2016 NHL Draft Profile: Alexander Nylander's Stock Dropping?

It's no surprise the Flyers will look to draft a forward in June's NHL draft - likely with their first pick - as scoring is a weakness identified by general manager Ron Hextall.

With the 17th pick in the first round, the orange and black stand outside the top 14, which means they'll have to rely on their scouting department a little more, but that's OK.

In 2014, Hextall selected Travis Sanheim with the 17th pick. But sometimes a team wants to trade up and make a splash, and the Flyers do have the assets to do that.

The Flyers did that in 2011, when they obtained the No. 8 pick, which they used to select became Sean Couturier, Jake Voracek and a third-round pick that became Nick Cousins from Columbus for Jeff Carter.

A blockbuster of that proportion is highly unlikely this time around, but it's not out of the realm of possibility Hextall wants to move up for a forward come June 24 when the draft kicks off in Buffalo.

If Hextall can swing a deal to get near the top 10, a player to keep an eye on is Alexander Nylander of the Ontario Hockey League's Mississauga Steelheads.

This year's draft features plenty of strong wingers, with Nylander standing out as one of the best of the bunch. He can play either side, and he has a strong hockey pedigree.

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His father, Michael Nylander, had a very successful NHL career that spanned 20 years and even included a training camp tryout with the Flyers in 2011. His brother, William Nylander, got a taste of the NHL late this recently ended season with Toronto and might be the top prospect in the Maple Leafs' system.

And there may be just enough doubt to have him fall into the Flyers' hands.

"I try not to much to think about the draft too much," Nylander said recently.

Under Hextall, the Flyers have amassed plenty of great defensive prospects. Those assets could help the Flyers move up in the draft if they so desire. There are teams hungry for a defenseman who is either close or ready to step in right away more than a high draft pick.

One team that comes to mind is the Edmonton Oilers, who have the fourth overall pick.

Alexander Nylander is solidly build at 6-foot, 176 pounds. He can handle the physical rigors of any league, and his skating is exceptional, as he glides down the ice.

Nylander owns a rocket of a shot and led Team Sweden in scoring during the U-18 World Championship, albeit against lesser competition coupled with some mediocre periods. Now there's a slight bit of doubt that's creeped into some scouts' minds about his future.

His skillful play with the man advantage plus his solid two-way game and goal-scoring should be enough to keep him in the top 10, but he could begin to slip.

Nowadays, NHL teams draft for need and if that happens a few times before his name is expected to be called, that would not be a major shock.

It happens every year.

Many believed Ivan Provorov would be drafted higher than No. 7 last year, but he slipped right into the Flyers' hands.

Nylander is the kind of talent who can play the point on the power play, and that's pretty impressive. He understands his role in it all as he plays the point with Mississauga.

"Yes, I do that with my home team," Nylander said April 15 after Sweden beat Latvia, 4-3. "I feel confident about it. Today, it didn't really work out because Latvia did a good job of blocking shots and closing things up."

In Sweden's 4-3 win on April 15, Nylander registered a goal on three shots on net. His marker tied things up at 3-3 in the third period before Jacob Moverare won it for Sweden in OT.

"I was just hoping the pass got through," Nylander said of his goal with 19 seconds left in regulation, "and I just got the puck on the net."

He's smart and owns a great hockey IQ. As a result, he didn't sweat the details about playing in the tournament. He starred in the World Junior Championship earlier this year.

"It's sort of the same," Nylander said about the U-18 tournament and the World Junior Championship. "I haven't had to make too much of an adjustment.

"I just go out and play my game."

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