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Potential Flyers’ Pick Ryan Leonard Compared To Tkachuk Brothers



Ryan Leonard
Ryan Leonard (Photo by Rena Laverty, USA Hockey NTDP)

The NHL Draft is a mere three days away. The Philadelphia Flyers have two first-round picks already and maybe a third if the Kevin Hayes trade they’re working on with the Blues is finalized.

To get ready for the draft, Philly Hockey Now has been publishing mock drafts for the Philadelphia Flyers’ selections at 7 and 22.

Today’s selections were made by The Hockey Writers and The Sporting News. I wrote the player comments.


The Hockey Writers (Logan Horn)

7. Flyers: Ryan Leonard, RW, USNTDP

This is a reach for an 18-year-old but it’s what happens in drafts — potential draft picks are compared to NHL players. The player(s) who compares to Leonard? The Tkachuk brothers.

That’s quite an honor, and maybe a burden, comparing Leonard to two of the NHL’s top players.

Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes said at the combine earlier this month that Leonard’s play reminds him of the Tkachuk brothers, the Panthers’ Matthew and the Senators’ Brady, with his “physical, intense play style and work ethic.”

Matthew Tkachuk was the driving force behind the Florida Panthers’ run to the Stanley Cup final — along with goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. If Florida had defeated Vegas in the final, Tkachuk was a serious contender for the Conn Smythe Trophy.

Here are some of Leonard’s rankings: 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.

While Leonard’s talent isn’t in question, his availability is. Montreal is thought to be interested in Leonard at 5, two picks before the Flyers pick at 7.

22. Flyers: Dmitri Simashev, D, Yaroslavl (MHL)

Most mock drafts don’t have Simashev still on the board at 22. He is big (6-foot-4, 200 pounds) and physical and, in time, could be a force on the blue line.

From his scouting report at Elite Prospects: “He has perfect posture, sinking deep into his stride, with ample flexibility through his hips, knees, and ankles, allowing him to generate power and agility that few can match.”

The Sporting News (Bryan Murphy)

7. Flyers: Dalibor Dvorsky, C, AIK

Dvorsky is getting more and more attention as the draft draws closer. He is viewed as a definite future NHLer, with his work ethic, shooting ability and defensive awareness.

He is viewed as a future No. 1 center, a position where the Flyers need help. The Slovakia native likely will be drafted somewhere between 6-10.

22. Flyers: Samuel Honzek, LW, Vancouver, WHL

The 6-foot-4 left winger Honzek would have trended higher but suffered a gash to his calf in December that forced him to miss nearly two months.

From his scouting report at Elite Prospects: “Rare is a shift where Honzek’s ability to protect the puck doesn’t appear. The 6-foot-4 winger gets and keeps defenders on his backcheck, using body positioning to create offense.

“But instead of just brute-forcing plays, he plays with a ton of finesse. He fakes cutbacks in one direction before going the other, turns to wait for pressure to arrive before accelerating, and combines the edges with in-motion handling to slip around defenders.”

Flyers, In Case You Missed It:

Kevin Hayes reportedly is part of trade talks involving the Flyers and Blues.

Flyers are well positioned with two first-round picks and eight other picks in a draft full of talent.

Ryan Leonard is the Flyers’ pick at 7 in these two mock drafts.

Around The National Hockey Network:

Boston Hockey Now: Milan Lucic loves Boston but will have other options as a free agent.

Buffalo Hockey Now: Sabres shifting interest to Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin?

Calgary Hockey Now: All-time Flames draft picks.

Chicago Hockey Now: Blackhawks could look to move up in draft — after taking Connor Bedard at No. 1.

Colorado Hockey Now: Avalanche make smart gamble in acquiring veteran center Ryan Johansen in exchange for the rights of Alex Galchenyuk

Detroit Hockey Now: General manager Steve Yzerman expresses concern about Wings’ trip to Sweden in November.

Los Angeles Hockey Now: Kings trade defenseman Sean Durzi to Coyotes for a 2024 second-round pick.

Montreal Hockey Now: Canadiens have options with 31st overall pick.

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Penguins president Kyle Dubas knows the 2023 draft won’t yield results for years.

Vegas Hockey Now: Guide to Golden Knights’ expiring contracts.

Washington Hockey Now: AHL coach Mitch Love eager to join Capitals.

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