Flyers

Keep an eye on a center with 200-foot bite and Flyers in the family

Flyers

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:

Ridly Greig

Position: Center

Height: 5-foot-11

Weight: 163

Shoots: Left

Team: Brandon Wheat Kings

Scouting report

The Flyers should have a pretty good scoop on Greig. After all, his father is Flyers amateur scout Mark Greig, who has long watched the WHL.

In 2019-20, his son scored a team-best 1.07 points per game for the WHL's Brandon Wheat Kings. The 18-year-old center put up 26 goals and 34 assists in 56 games.

"His dad doesn’t even like us talking about him or reporting on him and all that," Flahr said with a laugh. "Terrific kid.

"He’s a hockey player, he plays center, he can play anywhere, he’s a real smart player, two-way, really detailed and he has an edge to his game."

Greig likes to get after it and when he really asserts himself, he's all over the ice, making a 200-foot impact. He brings a blend of straight-line energy and offensive instincts.

He was handed two suspensions during the season — one for a check to the head and the other for goaltender interference — but by no means is he a dirty player.

"He’s not a big body, he’s got to put on weight and get stronger — he’s athletic, but he’s going to take some time," Flahr said. "He’s got an edge to him, he’s been suspended a couple of times. We joke that he’s got his mother’s temperament rather than his dad’s. But no, he had a very strong year, he played as a 17-year-old No. 1 center going against the top guys in the league, but his second half, he really had a strong season. 

"He can kill penalties, win faceoffs, he hits, he goes to the net, he produced offensively. He looks like a really well-rounded player, I think he’s a real solid prospect."

Greig finished the season on an eight-game point streak (six goals, five assists) and among North American skaters he went from an NHL Central Scouting midterm mark of 25th to a final ranking of 14th.

Fit with Flyers

The Flyers will look to take the best player available during the first round but centers could be the overall focus or preference for the club. It's a premium position and last summer the Flyers drafted three defensemen, three wingers and a goalie.

The club also has a strong history of scouting and 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.

Greig is expected to be available in the Flyers' range of 23rd overall. With the way he plays and his room for growth, he would be a real solid addition down the middle to the organization's prospect pool.