Flyers

Jakub Voracek comes in loud and clear for Flyers

Jakub Voracek comes in loud and clear for Flyers

BOX SCORE

Somehow, Jakub Voracek rolled into 2018-19 like a forgotten man.

Think about it.

Claude Giroux was coming off the 102-point season. Sean Couturier had his anticipated breakout. James van Riemsdyk jumped back on board. Wayne Simmonds brought the unpreventable contract buzz. Shayne Gostisbehere and Ivan Provorov provided the excitement on the blue line. Travis Konecny and Nolan Patrick oozed with expectations. The goalies … yeah, it's Philadelphia.

Voracek, on the other hand, didn't seem to generate much of the discussion as the Flyers entered this season built to be more than just a small stepping-stone.

And maybe it was a good thing. Maybe it meant Voracek's career-high 85 points last year represented his capability at this stage of his career.

Regardless, silly us for letting his meaning become a subplot of sorts.

Voracek's play did all the talking Saturday, his game-breaking ability that dominates the conversation on full display. His importance to the Flyers was succinctly evident in a 5-2 victory over the Devils at the Wells Fargo Center (see observations).

With the Flyers twice in need of a play, a motivated Voracek made it happen. He found Nolan Patrick for a go-ahead goal with 1:04 left in the second period. After the Devils tied it, 2-2, early in the third, Voracek regained the advantage with under four minutes to go on a nifty move in open ice, where he's as good as anybody (see highlights).

Without Voracek Saturday, the Flyers are 3-5-0 instead of climbing back to .500.

Don't tell him that, though.

"The first 39 minutes, I played like horses--t," Voracek said. "You guys have got to watch the game a little bit more, you know what I mean? It's not only about points. The last three games, I think I played good hockey, it just didn't go in. Just because I'm not on the scoresheet doesn't mean I didn't play well. So many times it happens."

Voracek went scoreless over the Flyers' previous three games. Despite that, he has 11 points (three goals, eight assists) through eight contests.

It's also not all about what shows up in the box score, like Voracek said.

But if he remains that hard on himself when he could have easily accepted the praise, the Flyers will be better off moving forward.

"With his dynamics, he can change the look of a hockey game," Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol said. "He made a heck of a play on our second goal with his speed coming down the wing and the third goal, a lot of that was him. If he wants more, that's good. I love to hear that. If he thinks he can be better, and wants to be better — hey, we're .500, so everybody has to be a little bit better."

Voracek was near his best.

The Flyers will take that horses--t.

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More on the Flyers

2019 NHL draft profile: Flyers like 'unique' winger Matthew Boldy as No. 11 option

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Rena Laverty/USA Hockey

2019 NHL draft profile: Flyers like 'unique' winger Matthew Boldy as No. 11 option

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.

Matthew Boldy

Position: Left winger
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 196
Shoots: Left
Team: USNTDP

Scouting report

Last summer, the Flyers drafted two players (Joel Farabee, Gavin Hain) out of the U.S. national team development program. It wouldn't be surprising if they select another USNTDP product, given the program could see seven players go in the first round.

Boldy is intriguing because of superb scoring touch to complement his size.

"He's a unique guy — power forward with really good hands and can shoot," Flahr said. "He maybe played a bit of a lesser role than he normally would because of the depth of that team. A talented guy, certainly a guy that we like and other teams do, as well."

The Boston College commit is sly in the way he scores and put up 81 points (33 goals, 48 assists) over 64 games. He is the fifth-ranked player in the draft by TSN's Craig Button, while TSN's Bob McKenzie rated Boldy at No. 11, right where the Flyers are slotted.

Fit with Flyers

To have goal-scoring wingers like Farabee and Boldy in the system would be awfully exciting for the Flyers.

It seems like Boldy, a prospect the Flyers have probably seen a ton, could go anywhere from fifth to 12th. He has the potential to be a top-six forward and would only add to the Flyers' depth at the position. The organization is still somewhat slim on the wing.

"You're always going for the upside in the first round and finding the most talented player that you can, regardless of position," Fletcher said. "And whoever you think has the highest upside is who you are trying to land. And as Brent mentioned at 11, I think somebody will fall to us.

"Most teams probably have a consensus on who the top two players are. After that, I think from three to 15, it will be a lot of the same names, but teams will have them ordered differently, and I think that bodes well for us."

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

• Impressive playmaking center Krebs could be there for Flyers at No. 11

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

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

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.