We near the end of the first round with pick 29 and that pick lies in the hands of the Philadelphia Flyers. Travis Sanheim had 65 points in 67 games played. The Flyers have high hopes for Sanheim who had a great year, but he's only one of a few great defensive prospects Philly has in their system. Sam Morin, Shayne Gostisbehere, and Mark Alt all are making the defense crop very bountiful for them.
Petr Straka, Scott Loughton, and Nick Cousins are offering the physical play from the front end as they seem to fit into that Flyer kind of mentality.
They will likely graduate the top defensemen to the NHL soon and can wait for another young stud on defense develop into his body. Like the ol' saying goes: "You can't have too many good defensemen." For this reason, the Flyers select Noah Juulsen
About Noah Juulsen
What most scouts love about Juulsen is his skating ability. While not a a particularly fast skater, he just looks solid on his skates both forward and backward. He likes to direct traffic by making sure his teammates that are backchecking are picking up the correct guys so that he can concentrate on those that are closer to the net. He's a guy that thrives in a physical game and doesn't shy away from taking a hit to make the right play getting the puck to his defensive partner or up to his forwards. His poise with the puck is great and likes to let the play in front of him develop rather than rushing and forcing a pass. His hard shot from the point gets on net and creates chances for his teammates. This is identified by his 9 goals and 43 assist last season with the Everett Silvertips in the WHL. Our own Tiffany McAnnany is enamored with his ability to control the play and loves watching his skating.
Juulsen is going to need to refine his mental part of the game as well as some scouts have said that he can out-think himself when he doesn't have the puck. Ultimately this should correct itself with coaching and maturity as he develops int a potential Top-4 defenseman. He doesn't provide a lot of flash and dash, but the way this kid can compete in all situations, isn't afraid of contact, and his skating ability, he should be a solid NHL contributor.
Current Team: Everett Silvertips (WHL)
Date of Birth: April 2, 1997
Place of Birth: Abbotsford, BC (Canada)
Weight: 181 lbs.
How He'd Fit the Wild
He's a good, solid defenseman that can offer a great shot from the point and the Wild like to try and use its defensemen in the offensive zone. Problem with the current defensemen, outside of a select few (ie: Jared Spurgeon, Marco Scandella, and Matt Dumba) there really aren't many shooters that can get the puck to the net consistently. Juulsen could be a nice defensemen for added depth and one that could be a part of the next wave of defensemen that come through the ranks.
However, Minnesota should be looking for a forward in this draft and should be taking up-front talent in the first round.