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nhl draft analyticsNHL Draft 2019

After an exciting and highly watched Stanley Cup Finals, the 2019 NHL Draft begins Friday night in Vancouver at 8 p.m. The Flyers head into the draft holding the No. 11 pick on a night where a record number of players from the United States National Team Development Program are expected to be chosen.

So who do our Flyers beat writers think the Flyers will take? Sam Carchidi predicts the team will take left winger Matthew Boldy, calling him a "strong down-low threat." Sam Donnellon thinks the Flyers could grab center Alex Newhook, "a powerful skater with quick feet, that makes him elusive."

The NHL Draft is held over a two-day period. Round 1 will take place Friday night on NBCSN, while Rounds 2 through 7 will air on the NHL Network on Saturday beginning at 11 a.m.

It's just the fourth year NBC has offered original coverage of the NHL Draft. Prior to that, the network presented a simulcast of TSN's coverage, which while strong, had a heavy emphasis on all things Canadian. The broadcast was also occasionally glitchy, and as Awful Announcing pointed out, often awkward cut off near the end of the first round.

Since not airing on broadcast television, the NHL Draft has drawn decent television ratings in recent years. Last year, the draft drew 368,000 viewers on NBCSN, a fraction of the audience for the NFL and NBA drafts but enough to outdraw the MLB Draft on the MLB Network (297,000 viewers), according to Sports Media Watch.

In the NFL and NBA, draft picks can quickly become impact players, while MLB draft picks typically take years to move up to the big leagues. I asked both Carchidi and Donnellon where NHL draft picks fall on that scale. Here are their answers:

Carchidi: "It generally takes NHL draft picks a few years to reach the NHL. The top picks, however, usually make an impact the first season following their draft [see Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel, etc.]. "

Donnellon: "It's kind of a hybrid. Like baseball picks, NHL [prospects] can come from high school into college age, but as a general rule all but the top guys, say 1-7, will not play for the big club without first going to the minors or to college ( Egypt back to college). Last year's pick Joel Farabee [14th] went to Boston University for a season, has signed an entry contract, and has an outside chance to stick with Flyers next season. Likely he will go to the Phantoms for a year at least.

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