Flyers

Could Flyers go the USNTDP route again with this skilled, slick center?

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:

Thomas Bordeleau

Position: Center

Height: 5-foot-10

Weight: 175

Shoots: Left

Team: USNTDP

Scouting report

The potential is certainly there with Bordeleau, a center that oozes creativity and vision.

Combining an impressive shot with his propensity to find others, the Michigan-bound pivot led the U.S. national team development program under-18 squad with 46 points (16 goals, 30 assists) through 47 games.

“He was probably one of their go-to guys for the U.S. development team," Flahr said Tuesday. "Another guy that’s undersized but he can skate, he can make plays, he can see it. On the power play, he can make plays.

“He’s certainly got the vision and the ability to shoot the puck and generate offense at the junior level. It should translate, for sure, at the college level. We’ll see what happens.”

Bordeleau, the son of former NHLer Sebastien Bordeleau, showed off his skill at the Five Nations tournament in February, recording a goal and five assists over four games.

As a smaller center, Bordeleau can improve his consistency with effort and being hard on the puck.

Fit with Flyers

It will be interesting to see when Bordeleau is selected because his stock seems to vary. He's the 29th-ranked North American skater by NHL Central Scouting and was the 44th-rated player among all draft prospects by TSN's Bob McKenzie in late January. However, EliteProspects.com pegs him as the 23rd-best player in the draft.

The ceiling offensively should entice many teams. The Flyers could be looking for a center in the first round, but will they view Bordeleau as the best player available at No. 23?

Bordeleau is expected to be taken late in the first round or early during the second. His pure offensive instincts will make him a fun player to watch at Michigan, alongside the Flyers' 2019 first-round pick Cam York. The Flyers took York and 2018 first-round pick Joel Farabee out of the USNTDP.