Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
Welcome to the Official Site of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Facebook of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Twitter of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Instagram of the Philadelphia Flyers Official LinkedIn of the Philadelphia Flyers
 

READY FOR A CLOSE UP

Flyers got to meet more than 50 draft prospects up close and personal last week

Tuesday, 06.04.2013 / 1:16 PM / News
By Anthony SanFilippo  - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter
X
Share with your Friends


READY FOR A CLOSE UP
It\u2019s all over but the shouting\u2026 and lobbying\u2026 and debating\u2026. and the organizing\u2026 and\u2026\r\n\r\nOh, who are we kidding, this is Christmas in the world of NHL scouting as teams gather their staffs for pre-draft meetings to put together their final draft board.\r\n\r\nAnd it\u2019s no different for the Flyers, who will spend the rest of this week doing just that \u2013 weighing the merits of potential draft picks against one another and deciding who they like where.\r\n\r\n\u201CWe\u2019ll work our list,\u201D said Flyers Director of Hockey Operations Chris Pryor. \u201CWe have to go through this process every year, but it\u2019s a good process to go through. We\u2019ll hash it out among the group and try and piece our list together in such a way that we draft good players on June 30.\u201D\r\n

It’s all over but the shouting… and lobbying… and debating…. and the organizing… and…

Oh, who are we kidding, this is Christmas in the world of NHL scouting as teams gather their staffs for pre-draft meetings to put together their final draft board.

And it’s no different for the Flyers, who will spend the rest of this week doing just that – weighing the merits of potential draft picks against one another and deciding who they like where.

“We’ll work our list,” said Flyers Director of Hockey Operations Chris Pryor. “We have to go through this process every year, but it’s a good process to go through. We’ll hash it out among the group and try and piece our list together in such a way that we draft good players on June 30.”

There's a pretty good chance that Flyers G.M. Paul Holmgren met the next first round pick of the organization at last week's NHL Combine.

It’s the final part of a year-long effort to identify the best draft eligible players in the world – from scouting league games, to tournaments to playoffs and eventually to the NHL combine – which ended last Saturday – teams put their draft list together much like a jigsaw puzzle.

And the combine, which was attended in Toronto by general manager Paul Holmgren, Pryor and most of the Flyers full-time scouts, was an opportunity to put the finishing touches on a year’s (and sometimes longer) worth of scouting.

“For the most part our guys have seen these players all year,” Pryor said. “You’re tying up loose ends at the Combine. Some of our guys may not have had a chance to meet these kids face-to-face maybe. You get a chance to see them on the ice and now you get a chance to talk to them and get a feel for their personality and get to ask some specific questions to ease your comfort level.

“You want to get to know the off ice personality – fill in some blanks that you have left over. It’s a good exercise to go through.”

Pryor said the Flyers interviewed about half of all of the invitees at the Combine last week between Tuesday and Thursday with Holmgren and Pryor sitting in on each interview.

Then, on Friday and Saturday, assistant strength and conditioning coach Ryan Podell got to watch the physical tests being conducted and was able to make unbiased notes about the prospects that he could then give back to the brass for further analysis.

“It’s good for Ryan to go up there without any preconceived notions because he doesn’t know any of these kids, and is able to see their strengths and weaknesses,” Pryor said. “It’s good because his expertise is in that testing area and he was able to solely focus on that for a couple days. We try to formulate a sheet on each player and check all the boxes on kids that you have interest in.”

And the Flyers, like most teams in the NHL, have a lot of players they are interested in potentially drafting.

While they won’t look at the group as a whole and compare it to another draft year, the Flyers do recognize that the depth in this draft is arguably one of the best in the last decade.

Which is why these interview sessions are important to an extent.

Some teams try to throw curve balls with certain questions at kids. Others try to put them through mind-bending tests to look for how they respond under pressure.

Not the Flyers. They might as well hold their interviews in a Starbucks, that’s how laid back they like to make it for the kids.

“We try to keep it casual,” Pryor said. “We want the kids to be casual. You’re going to ask each kid different questions based on what you already know or things you want to ask about their season. But we ry to be consistent from player to player.

From left: Neil Little, John Riley, Chris Pryor and Dennis Patterson make some last minute preparations in the team hotel in Santa Monica, California, prior to the 2010 Draft. (Flyers Photos)

“We are trying to formulate an opinion based on information you get from all the kids. It might be repetitious but your trying to be consistent and fair. For the most part the kids respond well. It’s just like having a cup of coffee and getting to know the kids you want to know more about the kids than when you came in. It can be intimidating to have a G.M. in the room but Holmgren puts them at ease and just sits back and lets the kids do the talking.”

And while the interviews are an important last stage in the scouting process, Pryor warned that the Flyers need to be careful not to put too much emphasis on an interview one way or another.

“We like the combine but the interview process is just a piece of the puzzle,” he said. “When you see a kid all year – say, 25 times as a group – you have to be a little careful to put too much stock in the combine positively or negatively – you got to be careful, even if it’s the last thing on your mind. You don’t want to be too critical of a kid because he’s shy or nervous.

“You have 30 teams, so let’s say a kid gets interviewed by 25 of them. Some teams have four or five guys present, some have 10. Some have GMs sitting in too and that’s intimidating as an adult never mind as a teenage boy. Some kids are mature at 18, but some haven’t even begun shaving yet.

“Every time you talk to a kid you learn something about him. But we’re cautious to weigh the interview too much. You are learning a little bit. You add some info into each kid’s database. But at the end of the day, you form a consensus among the group and pick some good players. Nevertheless, it’s not an exact science.”

To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or follow him on Twitter @AnthonySan37

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 82 28 58 7 86
J. Voracek 82 23 39 11 62
W. Simmonds 82 29 31 -4 60
S. Hartnell 78 20 32 11 52
M. Streit 82 10 34 3 44
B. Schenn 82 20 21 0 41
M. Read 75 22 18 -4 40
S. Couturier 82 13 26 1 39
V. Lecavalier 69 20 17 -16 37
K. Timonen 77 6 29 5 35
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 33 18 7 .917 2.50
R. Emery 9 12 2 .903 2.96
Privacy Policy | AdChoices | California Privacy Rights | Contact Us | Advertise Employment | NHL.com Terms of Use

Philadelphiaflyers.com is the official Web site of the Philadelphia Flyers. Philadelphia Flyers and philadelphiaflyers.com are trademarks of Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2014 Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.