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Two Mock Drafts Have Flyers Selecting Ryan Leonard At 7

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Ryan Leonard (Photo by Chris Tanouye/IIHF)
Ryan Leonard (Photo by Chris Tanouye/IIHF)

We’re closing in on Wednesday’s Day 1 of the NHL Draft. Each day, we are publishing mock drafts for the Philadelphia Flyers’ selections at No. 7 and 22.

Today’s selections were made by The Athletic and Bleacher Nation. The player comments were written by me.

The Athletic (Charlie O’Connor)

7. Flyers: Ryan Leonard, RW, USNTDP

Leonard is the forward most attached to the Flyers in mock drafts. He is one of the top forwards in the draft.

He is ranked 5 by NHL Central Scouting for North American skaters; 6 by Bob McKenzie at TSN; 6 by Sportsnet; 7 by The Daily Faceoff; 12 by Craig Button at TSN.

Leonard is physical at 6-foot, 190 pounds. He gets his nose dirty. This past season, he played 57 games and had 51 goals and 43 assists. He will join Flyers prospect Cutter Gauthier at Boston College in the fall.

It will be interesting if Leonard and Russian Matvei Michkov are on the board when the Flyers draft. Leonard seems like the safe pick while Michkov seems like a pick with a larger upside.

22. Flyers: Calum Ritchie, C, Oshawa, OHL

Ritchie is big at 6-foot-2 and 187 pounds. He has a deft passing touch, great stick-handling skills and has hockey smarts.

He started the season at No. 6 on McKenzie’s ranking, dropped to 13 at midseason and finished 21. He dealt with an injured shoulder this past season and his arm was in a sling at the NHL Combine, according to McKenzie.

Ritchie scored three goals and six assists as Canada won a bronze medal in the World Under-18 Championships in April.

NHL Central Scouting ranks Ritchie as the 13th North American skater. The Daily Faceoff’s Steven Ellis has Ritchie ranked 22nd. The Hockey News’ Tony Ferrari has Ritchie ranked 18th.

Bleacher Nation (Tab Bamford)

7. Flyers: Ryan Leonard, RW, USNTDP

22. Flyers: Tanner Molendyk, D, Saskatoon, WHL

Molendyk is only 5-foot-11 and 176 pounds — small for a defenseman. But he’s a smooth skater and thinks offense. His numbers weren’t great for the Saskatoon Blades, of the Western Hockey League. In 67 games, Molendyk scored nine goals and 28 assists, only third on his team among d-men.

Blades coach Brendan Sonne told the Saskatoon Star Phoenix about Molendyk: “There’s a couple of things we’re just trying to make sharp for him, but, man, can he skate. He’s faster. He’s bigger, too. So he kind of has it all. He plays physical. He defends. He skates. He’s got the offensive side, too.”

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Flyers, In Case You Missed It:

With the 22 pick, the Flyers have struck gold with Claude Giroux and Simon Gagne, but also failed with German Rubtsov.

GM Daniel Briere can trade up or trade down in the draft.

David Reinbacher, Dalibor Dvorsky are the Flyers’ picks at 7 in these mock drafts.

Around The National Hockey Network:

Boston Hockey Now: Check out Episode 1 of the National Hockey Now’s new podcast, with plenty of Bruins talk.

Buffalo Hockey Now: Could Bruins trade former Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark?

Calgary Hockey Now: Flames fill out coaching staff amid player turmoil.

Chicago Hockey Now: Options for Blackhawks to move up in draft.

Detroit Hockey Now: Henrik Zetterberg gets the call from another Hall of Fame.

Florida Hockey Now: A year ago, the Panthers made a good move by hiring coach Paul Maurice.

Los Angeles Hockey Now: Could Kings make a Tyler Toffoli return work?

Montreal Hockey Now: Looking at consensus rankings for Canadiens’ No. 5 overall pick.

Nashville Hockey Now: Deadline fast approaching for Predators’ restricted free agents.

New Jersey Hockey Now: Forward Eric Haula signs three-year deal with Devils.

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Some Penguins are facing uncertain futures.

San Jose Hockey Now: Patrick Marleau will be Sharks’ player development coach and hockey operations advisor.

Vegas Hockey Now: Captains elsewhere, Jack Eichel, Alex Pietrangelo fueled Golden Knights’ Stanley Cup run.

Washington Hockey Now: Ownership of Capitals, Wizards talk to Virginia officials about relocation: report.

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