2020 NHL draft profile: A curious case for center Vasily Ponomaryov should intrigue Flyers


As time progresses, more questions continue to be raised about the 2020 NHL draft — from the lottery order, to where the Flyers will pick and just when the draft will be — there’s a lot of unknown territory. 

Until such things begin to be hashed out, we’ll continue to take a look at possible options the Flyers could draft at 26th overall — the current spot they are slotted to make their first selection. 

Valisy Ponomaryov

Position: Center
Height: 5-foot-10
Weight: 180
Shoots: Left
Team: Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL) 

Scouting report 

Ponomaryov is a do-it-all center who isn’t afraid to get flashy and show off his talent. There is a high level of maturity to his game at 18 years old and is more than willing to give up a shot, using his strong passing abilities to do what it takes to get his team on the board. 

The center isn’t afraid to take risks, proving to be a difficult opponent to play against. He is a strong stickhandler, is quick and smart on his skates, which makes up for his lack of physicality. That being said, he’s never be afraid to stand up for himself and teammates. 

As far as seasons leading up to a draft, Ponomaryov has an ideal performance from start to finish — even with curveballs thrown his way. When Cataractes teammate Mavrik Bourque went down due to an injury, it allowed Ponomaryov to prove his abilities. Even with an increased role, his game remained consistent through the course of those 14 games. 

Through 57 games in 2019-20 in the QMJHL, Ponomaryov finished third in points (49) with his team — tallying 18 goals and 31 assists. 

Fit for Flyers

The addition of a fearless player could prove highly beneficial for the Flyers. While always looking to improve on special teams, the kind of flashiness he possesses could elevate the power play, never knowing what tricks he could pull out. 

Ponomaryov has the potential to be a strong asset in the pipeline and elevate the level of competition among other prospects. 

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