Flyers Draft Options – #4 Eeli Tolvanen

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In the first installment of the potential selections for the Flyers 13th overall pick we analyzed Owen Sound center Nicholas Suzuki.  Our series assumes that the Flyers do not win the draft lottery of which there is a 2.2% chance of happening.

We are focusing on players who the Flyers have a realistic chance of selecting with the 13th pick, not dream picks who will be long gone by the time the Flyers choose.  Given that, the next player that would be a good fit for the Flyers and has a realistic likelihood of being available is Eeli Tolvanen.

Eeli Tolvanen:

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Birthday:         04/22/1999

Height:            5’10”

Weight:           179 pounds

Position:         Left Wing/Right Wing

Shoots:            Left

League:           USHL

Team:              Sioux City Musketeers

Hometown:     Vihti, Finland

2017 Stats:      Games:  52      Goals: 30        Assists: 24      Points: 54        +/-:  +18

2016 Stats:      Games:  49      Goals: 17        Assists: 21      Points: 38        +/-:  -14

Highlights:      2015/16 USHL First Team All Rookie – WJC U18 Gold Medal, Most Goals (7), WHC All Star Team, Most Goals (9), Most Points (10)

Drafted 17th overall in 2016 CHL import draft

Eeli Tolvanen is ranked by the major 5 houses from 8th to 13th.  Obviously, anything can happen and we have seen players fall unexpectedly in previous drafts.  This draft is also defense heavy in the first 20 especially.  Therefore, his being on the table when the Flyers select at 13 is very plausible.

Future Considerations – 8th

NHL Central Scouting – 9th

Mckeen’s Hockey – 9th

Hockey Prospects dot Com – 12th

ISS Hockey – 13th

Tolvanen will be heading off to Boston College for his freshman year at the end of the summer.  He will most likely be 3 years from making his professional debut if he chooses to leave college early forgoing his senior year.  He is not the largest player so having plenty of time to grow while honing his skills is a plus for him.

“”He has plenty of speed, hockey sense and intensity to complement a solid skill set and NHL-caliber release.” – Mike Morreale

For his size, Tolvanen has a deadly shot.  He gets himself in position or can carry the puck and has an NHL release with tremendous power and accuracy.

“”This goal-scoring winger is a real offensive threat…plays with speed, intensity and skills…elusive with the puck on his stick…likes to shoot and has an impressive accurate shot with an absolutely deadly release…positions himself correctly to be open for the one-timer…a smooth, agile skater and covers ground at high rates of speed in transition…quick thinker who doesn’t stop moving his feet…good speed when carrying the puck and can accelerate quickly”” – Hockey Considerations

Tolvanen can be the true sniper the Flyers sorely lack.  He is a natural goal scorer and can score on the fly unlike most of the Flyers wings – prototypical power forwards who have to get in close to convert.

He has primarily played left wing, but is versatile enough to play either wing.  He has shown a tendency to shine on the big stage.  In the U17 games in 2015 he scored 10 points in 5 games.  In the U18 in 2016 he tallied 9 points in 7 games and in the most recent U20 tournament he was again a point per game player with 6 points in 6 games for Finland.

He also lead his team in scoring this season with 54 points and was the only player on the team who was a point per game player at 1.04.  He also led them in game winning goals with 6.

He is headed off to a perennial powerhouse school in Boston College and it will be critical to see how he performs alongside and against other top players.  There is no reason to suspect that he will not continue to perform at very high levels as he continues to grow physically and as a player.

At 13 Eeli Tolvanen could be a tremendous asset to the Flyers prospect pool.

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