Photo: Darrell Theriault
With the Flyers locked into picking 7 and 29 or 30 in the first round of the stacked 2015 NHL draft, it’s time to look into who might be picked if the Flyers keep the picks. Available late in the first round is a guy who likely would be a top 10-15 pick in most years, Daniel Sprong.
Sprong was a point per game player in both his age 17 and age 18 seasons which is a trait found often in most high quality NHL players. As a skilled right wing, he fits into the future as Matt Read, who due to being a 25 year old undrafted UFA when he made his debut, is getting older and turns 29 in just a couple of weeks. Given the fact he was hurt for a good portion of this season, it’s possible the Flyers could go get a right winger in this draft, especially since new coach Dave Hakstol’s system values skill heavily.
Based on Vollman’s chart, Sprong’s 1.27 Points per game combined in the regular season and playoffs in the QMJHL is good for .33 points per game in the NHL or 27 points per 82.
Based on my findings from last week, 27 points is good for a low end 2nd line wing or super high end third liner. Given he’d get some time to develop in the QMJHL before coming up, it’s very possible Sprong is a legitimate top 6 forward by his age 20 season and a top line forward by the time he hits his prime. While the Flyers are deep at right wing right now, the well can dry up very quickly, Matt Read can play LW, as evidenced by the Read-Couturier-Voracek/Simmonds unit Craig Berube used towards the end of the season and the fact that Nicolas Aube-Kubel can play center as well as right wing. Assuming for a minute Read makes the full time move to LW and Aube-Kubel is used as a center, Sprong’s RW skill becomes very useful. Having an option like Sprong gives flexibility to some versatile players like Read, Brayden Schenn and Aube-Kubel which gives Ron Hextall flexibility moving forward to fill in the gaps and bring the Flyers back to being an elite team.