With a recent 10 game win streak in the rear view mirror, it seems the Flyers have fallen back to reality. Although the Flyers have a good chance to make the playoffs this year, they are still a couple years out from really contending. With the influx of top prospects the team has in the system, the future is bright.
The Flyers have a league-best 9 prospects in the World Junior Championship. This includes A-type prospects like goaltender Carter Hart (Canada, 2016 2nd rounder), defenseman Phillipe Myers (pictured above, Canada, undrafted), and center German Rubstov (Russia, 2016 1st rounder). Carter Hart is Canada’s #1 goaltender and has led the nation to 3 straight wins in the 2017 World Junior Championships. Philippe Myers has 3 assists in those 3 games, including a beauty of a pass to Tyson Jost for a goal in game 1. Rubstov has been less than impressive, with 0 points in 3 games for the Russians. Perhaps the most impressive of the group have been forward Mikhail Vorobyov and goaltender Felix Sandstrom. Vorobyov has 6 assists in 3 games, tied for 3rd in points in the whole tournament thus far. Sandstrom has the highest save percentage (93.94) and lowest goals against average (1.33) in the whole tournament. Overall, the Flyers are very well represented in the tournament. Current Flyers Travis Konecny and Ivan Provorov could have also been in this tournament if they were not already on the NHL roster.
Not only are the Flyers prospects doing well at the junior level, but they are also doing good things at the professional level. The Lehigh Valley Phantoms have a few prospects that are worth mentioning, including defensemen Travis Sanheim, Sam Morin, and Robert Hagg, as well as undrafted goaltender Alex Lyon. Sanheim has been the best of the prospect bunch with 4 goals and 11 assists and a +7 rating in 30 games for the team. Morin has 2 goals and 3 assists and a less impressive -3 rating while Hagg has 2 goals and 2 assists and a +3 rating. The latter two haven’t put much up on the scoresheet and have not progressed the way GM Ron Hextall would have liked. Alex Lyon took over as starting goaltender for the Phantoms when Anthony Stolarz was moved up due to the Michal Neuvirth injury. Lyon has won 14 games for the Phantoms putting up a relatively mediocre 2.71 GAA and .908 save percentage. It will be interesting to see what the Flyers do at the end of the season when Lyon’s one-year contract runs out.
After this season, the contracts of Mark Streit, Nick Schultz, and Michael Del Zotto are up which could lead to Sanheim, Morin, and Myers being the next group of prospects to come up next year. Oskar Lindblom is a forward to be on the lookout for as he is killing it in the Swedish Hockey League for Brynas. Lindblom has 9 goals and 18 assists for 27 points in 29 games thus far. It is possible that Lindblom could make the jump to the NHL next season.
It is a very good time to be a Flyers fan. It is obvious that not all of these prospects will be successful at the NHL level, but the bevy of talent the system has is undeniable. It is exciting to find out which prospects will come up first and which will translate to good NHL talent. A little more waiting is required, unless the Flyers surprise us all with an unlikely run in the playoffs.
Image source: Letsgoflyers.netAuthor: Alex Whitney (Twitter Handle: @awhitney23 Email: email@example.com)