The Philadelphia Flyers dealt away their first-round pick in the 2021 draft when they acquired Rasmus Ristolainen from the Buffalo Sabres on Friday.
Chuck Fletcher and his scouting staff were busy on Sunday. Jakub Voracek was dealt to Columbus in exchange for Cam Atkinson, and six new draft selections were added to the prospect pool.
It’s a diverse group — three defensemen, two forwards, and a goalie, with three players hailing from Europe and three from North America.
Here’s your introduction:
The Flyers’ 2021 Draft Class
Round 2 – No. 46 – RW Samu Tuomaala
Tuomaala drew attention at the 2021 World U18 Championship in Texas. He finished fifth overall in scoring with 11 points in seven games for Finland, and was named to the tournament all-star team.
Ranked 10th among European skaters by NHL Central Scouting, Tuomaala played mostly with U20 club for Finland’s Karpat last season. He’s expected to move up to the men’s squad full time in 2021-22.
Round 3 – No. 78 – G Aleksei Kolosov
The 19-year-old got a chance to suit up with an overmatched Belarusian team at the men’s World Championship in Latvia this spring. He recorded an .886 save percentage and 4.17 goals-against average in four appearances.
Kolosov, who checks in at 6’1″ and 185 pounds, split his season between the Belarusian league and Dinamo Minsk last season. In the KHL, his save percentage was a solid .910 and he posted a 3-5-1 record in nine appearances, with one shutout.
He’ll be back for a second KHL campaign this fall.
Round 4 – No. 110 – D Brian Zanetti
This Swiss defenseman played for his country at both the U18 and World Junior Championships last season. He plans to come to North America this fall to play with the OHL’s Peterborough Petes. Zanetti has good height at 6’2″ and shoots left.
Flyers scout Joakin Grundberg calls Zanetti a “raw kid,” who brings size and mobility. “Can be a good defender and help you with the puck,” Grundberg said.
Round 5 – No. 158 – D Ty Murchison
Selected out of the U.S. National Team Development Program, Murchison is also a left-shot defender, matching Zanetti’s height at 6’2″ and delivering more heft at 192 pounds.
The Californian also took part in the U18 tournament. He picked up one assist in five games with Team USA.
Though physicality is his calling card, Murchison is going the college route. He’ll be a freshman at Arizona State University this fall.
Round 6 – No. 174 – D Ethan Samson
Hailing from the Greater Vancouver region, Samson is a right-shot blueliner who also brings good size at 6’1″ and 180 pounds, and who doesn’t turn 18 until late August.
He played an abbreviated second season in the Western Hockey League in 2020-21. Samson collected a goal and 11 assists in 12 games with the Prince George Cougars, who are coached by former NHLer Mark Lamb.
“He’s got upside,” said Flyers scout Mark Grieg. “I think he’s got a lot of development left. He’s going to play on a good team in P.G., and for a good coach.”
Round 7 – No. 206 – C Owen McLaughlin
A Pennsylvania kid, McLaughlin mostly played high school hockey this year, leading his team at Mount St. Charles Academy in Rhode Island with 54 points in 33 games last season. He also spent some time with the U.S. National Team Development Program, playing four games with the junior squad and seven with the U18 National Team.
During the 2019-20 season, McLaughlin played three games with the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL. He’s headed back there next season, then plans to attend Penn State.
“He’s going to a good place, obviously close by here,” said Flyers assistant general manager Brent Flahr. “We’re excited to see where he can get to.”
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Cam Atkinson Acquired, Sam Morin Signed
In the midst of Day 2, Fletcher swung another significant trade when he dealt Jakub Voracek back to the Columbus Blue Jackets, the team that drafted him, in exchange for forward Cam Atkinson.
On Monday, the Flyers issued qualifying offers to four restricted free agents: goaltender Carter Hart, defenseman Travis Sanheim and forwards David Kase and Connor Bunnaman. Forward Pascal Laberge was not qualified. A second-round pick in 2016, Laberge played 14 games with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms last season, recording three goals and one assist. He now becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Also on Monday, Fletcher announced that the team has re-signed Samuel Morin to a one-year contract with a cap hit of $750,000. Originally drafted 11th overall in 2013, Morin returned to the ice last season after missing nearly two years due to multiple knee surgeries. Playing both on the wing and the blue line, the 6’6″ bruiser delivered some much-needed snarl during his 20 games with the Flyers, when he recorded one goal and 37 penalty minutes. Morin also picked up two assists and nine penalty minutes in seven AHL games with the Phantoms.
Because he has played just 29 NHL games in his career, Morin was set to become an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday. He’ll now remain Flyers property at the end of next season, as a restricted free agent with arbitration rights.