The Philadelphia Flyers have issues. As usual,
goaltending is always a major issue with the Flyers. Ilya Bryzgalov did not
perform as well as general manager Paul Holmgren and head coach Peter
Laviolette had expected.
In addition to problems in the net, Laviolette also
has issues with his defense. National Hockey League veteran and team captain
Chris Pronger is out indefinitely with a concussion and does not appear to be
returning in the near future.
Luckily, Holmgren and his staff have a deep pool of
defenseman in the system. Players like; Erik Gustafsson, Shayne Gostisbehere,
and Brandon Manning are all highly ranked in Hockey's Future rankings.
However, the Flyers have another defenseman coming
up in the system that could really be a valuable piece to the Flyers defense.
With the 116th overall pick in the fourth
round of the NHL Entry Draft, Holmgren selected Oshawa Generals defenseman Colin
Considered a say-at-home defender, he will suit up
for his fourth season in Oshawa where will be counted on as the leader of the
The 2009-2010 season, his first season, was not a
great one. Suellentrop finished with just six points and was a minus-37, which was
the worst on the Generals. Fortunately for him, his plus/minus numbers
improved, as well as his total points.
Suellentrop is widely regarded as a rugged defensive
defenseman and is comparable to New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi. His
reach and skating ability are his biggest assets, in addition to his size.
Undoubtedly his biggest weakness is his offensive
production. In 182 Ontario Hockey League games, he only has three goals and 34
assists. Production from the blue line is very important for defenseman and
Suellentrop could improve his output this season.
The Plantation, Florida native should continue to
evolve into the stay-at-home defenseman the Philadelphia Flyers need.
In two games this season, Suellentrop has no points
and earned two penalty minutes.
If he stays the course, Suellentrop has a lot of
promise and could crack the Flyers lineup within the next couple of years.
Wednesday's edition of the Prospect Preview will
feature Chicago Blackhawks prospect Brandon Whitney.
PHOTO CREDIT: Oshawa Generals