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David Quackenbos The Hockey Writers

Published on Monday, August 24, 2015





Philadelphia Flyers Draft Class Of 2013: Where Are They Now?

Over the past four years the Philadelphia Flyers have dramatically increased their prospect depth. After years of having one of the worst farm systems in the NHL, the Flyers are finally building a firm foundation.

Although former General Manager Paul Holmgren has absorbed some criticism over his tenure as GM, he did begin the prospect rebuilding process. His final two drafts, 2012 and 2013, set the Flyers onto their current path with some decent prospects. As noted here, the 2012 Draft could potentially have five future NHL players.

The 2013 Draft was the Flyers first obvious display that they were committed to building the blue line from within. After seeing Chris Pronger go down with a career ending eye injury, and missing out on the Shea Weber offer sheet, the Flyers decided to bite the bullet and draft their own defensemen. That started with their first pick in the 2013 Draft, the 11th overall selection.

1st Round – 11th Overall – Samuel Morin

Position: Defense (L)
Size: 6’7″ – 225lbs
2014-15 League: QMJHL
2015-16 League (Projected): AHL

The Flyers drafted Samuel Morin knowing that he would not be an immediate impact player in the NHL. They knew that he would not be NHL-ready in 2013-14 and that he likely would not even be ready in 2014-15. The organization vowed to take a patient approach with the towering defenseman. He is projected to join the Lehigh Valley Phantoms next season, although he has unexpectedley pushed for an NHL roster spot in the two training camps he has attended.

In his first training camp, Morin opened many eyes. He was praised for his poise and mobility, while many thought that he was not too far off from being an NHL player. Last season, as training camp was winding down, rumors were swirling that the Flyers were trying to trade a defenseman in order to make room for Morin (knowing what we know now about Ron Hextall, those rumors were probably false). Morin will most likely start the season in Lehigh Valley, but could make his NHL debut at some point in the 2015-16 season.

2nd Round – 41st Overall – Robert Hagg

Position: Defense (L)
Size: 6’2″ – 204lbs
2014-15 League: AHL
2015-16 League (Projected): AHL

Robert Hagg was drafted on the same day as Morin, and they immediately became the Flyers top two defense prospects (although Gostisbehere would join them at the top as the 2013-14 season progressed). Hagg is a smooth skating two-way defenseman who plays a laid back style of hockey. Although he seems to have some offensive skills, he rarely uses them and is yet to have a season with impressive point totals.

Hagg played for the Phantoms last season and should be called upon to take a larger role on the team next year. He earned 20 points (3G, 17A) in 69 games last season while playing in a fairly defensive role. He is shoo-in for a top four spot and could earn himself a call up to the NHL at some point during the season.

3rd Round – 72nd Overall – Tyrell Goulbourne

Position: Left Wing
Size: 5’11” – 195lbs
2014-15 League: WHL
2015-16 League (Projected): AHL

When the Flyers picked Tyrell Goulbourne, many people (myself included) were not very happy with the pick. Although I knew very little about the other players available, it was obvious that he did not possess a lot of hockey skill. Since the 2013 draft, many of my suspicions have been confirmed. Pavel Buchnevich (75th), Anthony Duclair (80th), and Oliver Bjorkstrand (89th) were all drafted after Goulbourne in the 3rd round of the 2013 draft and have become top tier prospects.

Although Goulbourne may not have the offensive upside of the players listed above, he does have some positives to his game (besides fighting). He has decent speed and penalty killing acumen, and he seems to be saying all of the right things off the ice. He will be competing for a bottom six role on the Phantoms next year and if he shows that he can be a useful bottom six forward, he may be able to find himself an NHL roster spot one day.

5th Round – 132nd Overall – Terrance Amorosa

Position: Defense (L)
Size: 6’2″ – 205lbs
2014-15 League: NCAA
2015-16 League (Projected): NCAA

Terrance Amorosa spent the season following his draft year in the USHL, earning 14 points (2G, 12A) in 50 games. His play earned him an NCAA scholarship to play at Clarkson University. Last season, his freshman year at Clarkson, Amorosa earned five points (1G, 4A) in 18 games.

In 2015-16, Amorosa will look to build upon a rocky freshman season. He has a fair amount of physical tools, but at the moment he seems to be a long shot ever enter the pro ranks. However, because he is playing in the NCAA, the Flyers have the remainder of his tenure in school to make a decision about whether or not to sign him. A lot can change in a few years, so it is still early to throw in the towel on Amorosa.

6th Round – 162nd Overall – Merrick Madsen

Position: Goalie
Size: 6’5″ – 190lbs
2014-15 League: NCAA
2015-16 League (Projected): NCAA

Like the majority of goaltenders who get drafted these days, Merrick Madsen has tremendous size. He was picked up late in the 2013 draft and played the following year in the North American Hockey League, a junior league that is one tier below the USHL. Madsen then joined Harvard for the 2014-15 season.

Madsen played behind workhorse goaltender (and Minnesota Wild prospect) Steve Michalek last season. Michalek started 37 of 38 games for Harvard, only leaving one appearance for Madsen. Michalek, however, is slated to play for the Iowa Wild of the AHL next season, which should open up some room for Madsen to get some playing time. Like Amorosa, the Flyers have plenty of time to decide on how to handle Madsen. He has plenty of tools to be a successful goalie and he should get the opportunity to play and develop over the next few seasons.

7th Round – 192nd Overall – David Drake

Position: Defense (L)
Size: 6’4″ – 181lbs
2014-15 League: NCAA
2015-16 League (Projected): NCAA

Much like Amorosa, David Drake spent the year following his draft season in the USHL, earning five assists (0 goals) through 51 games. He earned a hockey scholarship for the University of Connecticut, where he earned five points (1G, 4A) through 32 games during his freshman season. Drake will continue his collegiate career next season at the University of Connecticut.

Drake has tremendous size. As he begins to fill out his frame, it is not unreasonable that he could compete in the pro ranks, whether that be in the AHL or the NHL. However, like Amorosa, Drake will have to continue to improve his game if he wants to be considered for an entry-level contract once his collegiate career is over.


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