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Sanheim's journey lands him in Philadelphia

A glimpse of how Sanheim's journey from high in the rankings to becoming a Flyer

Saturday, 06.28.2014 / 8:17 AM / News
By Julie Bacanskas
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Sanheim\'s journey lands him in Philadelphia
A glimpse of how Sanheim\'s journey from high in the rankings to becoming a Flyer





Merely three days ago, Ron Hextall voiced his draft opinions to the media. The GM explained that in his mind, defensemen are the most valuable players in the game, which is a theory the Flyers stuck with when selecting Travis Sanheim with the 17th overall pick in this year’s draft.

“He’s got a lot of up slide, and he’s a real good skater,” said Hextall of the defenseman. “He’s a big kid and he’s got great range, and he moves the puck well.“

The 6-foot-3 defenseman from Manitoba played 67 regular season games and six playoff games this past season, his rookie year with the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL. In total, he tallied six goals and 25 assists during the 2013-2014 run.

He continued to impress after finishing with a plus-25 rating in the regular season and a plus-five rating in the playoffs, demonstrating his skills as a productive blue-liner.

MORE ON TRAVIS SANHEIM

WATCH: Sanheim meets the Philly media & explains his game
WATCH: Sanheim explains his connection to Ron Hextall
WATCH: GM Ron Hextall talks about selecting Travis Sanheim
READ: Full Press Release on Travis Sanheim

“I’m a two-way guy,” said Sanhiem when describing his game. “Pretty good skater who sees the ice really well, makes a pretty good first pass, but has the ability to jump up and rush offensively.”

In addition to playing for the Hitmen, Sanheim was also a member of the U-18 Canada World Championship team. The defenseman tallied three points and was said to be a standout on the team, ultimately earning the bronze medal in seven games.

“It’s been a crazy few months,” explained Sanheim. “I had a good second half of the year, and I was really happy to be selected to Team Canada.”

While this past year has been one filled with success for the 18 year old, his dream of being drafted was not always a reality.

Last year, Sanheim’s main focus was to make the Hitmen’s lineup. With his improvement throughout the year, not only did he accomplish that feat, but he also began to fly up the draft board over the past few months. Once listed as 167th among North American skaters, the defenseman quickly moved up to the 53rd spot by the time he was drafted.

Sanheim attributed this rise to his level of play for Team Canada, believing the tournament is where his draft stock ultimately rose.

The blue-liner’s vast improvement did not go unnoticed by the league. Sanheim had meetings with all 30 teams prior to the start of the draft, and met with Philadelphia and Hextall for an additional interview yesterday.

“Again, his path is one of those that is very intriguing,” Hextall said. “You get a kid that young and that immature and all of a sudden he skyrockets up the charts, and that was one of the things that made our decision for us.”

Hextall believes this pick will help propel the Flyers to success in the future.

“I’ve got a mental picture of the team in three or four years,” said the GM, “and I get really excited.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 48 30 14 4 156 127 64
2 NYI 46 31 14 1 151 129 63
3 DET 47 27 11 9 139 119 63
4 MTL 45 29 13 3 123 106 61
5 PIT 46 26 12 8 138 117 60
6 NYR 44 27 13 4 134 106 58
7 WSH 46 24 13 9 137 120 57
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 44 20 14 10 107 122 50
10 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
11 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
12 PHI 48 19 22 7 130 146 45
13 CBJ 45 20 22 3 113 142 43
14 NJD 47 17 22 8 107 134 42
15 CAR 46 16 25 5 98 120 37
16 BUF 47 14 30 3 89 167 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 48 17 39 10 56
C. Giroux 47 16 35 6 51
M. Streit 48 7 27 -2 34
B. Schenn 48 10 19 -4 29
W. Simmonds 48 16 12 -5 28
S. Couturier 48 10 11 0 21
M. Read 48 3 15 -8 18
M. Raffl 40 12 3 6 15
V. Lecavalier 34 7 7 -9 14
M. Del Zotto 36 3 11 -6 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 8 12 6 .920 2.46
R. Emery 8 9 1 .890 3.27
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