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Oliver Moore Would Bring Speed, Two-Way Skills To Flyers At No. 7

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Oliver Moore
Oliver Moore (Photo by Rena Laverty/USNTDP)

Forever, the Flyers have had a need for speed. In this year’s draft, they have to chance to get some.

Oliver Moore, a lefty-shooting center with USA Hockey’s Team Developmental Program, might be the fastest skater in the draft. According to mock drafts, there is an excellent chance he will be available when the Flyers pick at No. 7 overall.

“His speed jumps off the page,” NHL Central Scouting’s Pat Cullen said on a recent “NHL Draft Class” podcast.

“I think he’s the fastest skater and I don’t know there’d be a lot of people that would disagree with that. The speed is one thing, but his work ethic is unbelievable.

“There’s never a game where you go and you don’t see Oliver Moore working extremely hard and it’s more noticeable because of how fast he does everything.”

Moore’s downside might be his size in a league that seems to want larger and larger guys each year. Moore is 5-foot-11 and 176 pounds. He’s average sized. He’s just not monstrous.

Two-Way Player

Moore’s speed, two-way play and offensive skills have him rated so highly.

“I think my skating ability is probably my biggest strength, separating from defensemen and using that to my advantage,” Moore told therinklive.com.

“Continuing to develop situational awareness, develop my down-low game, my defensive game, those three things are probably really the biggest [areas of improvement].”

Moore is from Mounds View, Minn., just north of the Twin Cities. He played 61 games with the U18 national team this past season and scored 31 goals and 44 assists. 

In the U18 World Championships, he scored four goals and five assists as Team USA won the gold medal. Flyers prospect Cutter Gauthier was on that gold medal-winning team.

Moore, who excelled at track growing up, said he models his game after Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin.

“He is an elite skater, is exceptional in defending the neutral zone and a great support in the defensive/offensive zone and has an underrated shot,” Austin Garret, of Smaht Scouting, said about Moore.

“My only gripe with Moore is his [penchant] for attacking the zone at his top speed at all times.”

The Mock Drafts

Mock drafts have Moore being selected right in the Flyers’ neighborhood. Adam Kimelman, of NHL.com, predicts the Flyers will pick Moore. Two other mock drafts have Moore going to Detroit at 9 and two other mocks have him going to St. Louis at 10.

Kimelman wrote about Moore: “Moore does everything at a high pace, with a skill-set that is reminiscent of Detroit Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin.

“The Flyers have talked about the need to add top-end skill to their prospect group, and Moore has the ability to be a top-six center after he develops his game at the University of Minnesota for at least one season.”

Here are Moore’s rankings by some of the draft experts:

Consolidated Ranking: 8
Elite Prospects: 6
Scott Wheeler (The Athletic): 9
The Daily Faceoff: 11
The Hockey News: 14
TSN/Bob McKenzie: 11
McKeen’s Hockey: 12
TSN/Craig Button: 14
NHL Central Scouting (North American skaters): 8
Sportsnet: 16
Draft Prospects Hockey: 20
Smart Scouting: 7

Steven Ellis, of The Daily Faceoff, wrote this about Moore: “Want a speedy, defensively reliable two-way center? Moore’s your guy.

“Some scouts I’ve talked to think Moore has some untapped potential to become one of the better players in this draft class. He’s so quick, but knows how to use his speed to his advantage as a playmaker, too.”

If Moore is available at 7, the rebuilding Flyers have a choice to make. If the Flyers select a forward over a defenseman, there will be bigger players available at 7, but none with more speed.

Previous Flyers teams were inclined to go for brawn over speed. What general manager Daniel Briere decides will be interesting to see.

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