First-Round Pick Travis Sanheim
Weight: 181 lbs.
Birthday: March 29, 1996 (18 years old)
Central Scouting Ranking: 53rd
Sanheim saw his stock rise the highest of any player in the draft come Friday night in Philadelphia. At the midseason Central Scouting Rankings, Sanheim came in at 167th among North American skaters and ended up at 53rd in their final rankings on April 8th. The rapid rise was largely due to an increase in playing time coupled with an increase in confidence.
The 6'3" defenseman is at his best with the puck on his stick. He can move the puck well while joining the rush as he frequently turned defense into offense in a hurry for the Calgary Hitmen. Sanheim is a good skater for his size while showing agility and long, powerful strides. The 18-year-old sees the ice well showing the ability to quarterback the power play. Defensively, Sanheim reads passing lanes well, has an active stick to disrupt the rush and possess a high hockey sense which has scouts salivating.
Despite his size, he is not an overly physical player. Sanheim is going to have to work on filling out his tall frame before making the jump to the NHL. Another knock on Sanheim is he is still a very raw player but will hone his craft more with playing time.
Fit with the Flyers:
New general manager Ron Hextall said in his introductory press conference that he has no intentions of rushing any of their prospects through the minors. They will contribute to the Flyers when they are ready. There is no reason to expect anything different with Sanheim.
While Gostisbehere, Hagg and Sanheim are all noted for their offensive abilities, that is the one area of weakness for 2013 first-round pick, Morin. If Sanheim continues to develop, he would look great on a pairing with the more physical Morin.
Championship teams are built with strong, capable defenses and that is exactly what the Flyers got when they selected Sanheim 17th overall.
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