If Matthew Boldy is still available at the No. 11 overall pick in the NHL draft on June 21, the Flyers figure to strongly consider the 6-foot-2, 196-pound left winger.
“When you’re picking at 11, you’re at the mercy of the teams in front of you,” said Brent Flahr, the assistant Flyers general manager who is in charge of amateur scouting. “But we’re going to get a good player. Someone is going to fall.”
Maybe even Boldy.
The Massachusetts native is one of eight first-round candidates from the United States’ National Team Development Program. He was the team’s top-scoring winger, collecting 33 goals and 81 points in 64 games.
Scouts are enthralled with his ability, but they say he needs more consistency.
“He’s a skilled kid, and he’s going to get a lot stronger and his skating is going to come,” Flahr said. “But he’s got very good hands and he can really shoot the puck. He’s got a really good game that everybody is searching for.”
Boldy, 18, who is headed to Boston College, is a strong player down low and viewed as both a scorer and highly creative play-maker with great vision. He has a big shot, and scouts say his hockey IQ is off the charts.
He’s not the fastest skater, but his speed is acceptable and he is a persistent back-checker and a sound defensive player.
The Hockey News said that in a best-case scenario, Boldy would blossom into a James Neal, who has had 11 seasons with more than 20 goals, including 40 with Pittsburgh in 2011-12.
Neal, drafted in the second round by Dallas in 2005, has 270 career goals. Yes, the Flyers would happily take that from Boldy, who is ranked between fifth and 12th overall by most reputable scouting experts.
Because there is such an emphasis on selecting centers, Boldy might slip to the 11th spot in the draft. Jack Hughes, expected to be chosen No. 1 overall, and Dylan Cozens, Alex Turcotte, Kirby Dach, Trevor Zegras, Peyton Krebs, and Alex Newhook are regarded as the top six centers in the draft.