After a long wait with the unprecedented stoppage because of the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 NHL draft has arrived.
The first round will be held Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET, while Rounds 2-7 follow on Wednesday starting at 11:30 a.m. ET.
The Flyers hold seven picks and their first-round selection comes at No. 23 overall.
“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 have some guys targeted we feel we would be very happy with in the top couple of rounds.
"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.”
Let's take a look at a target for the Flyers with the 23rd selection:
Team: Frolunda HC
Playing in Sweden's top junior league SuperElit, Torgersson finished tied for fourth with 26 goals and third with a plus-38 rating. The 18-year-old was over a point-per-game scorer for Frolunda, putting up 44 points in 39 games. He got a taste of the Swedish Elite League, going scoreless in six games, and showed a well-rounded makeup at the Five Nations tournament.
A rangy winger who is proficient around the net, Torgersson can also move well and understands how to augment talented centers. There will be a good amount of projection with Torgersson, who has the tools to develop into an NHL winger.
There's some Isaac Ratcliffe in the Swede. Ratcliffe, the Flyers' 2017 second-round pick, is a 6-foot-6, 203-pound, lefty-shot winger with impressive mobility. Ratcliffe's hands and touch are considerably better than Torgersson's, but both players are big wingers with scoring ability. In 2019-20, Ratcliffe experienced his first season at the pro level, learning how important it is to use his size with the puck just as much as his skill.
Torgersson will need to prove he can utilize his frame and score in harder ways against men.
“Big body, strong down low on the walls, can shoot it," Flahr said last week. "He is a winger, for sure, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg with him. Eventually he’s going to hopefully dominate using his size and ability to get to the net and shoot the puck. On the national teams and certainly on the junior teams, he complements skilled centers pretty well and obviously he has unique size.”
Fit with Flyers
The draft stock for Torgersson has fluctuated as he's the 13th-ranked European skater by NHL Central Scouting and considered the 27th-best player in the draft by TSN's Craig Button. However, ESPN's Chris Peters rated Torgersson at No. 61 among the class and many view him as a second-round pick.
The Flyers, who have some nice wingers in the system but are not exceptionally deep at the position, could get two cracks at Torgersson with their first- or second-round pick. The Flyers may not see Torgersson as the best player available during the first round at No. 23 overall and they do not have a third-round selection after the Justin Braun trade.
But when a winger can score with that type of size, the Flyers will certainly be interested, especially if Torgersson is available in the second round.
“Everybody has seen him," Flahr said of his staff. "He plays on a fairly prominent team over there with a number of prospects, he’s been on all the national teams.”