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2011 NHL Mock Draft: The Draft Is Relevant For The Flyers Again

Up until yesterday at about 3pm, the Philadelphia Flyers had no first round pick in tonight’s NHL draft and therefore really weren’t a part of any mocks. Then this happened and all of a sudden they hold the 8th overall pick, which was previously property of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

So the Flyers went from a bit player in the draft to a notable one and will have a chance to pick up an important contributor for down the line. In his final mock, Gare Joyce of ESPN has the Flyers taking Mark Scheifele, C, Barrie Colts (OHL). Scheifele has good size at 6-2, 182 at 18 years old. Here’s what Joyce had to say.

Look for the Flyers to target Scheifele here. He’s big — a Philly requirement — and while he may lack the high-end skill that Carter possesses, he might give the Flyers a hotter motor than Carter showed, particularly in their playoff ouster to the Bruins. Scheifele also provides the Flyers with an heir apparent to Danny Briere down the line. One alternative to Scheifele: If Strome or Zibanejad somehow slips to No. 8, the fall stops here.

Scheifele seems to have all the size, speed and skill that you look for from a top prospect. However, the one knock against him has been his consistency. Scouts say that on some nights he dominates and others he can disappear. That has led some to question his “fire.” However, in the World U-18 Championships, he seemed to answer some of those questions.

Again from ESPN’s scouting

Scout’s take: Size, speed, skill combination is very attractive, and Scheifele answered his critics with his performance at the World U-18 Championships this past April. His execution and ability to make plays at top speed makes him a potential star when he grows into his body. From the first time I watched this kid play, I felt there was something special about him and his skating. On the fourth game in four nights, he went out and showed me a true battle-level, which speaks volumes for his desire to be better.

The NHL draft begins tonight at 7pm on Versus.