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Flyers take seven prospects at 2012 NHL Draft

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
The Philadelphia Flyers selected seven players in total at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft held on Friday, June 22 and Saturday, June 23 at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa.

In Friday night's first round, the Flyers held the No. 20th overall pick and selected center Scott Laughton, while Saturday's rapid paced draft saw the Flyers take an additional six players, four of which were defensemen. The club's seven picks are the most since they took seven players in the 2007 Draft in Columbus, OH.

"We're happy with our draft. We stocked our cupboard a little bit in our opinion," said Flyers GM Paul Holmgren. "We got a goalie that we really like that is going to go to college… and we got a center man in the first round that we really like."

1st Round - 20th overall

2nd Round - 45th Overall
ANTHONY STOLARZ    (G-Corpus Christi, NAHL)

3rd Round - 78th Overall

4th Round - 111th Overall
FREDRIC LARSSON (D-Brynas Jr., Sweden)

4th Round - 117th Overall
TAYLOR LEIER (LW-Portland, WHL)    

5th Round - 141st Overall

7th Round - 201st Overall
VALERI VASILIEV (D-Spartak, Russian Jr.)    

FIRST ROUND – 20th overall
Scott Laughton: Center (Oshawa - Ontario Hockey League)
Born: May 30, 1994 in Oakville, ONT -- Height: 6-0 -- Weight: 177 -- Shoots: Left

Laughton ranked fifth on Oshawa with 53 points (21G-32A), and third on the team with 101 penalty minutes in 64 regular season games during the 2011-12 season. He also added five points (2G-3A) in six games during the OHL Playoffs.

"We really like Scott," said Holmgren. "I've seen him play a couple of times and he kind of reminds me a little bit of Mike Richards, a little bit of Adam Henrique; he's a good, solid, hard-nosed two-way player."

"I'm not sure of the timetable for me right now to play there, but I'm just really excited to go to an organization with such young talent and a good group of core guys. I'm really honored," said Laughton after being drafted.

After a slow start to his second season, Laughton went on to produce at over a point per-game pace since the start of December, posting 41 points and scoring 18 goals in a 39-game span.

Over two seasons in the OHL with the Generals, Laughton has totaled 33 goals and 43 assists for 76 points to go along with 159 penalty minutes in 127 games. He improved his point total by 30 points from his first season with Oshawa and combined, Laughton recorded a plus-minus rating of plus-13 in his junior career.

SECOND ROUND - 45th overall
Anthony Stolarz: Goaltender (Corpus Christi, North American Hockey League)
Born: Jan. 20, 1994 in Edison, NJ -- Height: 6-5 -- Weight: 200 -- Catches: Left

Stolarz appeared in his first season with the Corpus Christi IceRays of the NAHL where he went 23-22-4-3 with a 2.84 goals-against average and .920 save percentage to go along with three shutouts.

"Our guys are real high on him," added Holmgren. "Obviously he's a great big kid and he played a lot of games this year with his junior team in Texas and he's all set to go to college in [University of] Nebraska-Omaha where he'll get some good work in there too, so we're excited."

He appeared in 50 of the club's 60 games during the season and will play for the University of Nebraska-Omaha in 2012-13.

THIRD ROUND - 78th Overall
Shayne Gostisbehere: Defense (Union College, ECAC)
Born: Apr. 20, 1993 in Margate, FL -- Height: 5-11 -- Weight: 160 -- Shoots: Left

Gostisbehere recorded 22 points (5G-17A) appearing in all 41 games for Union College this past season, helping the team to a 26-8-7 record and reach the NCAA Frozen Four in just his first season of collegiate hockey.

"He's one of the guys that came on the radar about mid-season and started playing better and better as the year went on," said Flyers Director of Hockey Operations Chris Pryor. "Our guys in the east happened to see a lot of him down the stretch and he got better and better… He's only a freshman, so he's in a good situation."

FOURTH ROUND - 111th Overall
Fredric Larsson: Defense (Brynas Jr., Swedish Junior League)
Born: July 4, 1994 in Karlsta, SWE -- Height: 6-3 -- Weight: 172 -- Shoots: Left

Larsson is a 6'3'' defenseman who recorded four points (1G-3A) and 24 penalty minutes in 14 games for Brynas of the Swedish Junior Hockey League, which was his first season with the club.

FOURTH ROUND - 117th Overall
Taylor Leier: Left Wing (Portland, Western Hockey League)
Born: Feb. 15, 1994 in Saskatoon, Sask, CAN -- Height: 5-10 -- Weight: 174 -- Shoots: Left

Leier posted 13 goals and 24 assists for 37 points, including eight multi-point games, in his first season of major junior hockey. He appeared in all 72 games for the Winterhawks and recorded a plus-minus rating of plus-10.

He helped Portland come within one win of the WHL Championship, losing a seven-game series to the Edmonton Oil Kings. In the postseason, Leier recorded five goals and seven points in 22 games.

He is a teammate of 2011 Flyers Draft pick Marcel Noebels (4th rd - 118th) on Portland.

FIFTH ROUND - 141st Overall
Reece Willcox: Defense (Merritt, British Columbia Hockey League)
Born: Mar. 20, 1994 in Surrey, BC, CAN -- Height: 6-3 -- Weight: 184 -- Shoots: Right

A 6'3'' defenseman from Merritt of the BCHL where he posted five goals and 18 assists for 23 points in 52 games in his second season of play with Merritt.

He is committed to playing for Cornell University in 2012-13.

SEVENTH ROUND - 201st Overall
Valeri Vasiliev: Defense (Spartak, Russian Junior League)
Born: May 31 in Russia -- Height: 6-1 -- Weight: 203 -- Shoots: Left

Vasiliev is a 6'1'' defenseman who appeared in his first season with Spartak in the  Russian Junior League. He posted a goal and an assist in 18 games.
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