General manager Paul Holmgren acknowledged it would have been nice to have drafted more defensemen, but he said that the team opted to take the best players available - and that, in his staff's opinion, they happened to be forwards.
Cousins, who will turn 18 next month, is a small, scrappy center who accumulated 68 points for Sault Ste. Marie in the OHL last season. The 5-foot-10, 166-pounder was drafted with one of the two picks the Flyers acquired from Columbus - Couturier was the other - in the Jeff Carter deal.
Holmgren made Cousins sound like a young Ken Linseman, a former Flyer known as an agitator.
"He's an energy player with good skills," the GM said. "He's one of those guys who get under the skin of teams a bit."
Suellentrop, 18, is a physical 6-1, 190-pound stay-at-home defenseman who also played in the OHL (Oshawa) last season.
Noebels, 19, a Germany native, is a sturdy 6-2, 195-pounder who had 54 points in 66 games with Seattle's WHL team last season.
The Flyers added more size by selecting the 6-4, 210-pound Placek. The 18-year-old had 13 points for the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut last season and will play this fall at Harvard.
The Flyers finished the draft by choosing the bruising 6-3, 226-pound Mathers. The 17-year-old had 171 penalty minutes and five points in 55 games for Peterborough of the OHL. Sounds like a future Jody Shelley.
"We got bigger, and I think we added skill and competitiveness," Holmgren said.
Now he will turn his attention to his restricted free agents - Wayne Simmonds, Jacub Voracek, Darroll Powe, Andreas Nodl, and Dan Carcillo. Holmgren will try to re-sign winger Ville Leino, who can become an unrestricted free agent on Friday, and decide whether to re-sign O'Donnell.