NHL draft

2020 NHL draft profile: Ridly Greig, son of Flyers scout Mark Greig, is a center with 200-foot bite

2020 NHL draft profile: Ridly Greig, son of Flyers scout Mark Greig, is a center with 200-foot bite

The entire picture for the 2020 NHL draft remains cloudy with the ongoing suspension of the 2019-20 regular season because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Where will the Flyers be picking? When and how will the draft be held? Those questions are currently unanswered.

The Flyers hold seven total selections and, as of right now, are slotted with the 26th overall pick.

“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 don’t know totally where we’re picking, but we have an idea. We have some guys targeted we feel we would be very happy with in the top couple of rounds and then we still have some work to do to clean up the mid-to-later-round picks.

"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.”

This month and into June, we'll continue to break down options for the Flyers at No. 26.

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 17-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 26th 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.

(Robert Murray/WHL)

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2020 NHL draft profile: Braden Schneider has quite a high ceiling for a 2-way defenseman

2020 NHL draft profile: Braden Schneider has quite a high ceiling for a 2-way defenseman

As time progresses, more questions continue to be raised about the 2020 NHL draft — from the lottery order, to where the Flyers will pick and just when the draft will be — there’s a lot of unknown territory. 

Until such things begin to be hashed out, we’ll continue to take a look at possible options the Flyers could draft at 26th overall — the current spot they are slotted to make their first selection.

Today, we look at a two-way defensive star that's emerging from the WHL. 

Braden Schneider

Position: Defenseman
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 209
Shoots: Right
Team: Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)

Scouting report 

The 18-year-old two-way defenseman has been on every scout’s radar since his rookie year with the Brandon Wheat Kings. Not only is he sound when it comes to producing on both ends of the ice, but there is clear progress from season to season as he continues to improve at an impressive rate. 

Through the 2019-20 season and 60 games, Schneider had an offensive spark, nearly doubling his point total from the year prior (24). He led all defensemen on the team with 42 points — seven goals, 35 assists. This also landed him second in assists on the entire team. 

Schneider possesses a high level of maturity when it comes to skill set and mentality that would prove to be a strong addition for any organization. Though his offensive abilities have a lower ceiling in comparison to his limits on the blue line, that shouldn’t faze general managers much — given the amount of potential. 

There is a strong instinct to his game that often sets him apart from others on the ice. Whether it’s on the power play, penalty kill or just working on his zone, he’s able to anticipate play projection that gives him a clear advantage. 

What’s special is just how solid of a foundation he currently has. From the physical edge to quick feet as a strong skater, being fearless with the puck — when it comes to passing and shooting — and still works on improving such elements, he’s a special kind of motivated. 

Fit for Flyers

It’s safe to say the Flyers have had quite a bit of success when drafting from the Wheat Kings, especially when it comes to defensemen. Ivan Provorov, the blue-line staple of the organization, was drafted seventh overall back in 2015 and has proven to be everything and more since. 

Schneider is another strong defender that is capable of taking heavy minutes during a game. Adding that strong shot on the right side would make the Flyers a difficult matchup for any team. 

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2020 NHL draft profile: William Wallinder looks a lot like Flyers prospect Egor Zamula

2020 NHL draft profile: William Wallinder looks a lot like Flyers prospect Egor Zamula

The entire picture for the 2020 NHL draft remains cloudy with the ongoing suspension of the 2019-20 regular season because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Where will the Flyers be picking? When and how will the draft be held? Those questions are currently unanswered.

The Flyers hold seven total selections and, as of right now, are slotted with the 26th overall pick.

“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 don’t know totally where we’re picking, but we have an idea. We have some guys targeted we feel we would be very happy with in the top couple of rounds and then we still have some work to do to clean up the mid-to-later-round picks.

"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.”

This month and into June, we'll continue to break down options for the Flyers at No. 26.

William Wallinder

Position: Defenseman
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 191
Shoots: Left
Team: MODO

Scouting report

Wallinder is what Flahr called "a real wild card" in this draft because his stock consists of projection.

The 17-year-old Swede is a smooth-skating blueliner with a fluid and long stride. He is dexterous with the puck on his stick and loves transitioning it up ice thanks to his skill set.

With Wallinder's build and style, there's some Egor Zamula to him. Zamula, one of the Flyers' top defensemen in their system, is also 6-foot-4, a lefty shot and slick skater that covers ground.

In 37 games for MODO's junior club during 2019-20, Wallinder scored 24 points (five goals, 19 assists).

European amateur scout Joakim Grundberg is a MODO product, having scouted for it as well, before joining the Flyers' staff. He also shares the same hometown of Wallinder.

"So we know him very well, on and off the ice," Flahr said.

Production-wise, Wallinder opened eyes with four points through four games in the Junior Club World Championship, but was quiet at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup and Five Nations tournament. He's noticeable, though, even when he's not scoring. From a projection standpoint, he'll need time to develop into a dependable pro.

He’s a really intriguing guy," Flahr said. "You see him at the Hlinka tournament in the summer and you see this big, tall, lanky kid that can skate, but very, very raw.

He came into the November tournament and really took a jump and forced everybody to notice him, he was up ice and looking a little more confident. The February tournament, it wasn’t as productive but just to see the physical tools this kid has, he’s got the size, the range, the mobility — he’s got a good skill set, he’s just going to need a little time to find his identity. But he’s one of those kids who gets up ice, it’s just so easy for him to recover. He’s going to have to figure things out.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go real high or because of his rawness, he might slide a little bit, especially without an April tournament. Certainly a guy that is on everybody’s radar and a player with tremendous upside if he figures it out.


Fit with Flyers

The Flyers are well-stocked at defensemen but won't shy away from drafting the best player available to load up even more on the back end.

Wallinder could go anywhere from the mid-to-late first round or maybe even slip into the early second.

The Flyers like big, mobile, puck-moving defensemen that accentuate head coach Alain Vigneault's system.

Wallinder might be there for them and you can never have enough depth.

"Checks every category necessary to be a No. 1 defenseman in the NHL," TSN's Craig Button wrote last month. "Contributes significantly in all areas of the game."

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More on the 2020 NHL draft