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Mock Draft: Nico Hischier taken by Devils with first selection

LNH.com's Guillaume Lepage projects top 15 picks

by Guillaume Lepage / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

LNH.com staff writer Guillaume Lepage projects the top 15 selections in the 2017 NHL Draft:

1. New Jersey Devils - Nico Hischier, C, Halifax (QMJHL)

The Devils haven't selected first since moving to New Jersey in 1982 but will make the most of their opportunity by picking the most complete forward in the draft. Born in Switzerland, Hischier (6-foot-1, 176 pounds) impressed in his first season in North America with his speed and skill and will add depth at center for the Devils. His intelligence on the ice should allow him to make an impact in the NHL next season.

2. Philadelphia Flyers - Nolan Patrick, C, Brandon (WHL)

The Flyers won't complain about having Patrick fall to them at No 2. Even if he is not the greatest skater, the 6-foot-2, 198-pound center compensates for it with his ability to handle and protect the puck. His vision makes him dangerous, as evidenced by his 46 points (20 goals, 26 assists) in 33 games. The Flyers also will appreciate the toughness in his game.

3. Dallas Stars - Miro Heiskanen, D, HIFK (FIN)

The Stars are in need of a good, two-way defenseman and Heiskanen (6-0, 170) fits the bill perfectly. He opened a lot of eyes at the 2017 IIHF World Under-18 Championship with 12 points (two goals, 10 assists) in seven games and was named the tournament's best defenseman.

4. Colorado Avalanche - Casey Mittelstadt, C, Eden Prairie (HIGH-MN)

The Avalanche had the best odds to get the No. 1 pick but getting Mittelstadt at No. 4 is an outstanding consolation prize. The 6-foot, 201-pound center had 64 points (21 goals, 43 assists) in 25 games with his high school team and averaged 1.25 points per game in 24 games with Green Bay of the United States Hockey League. His best assets are his high-end agility and puck handling skills.

5. Vancouver Canucks - Gabriel Vilardi, C, Windsor (OHL)

A big forward (6-3, 201), Vilardi is not the fastest skater but has a knack for making those around him better. His work ethic, determination and touch around the net will be a welcome addition to the Canucks.

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Mock Draft: Nolan Patrick goes to Devils, Nico Hischier taken by Flyers

NHL.com's Adam Kimelman projects top 15 picks

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor Adam Kimelman projects the top 15 selections in the 2017 NHL Draft:

1. New Jersey Devils - Nolan Patrick, C, Brandon (WHL) 

The Devils get the franchise center they need to invigorate an offense that averaged 2.20 goals per game this season, third-fewest in the League. Patrick (6-foot-2, 198 pounds) played 33 games because of injuries but was 10th in the Western Hockey League at 1.39 points per game. The injuries won't prevent him from going No. 1. Scouts still remember him winning MVP of the WHL playoffs last season as a 17-year-old.

2. Philadelphia Flyers - Nico Hischier, C, Halifax (QMJHL) 

Born in Switzerland, Hischier (6-1, 176) made the move to the smaller North American ice look easy this season with 86 points (38 goals, 48 assists) in 57 games. Scouts also love his poise and willingness to play hard in all three zones.

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Mock Draft: Nolan Patrick, Nico Hischier selected 1-2

NHL.com's Mike Morreale projects top 15 picks

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

NHL.com Staff Writer Mike G. Morreale projects the top 15 selections in the 2017 NHL Draft:

1. New Jersey Devils - Nolan Patrick, C, Brandon (WHL)

Patrick (6-foot-2, 198 pounds) can do so much off the rush and has elite hockey sense. He knows how to use his size and reach, is as dangerous a passer as he is a shooter, and is projected a future top-line NHL center capable of playing all situations. He models his game after Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar.

2. Philadelphia Flyers - Nico Hischier, C, Halifax (QMJHL)

Hischier's elite skill and hockey sense is combined with a complete level that allows him to be effective in any style of game. Hischier (6-1, 176) was 10th in the QMJHL with 86 points (38 goals, 48 assists) in 57 games and was named rookie of the year and best pro prospect in the league.

3. Dallas Stars - Gabriel Vilardi, C, Windsor (OHL)

The 6-3, 201-pound right-handed shot is an excellent addition to the development pipeline. With elite hands and ability to create in traffic when nothing is available, Vilardi produced at more than a point-per-game pace with 61 points (29 goals, 32 assists) in 49 games.

4. Colorado Avalanche - Miro Heiskanen, D, HIFK (FIN)

He not only played in Liiga, Finland's top professional league, at 17, he earned key minutes on the power play and penalty kill. Heiskanen (6-0, 170), a left-handed shot, is a smooth, effortless skater with a good understanding of the game. He had 10 points (five goals, five assists) in 37 regular-season games.

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Stolarz NHL Combine experience was one of a kind

Five questions with Anthony Stolarz, who reflects on his Combine in 2012

by PhiladelphiaFlyers.com @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

No too long before being taken 45th overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft by the Flyers, Anthony Stolarz came to the NHL Combine in a position not many other prospects were in.

PhiladelphiaFlyers.com caught up with Stolarz who gives us his take from the event nearly five years ago…

WHAT'S GOING THROUGH YOUR MIND THE NIGHT BEFORE YOUR NHL COMBINE?

"I was a little nervous. It was my first experience with any of those players invited because I played in the North American Hockey League. I think I was the only player invited, so it was a little overwhelming at first. You walk in and see the testing set up and then you get your interview list. I think I interviewed with 23 or 24 teams. You're going non-stop every day."

WHAT WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECTS OF THE TESTING PHASE FOR YOU?

"It was the VO2 and the Wingate tests. You do them back-to-back and you get about a half-hour break. One is a long distance type of test and you go until you can't go anymore. I think I lasted about 8 or 9 minutes. Then the other is 30 seconds as hard as you can. There's a room set up right afterwards and there's garbage bags everywhere and a lot of guys were throwing up, so that was definitely the hardest part for me."

DID YOU KNOW ABOUT OR PREPARE FOR THAT TEST GOING IN?

"No, I didn't know it was going to be that intense. I trained for it after my season ended in April so I had two months to prepare for it, but it was more intense than I expected."

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Weal recalls his questions, famous VO2 Max Test at his Combine in 2010

Five questions with Jordan Weal, who reflects on his Combine experience

by PhiladelphiaFlyers.com @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

Jordan Weal is seven years removed from his NHL Combine, but some memories last forever. PhiladelphiaFlyers.com caught up with Weal to look back at his experience and thoughts now and then as he prepared to be drafted into the NHL.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR NHL COMBINE EXPERIENCE LOOKING BACK ON IT NOW?

"Looking back on it now. Honestly, it was kind of a whirlwind. You arrive there and see a bunch of guys that you played with and know from all over [at the hotel], then you just kind of go to bed. The next day is interview after interview - you're pretty nervous and they're asking you pretty intense questions.

Then the next day you go right into fitness testing for what felt like a whole day straight. It's a cool experience, but at the same time, I don't want to say it's overwhelming, there's just a lot going on."

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Experience at NHL Combine taught Konecny valuable life lesson

Five questions with the Flyers rookie, who reflects on his Combine experience

by PhiladelphiaFlyers.com @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

With this year's NHL Combine scheduled to take place in the next week, the Flyers staff will prepare to get a look at this year's top prospects. Having already gone through an NHL Combine, Flyers rookie Travis Konecny spoke to PhiladelphiaFlyers.com looking back on his experience at the annual event that precedes the Entry Draft.

Q: LOOKING BACK TO 2015, WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE AT THE NHL COMBINE LIKE? 

"I actually had a great experience. From what I remember, the NHL, they do their homework and they put you with someone that you're close with. I was put with my best buddy, Lawson Crouse, and I remember a couple other guys being roomed with their best buddy. So the NHL gives you the best opportunity to be relaxed and enjoy the week that you're there."

Q: WHAT WERE YOUR IMPRESSIONS OF ALL THE TESTING STATIONS, ALL THE TEAMS AND ALL PROSPECTS THERE AT ONCE?

"I remember it being very organized. You're nervous about all your interviews and meetings and things like that. I remember it being really fun actually and having the opportunity to meet new people and challenge yourself. You know you're all being judged in the same draft, so it's cool to meet all the guys you're competing against."

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WHC WRAP UP: Six Flyers win medals at World Championships

Canada settles for silver, Provorov wins bronze with Russia

by PhiladelphiaFlyers.com @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

In one of the most memorable finishes to a World Championship gold-medal game, it was Sweden who took a 2-1 shootout victory over Canada on Sunday to win their first title since 2013.

As a result, five Flyers on Team Canada: Sean Couturier, Claude Giroux, Travis Konecny, Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds all add silver medals to their international resume.

The Swedes held off a Canada rally in the third period in the win. Tampa defenseman, Victor Hedman got Sweden on the board first with a shorthanded goal in the second period, but Buffalo's Ryan O'Reilly scored the equalizer early in the third period to force overtime and the eventual shootout.

Nicklas Backstrom and Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored in the shootout, while Henrik Lundqvist stopped all four Canadian shooters to take gold. Lundqvist stopped 42 of 43 shots in the win, while Canadian goaltender, Calvin Pickard, made 40 saves in the loss.

Of the five Flyers, Giroux led with 21:55 of ice time, while Sean Couturier had 21:04 followed by rookie Travis Konecny with 16:57.

Giroux, who served as captain of Canada, ends the tournament with six points (2g-4a) and a +6 rating having appeared in all 10 games. He now adds a silver medal to go along with his gold medal in 2015 at World Championships.

Konecny recorded eight points, all assists, to go along with a +6 rating in his first World Championships. His eight assists tied for second on Team Canada and tied for fifth among all players in the tournament.

Couturier (1g-1a) and Simmonds (2a) each had two points, while Brayden Schenn's lone goal of the tournament was a game-winning tally.

Also representing Hockey Canada in the tournament were Flyers GM Ron Hextall, who served as GM for Canada in the tournament for the first time. As was also the case for Flyers head coach, Dave Hakstol, who served as an assistant coach of the tournament to Tampa's Jon Cooper.

 

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WHC UPDATE: Five Flyers, Canada to play for gold

Sweden downs Finland, 4-1, to set up gold medal Sunday

by PhiladelphiaFlyers.com @NHL / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

Trailing 2-0 after 40 minutes of play, the Canadians tallied four unanswered goals to beat Russia by a 4-2 score in the first semifinal of the 2017 IIHF World Championships in Cologne, Germany.

After Canada scored an early power-play goal in the third period to get within one, Flyers rookie Travis Konecny made a beautiful set up pass into the slot to Nathan MacKinnon, who scored the equalizer with just under five minutes to go in the game.

Konecny now has eight points, all of them assists, in the tournament thus far which is tied for the team lead in helpers (with MacKinnon) and is also tied for third among all players in the tournament.

Canada fired 38 shots on net compared to 28 from Russia, but also out-shot the Russians by a 19 to 5 margin in the third period to rally.

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WHC UPDATE: Seven in the Semis

Heated rivalries take center stage for semifinal showdowns

by PhiladelphiaFlyers.com @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

The World Championships enter the final weekend of the year and seven Flyers are in the mix for gold with three of the four countries still standing.

FINLAND IS IN

In the first Quarterfinal, USA took on Valtteri Filppula and Finland, who walked away with a 2-0 shutout victory despite being outshot, 26-20, including 12-5 in the third period. 

Filppula recorded one shot on goal, which came off a 2-on-1 rush with Sebastien Aho, but was denied by USA goaltender, Jimmy Howard. 

Harri Sateri earned his first shutout of the tournament for the Fins, while Filppula logged 17:18 of ice time in the win.

 

SWEDES BEAT THE SWISS

Finland will now take on their heated rivals in Sweden, who earned a 3-1 win over Switzerland, who went unbeaten in regulation (5-0-2) in the preliminary round.

Joining the team from his playoff exit, goaltender Henrik Lundqvist stopped 26 of 27 shots while Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander posted a goal and an assist in the victory.

The game was the only one in which no members of the Flyers were represented.

Game time between Finland and Sweden is 1:15 p.m. ET on Saturday afternoon and can been seen on the NHL Network.

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Philadelphia Flyers to Host Ice Girl Auditions

The Philadelphia Flyers will host open auditions for their 2017-18 Ice Girls on Sunday, August 6 at 2 p.m. at the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ.

by PhiladelphiaFlyers.com @NHLFlyers / http://www.philadelphiaflyers.com

The Philadelphia Flyers will host open auditions for their 2017-18 Ice Girls on Sunday, August 6 at 2 p.m. at the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ.

The club is seeking energetic candidates with a love for the game of hockey in both skating and non-skating roles on the squad. The audition process is a one-day event consisting of public speaking evaluations, individual interviews, and skating drills or dance routines, based on which role the candidate is auditioning for.

Interested candidates must be 18 years of age, have a positive and outgoing personality, possess strong interpersonal skills, have a flexible schedule that can accommodate all 2017-18 Flyers home games, and have a solid means of transportation.

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