The Philadelphia Flyers traded away their first-round pick but made the most of the rest of their selections.
They drafted a variety of players, including a speedy Finnish winger in the second round, a goalie in the third round, a few mid-round defensemen, and a local product to close it out.
Let’s run through the picks and get to know a little bit about them.
2021 Philadelphia Flyers Draft Class
Samu Tuomaala – Second round (46th overall)
Team: Karpat Jr. (Finland Jr.)
Position: Right Wing
Height & Weight: 5-10, 174 lbs
Born: January 8, 2003 in Oulu, Finland
The headliner of the draft is second-round pick (46th overall) Samu Tuomaala out of Finland. The speedy right winger was ranked in the top 30 prospects by most experts, with a few having him in the top 20. Grabbing him with the 46th pick is a great value find by Chuck Fletcher and the scouting staff.
- Ranked fourth on Kärpät’s U20 team in 2020-21 with 15 goals and 16 assists in 30 games and posted 4 points (1g, 3a) in 5 playoff games. Also appeared in 5 games for their Finnish Elite League team.
- Named to the 2021 Under-18 World Junior Championship All-Star Team after ranking sixth in tournament scoring with 11 points (5g, 6a) in 7 games.
- Recorded 23 points (15g, 8a) in 40 games for Kärpät’s U20 team in 2019-20.
- Represented Team Finland at the 2019 Under-17 World Hockey Challenge where he produced 3 goals and 2 assists in 5 games.
“Obviously very excited getting him. He was rated as a first-round talent. We were able to get him in the middle of the second round, so we’re really excited about that. To us, he has elite speed and high skill. Very good shot. High-offensive upside. There’s things he’s got to work on like his overall game and obviously getting stronger. We’re really excited. We see a lot of upside there.” – Flyers Scout Joakim Grundberg
Alexei Kolosov – Third Round (78th overall)
Team: Dinamo Minsk (KHL)
Height & Weight: 6-1, 185 lbs
Born: January 4, 2002, in Minsk, Russia
The Flyers added a goalie to their prospect pool with their second pick of the draft. Alexei Kolosov joins Felix Sandstrom, Matej Tomek, and Ivan Fedotov as Flyers goalie “prospects.” Of course, the Flyers also have the young Carter Hart at the NHL level. Hart turns 23 in August.
Kolosov was ranked as the second-best European goalie in the draft. McKeen’s Hockey had him 66th overall and FCHockey had him 81st overall. Grabbing him with the 78th pick seems like a fine choice by the Flyers.
- Appeared in nine KHL games for Minsk in 2020-21 with a 3-5-1 record (2.69 GAA, .911 SV%, 1 SO).
- Spent the majority of 2020-21 suiting up for Molodechno in Belarus’ men’s league where he posted a 2.23 goals-against average and .910 save percentage across 12 games.
- Represented Belarus at the 2021 World Championship (4 GP) and helped his country earn a bronze medal at the 2020 World Junior Championship – Division 1A where he posted a 2-1-0 record (1.49 GAA, .930 SV%).
- Just the second Belarus-born goaltender to be drafted to the NHL following Kirill Ustimenko, who was a third-round pick of the Flyers in 2017 (80th overall).
“He had an opportunity to play a lot in the KHL as a young goalie, which is a rarity. Not oly play, but play well, while seeing a lot of shots in tough situations. He’s a talented guy, very athletic, and our goalie guys are confident they can mold him into an NHL goalie.” – Flyers Assistant General Manager Brent Flahr
Brian Zanetti – Fourth Round (110th overall)
Team: Lugano (Swiss Jr.)*
Height & Weight: 6-2, 176 lbs
Born: March 15, 2003 in Lugano, Switzerland
*To play for Peterborough Petes (OHL) in 2021-22
Brian Zanetti started a short run of defensemen picks by the Flyers. With their defense prospects graduating in recent years and Cam York & Egor Zamula nearing the NHL level, they needed to restock the cupboard.
The Flyers may have reached a bit for Zanetti given his 220th ranking by FCHockey.
- Recorded 9 goals and 20 assists in 41 games for Lugano in the Swiss Under-20 league.
- Represented Switzerland in the 2021 Under-18 World Junior Championship, tallying 1 assist in 5 games.
- Put up 27 points (8g, 18a) in 38 games for Lugano’s U20 team in 2019-20.
“Raw kid. We see him down the road as a D-man with size and mobility. Can be a good defender and help you with the puck.” – Flyers Scout Joakim Grundberg
Ty Murchison – Fifth Round (158th overall)
Team: US National Development Program (USHL)
Height & Weight: 6-2, 192 lbs
Born: February 2, 2003 in Corona, California
Murchison is another defenseman to add to the cupboard. He was ranked 178th by FCHockey.
- Recorded 15 points (7g, 8a) in 48 games for the U.S. National Development Under-18 Team and had 5 points (3g, 2a) in 23 games against USHL teams.
- Represented Team USA at the 2021 Under-18 World Junior Championship, picking up 1 assist in 5 games.
- Planning to attend Arizona State University in the fall.
“Ty is a good-sized defender. Played two years at the NTDP in Plymouth. Good-size. Good range. Moves real well. Plays with some aggression. That’s something that we really like. Something that we think he has a future in our organization with those attributes.” – Flyers Scout Nick Pryor
Ethan Samson – Sixth Round (174th overall)
Team: Prince George (WHL)
Height & Weight: 6-1, 180 lbs
Born: August 23, 2003 in Delta, British Columbia
Ethan Samson is the third and final defenseman drafted by the Flyers in 2021. He was ranked 160th by FCHockey and 219th by McKeen’s Hockey.
Hopefully, the Flyers can hit on one or two of Zanetti, Murchison, and Samson.
- Planning to attend Arizona State University in the fall.
- Put up 12 points (1g, 11a) in 22 games in a shortened season for the WHL.
- Appeared in 61 games for Prince George, producing 2 goals and 5 assists in 2019-20.
“Couple things that come to mind right away is that he’s got good size. He’s close to 6’2” and his frame’s going to still fill out as he’s an August birthday. He’s got some room to develop. Right-hand shot and for a D-man it’s always an asset as we find them harder to find. I think he’s got a lot of development left. He’s going to play on a good team in PG and for a good coach. He’s got upside.” – Flyers Scout Mark Greig
Owen McLaughlin – Seventh Round (206th overall)
Team: Mount St. Charles (HS – Rhode Island)
Height & Weight: 6-0, 160 lbs
Born: March 25, 2003 in Phoenixville, PA
Owen McLaughlin is from just outside Philadelphia and is committed to Penn State. He was ranked as the 119th best North American skater by NHL Central Scouting.
- Started the year playing for Mount St. Charles, posting 54 points (16g, 38a) in 33 games before playing 7 games with the U.S. National Development Under-18 Team.
- Also played for the Hill School, recording 10 goals and 17 assists in 25 games in 2019-20.
- Planning to play for Sioux City (USHL) next year… committed to Penn State University for his college hockey.
He’s a talented kid at the high school level. Obviously, he’s going to have a little bit longer path. But a highly skilled kid at that level, going to have to put on some weight and get stronger. He’s going to a good place obviously close by here, and we’re excited to see where he can get to. – Flyers Assistant General Manager Brent Flahr
Prospect rankings via Elite Prospects
Info & Quotes via Philadelphia Flyers
Photo: Heather Barry Images