Over the next few weeks heading into the 2018 NHL Draft, we will be taking a look at some of the players that the Philadelphia Flyers could potentially draft. The Flyers have two first-round picks in this year’s draft, with the 14th and 19th picks overall.
The M.O. never changes when it comes to drafting.
Take the best player available.
If Joel Farabee is still on the board when the Flyers are on the clock, it might be hard to pass him up. Farabee is an electric prospect who can play any style. The top-line winger for the USNTDP has drawn comparisons to Mikael Granlund and Jake Guentzel, and could be a key cog for the Flyers for years to come. Let’s take a closer look.
U.S. National Team Development Program (USNTDP)
Born: February 25, 2000
Cicero, New York
Weight: 164 lbs
I don’t believe in using a player’s size as a negative. The game has gotten so fast and it’s only getting faster. If a player has the tools to succeed in the NHL, take him. Let’s address the elephant in the room. Farabee needs to add on to his frame, which is really the only knock you can throw against him. If that’s the only negative, then Ron Hextall should be sprinting up to the podium to select Farabee with the 14th pick.
Farabee is as slick as they come. He’s a fantastic skater with great agility and edges, which allows him to burn defenders 1-on-1. He’s got a great first step and can torch a defenseman if given the opportunity. He has great edges, and he’s shifty enough to create space for himself to use his excellent vision to set up his teammates. His teflon nature also allows him to elude contact, but even if a defender closes the gap on him, he can rely on his low center of gravity to protect the puck.
Farabee’s skates only complement his hands and his IQ. Farabee thinks the game at a breaknecking pace. His stick skills are something to behold. He can not only slip by a defender, but he can leave them lunging at air. Because of his quick hands and skates, defenders are forced to give him a little room to respect his speed. Farabee utilizes this to his advantage with his great vision.
“I think I have a really good ability to see the ice,” Farabee told Joe Yerdon of NHL.com. “I can make plays through the neutral zone, I’m good in the [defensive] zone and create a lot of offense from that is something I do pretty well. And also being a two-way forward, I think my defensive game is pretty good along with my offensive ability, so that really helps.”
He’s almost a step ahead of everything when it comes to anticipating how a play will unfold, both with and without the puck. As well as Farabee can find an open teammate, he can also find the soft spots in the defense to set himself up for great scoring opportunities.
When it comes to his shot, there are contradicting reports. One scout said he could use some work on his shot, while another called him “one of the most lethal scorers in his draft class.” The same report also said, “Farabee already own a pro-quality shot for its accuracy, velocity and release…[and] is proficient with his backhand as he is on the forehand.” Maybe the former scout saw him on a bad day. Maybe the latter scout caught him on a good day.
Now, let’s not get too hung up on his game. Offense is great, but if a player can’t at least hold his own in the defensive zone, he’s gonna find himself out of the NHL. Thankfully, that’s one thing that Farabee does very well. In fact, one scouting report called his defensive game “very advanced for his age.” He was a key piece in the USNTDP penalty killing, and he uses his high IQ to read the play and disrupt the flow of the opposition. Farabee also shows a willingness to block shots. He never gives up on a play, which may be his biggest strength as a defensive player. He’s relentless until he gets the puck on his stick.
If all goes well for his development, Farabee should become a bonafide top-six winger in the NHL. He’s committed to Boston University, so that will help him add some needed weight onto his frame. If Hextall’s draft history tells us anything, it’s that he isn’t afraid to take a smaller player if he likes him enough (Travis Konecny, hell0).
Farabee screams “Hextall selection.” He’s a two-way player who projects to be a solid contributor in the NHL much like the other first-rounders Hextall has taken in the draft. I’ll be doing (bad) cartwheels if he’s on the stage with the Flyers’ crest on his chest.
Disclaimer: All of these scouting reports come from aggregated content from throughout the Internet. Any opinion I give is merely a combination of all the information I have gleaned while researching these players.
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)