking this high again in a long time.

Nonetheless, though, Flahr and his amateur scouting staff are confident about landing a really good player around the top five of the 2022 NHL draft.

"Yeah, I think we’ve gone over the players that we feel are the best five and we’ve gone over different scenarios of what we think the teams in front of us will take. There are still some unknowns, though," Flahr said June 10 in a phone interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia. "But I think we’re happy with the number of different players at the position, probably even a couple of more further. Depending on how it falls, maybe you trade back a couple of spots even or look to trade up. We’ll see how it goes."

Following a 25-46-11 season, the Flyers are slotted at No. 5 overall in this year's draft, which will be held July 7-8 at Bell Centre in Montreal. The Flyers have six total selections. The first round kicks off at 7 p.m. ET Thursday, while Rounds 2-7 follow Friday starting at 11 a.m. ET.

"I think it’s been well-documented, there’s no Connor McDavids in the draft or whatnot. But there is some depth early in the draft," Flahr said. "There’s different positions — there’s a few centermen, there’s a couple of right-shot defensemen with skill and size, there’s a couple of scoring right wingers, there’s a power winger.

 

"There are some interesting players early. I think it’s going to be a really interesting first round. … It’s going to be surprising I think to a lot of people, I think there could be a lot of surprises in the early going of this draft."

More: With potential for 'surprises' or a trade, Flyers have big opportunity at No. 5

Leading up to July 7-8, we're breaking down draft targets for the Flyers at No. 5.

Next up:

Marco Kasper

Position: Center/winger

Height: 6-foot-1

Weight: 187

Shoots: Left

Team: Rogle

Scouting report

Among various draft experts, Kasper isn't ranked as high as the Flyers' spot of No. 5 because his upside isn't through the roof. However, the 18-year-old Austrian blends a mature, multifaceted game with character and competitiveness, which has many buying his stock as an NHL difference-maker.

EliteProspects.com and DailyFaceoff.com's Chris Peters have Kasper rated at No. 12 overall, while The Athletic's Scott Wheeler slotted him 24th. However, TSN's Bob McKenzie pegged Kasper as the 10th-best player in the draft and NHL Central Scouting put him as the fifth-ranked European skater.

"Those who believe he has considerable offensive potential say he’s a threat to be a top-five prospect in this draft," McKenzie wrote earlier this week. "Those who see him as more offensively limited have him outside the top 10. His range in our survey was as high as No. 5 and as low as 21."

As a teenager in the SHL, Sweden's top pro league, Kasper had 11 points (seven goals, four assists) through 46 games for Rogle. He played 11:44 minutes per game. His ice time climbed in the playoffs (14:16) and so did his production. Kasper put up six points (three goals, three assists) and 19 shots in 13 postseason contests.

“I think he’s a stud. If we had a top five pick he would be in our conversation," an anonymous scout told The Athletic's Corey Pronman. "I think he does a lot of things at a clear NHL level."

Fit with Flyers

Kasper looks like a fine prospect with real sleeper potential, but you have to wonder if the Flyers will aim for a higher ceiling at No. 5. They've talked about wanting to add more premier type of talent to the organization. In this spot, they probably need to take more of a chance on big-time potential.

"At best, he projects as a 2C; at worst, a 3C," McKenzie wrote about Kasper.

Nothing wrong with that. Many experts rave about Kasper's well-rounded game and how it emulates the pro style. But would drafting that game at the fifth overall spot be a safe pick?

 

While the Flyers haven't selected many centers over the last three years, they'll draft the best player available at No. 5.

"I still think you've got to make sure you get high-end talent," Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said June 29. "But high-end talent, as we just saw in the playoffs, you look at Tampa, you look at Colorado, they have a lot of high-end talent that is packaged oftentimes in a big or competitive or speedy frame.

"I think we certainly, like everybody, want to get the most competitive players we can get, but you can’t forsake talent. You have to make sure you're getting talent. And where we’re picking, we should be able to find competitive people that have talent."

More targets

Will Flyers land best defenseman in draft at No. 5?

• Savoie, a dynamic skater and scorer, can boost Flyers' talent level

• Could Flyers draft another Finnish winger with exciting tools?

• A big center on the rise should have Flyers' attention at No. 5

• One of draft's more thrilling players may give Flyers trade-back option

If there at No. 5, D-man with eye-opening game will give Flyers a lot to ponder

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