Flyers Qualifying Offers, AHL Phantoms Roster Update

Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Danick Martel, Nick Luukko and Petr Straka are three of several guys looking for a more prominent role with Lehigh Valley Phantoms in 2015-16.
The Philadelphia Flyers organization has been one of the busier NHL clubs both at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft and in the trade market. They've made several cap-shedding deals to give themselves more salary cap flexibility moving forward to make tomorrow's start of NHL Free Agency at noon, ET.

Believe it or not, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms roster is already starting to take shape for this upcoming fall. After the jump, a look at the Flyers' qualifying offers to restricted free agents, a recap of the Flyers' 2015 Draft Picks and recent transactions and a look at the Flyers free agents who impact the AHL level with the Phantoms roster heading into 2015-16.

Qualifying Offers

The Philadelphia Flyers had only three NHL restricted free agents to tender qualifying offers to by Monday's 5 p.m. ET deadline - that being defensemen Matt Konan and Michael Del Zotto and forward Andrew Johnston.

While there hasn't been any official word from the team, the Flyers beat writers have reported that the team has qualified Del Zotto to retain his rights while they continue to negotiate a contract extension. I can't confirm, but have been told the Flyers aren't extending qualifying offers to Konan or Johnston.

Here's what I wrote about Matt Konan back in the beginning of June in Part One of my Flyers Prospect Report:
2014-15 Regular Season AHL Stats: 3GP, 0G-0A, Even, 0 PIM
Konan missed nearly 16 months after a concussion, but was able to return to game action in April and get in a few games before the end of the regular season. He only participated in three games, but it was still a mental victory for Konan to get back on the ice. A physical stay-at-home defenseman, Konan looked solid in his own end for the most part considering how long he was out of action.  Hopefully for Konan, a pending restricted free agent, he'll be given another year to prove he's a capable defenseman at the pro level.
Here's some notes I had on Andrew Johnston in Part Two of my Flyers Prospect Report earlier this month:
2014-15 Regular Season AHL Stats: 14GP, 0G-1A, -6, 2 PIM
2014-15 Regular Season ECHL Stats: 42GP, 6G-14A, +16, 42 PIM
Johnston floated between the AHL and ECHL for the third straight season with the organization, and while he didn't necessarily look out of place during his stay in the AHL his entry level contract expires this season and he's a restricted free agent. At 23 years old with just 50 AHL games of experience, how likely is it that he will be re-signed to a two-way NHL deal this summer?
Flyers 2015 Draft Recap

The Flyers were also busy at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft in Sunrise, Florida at the BB&T Center - home of the NHL's Florida Panthers.

1st Round (7th overall): Ivan Provorov, D - 18 years old
2014-15 Season with Brandon (WHL): 60GP, 15G-46A, +36

The Flyers draft an 18-year-old defenseman with bantam hockey ties in the state of Pennsylvania back in 2012-13 (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Junior Knights). General Ron Hextall would still need to move a defenseman to fit Provorov on their NHL roster for the 2015-16, but they'll get a better look at him next week at the club's annual development camp to determine just how NHL-ready he is.

1st Round (24th overall): Travis Konecny, C - 18 years old
2014-15 Season with Ottawa 67's (OHL): 60GP, 29G-39A, -1

The Flyers traded up five picks in the first round from their pick at #29 to select Konecny, who has back-to-back point per game season in the OHL with the Ottawa 67's, leading the team in scoring in 2013-14 and second last season - a combined 138 points (54G-83A) in 123 games played. He'll likely head back to the OHL next season and isn't AHL eligible for another two years until he's 20 years old.

3rd Round (70th overall): Felix Sandstrom, G -18 years old
2014-15 Season with Brynas-Jr (Swe-Jr): 14GP, 2.63 GAA. .907 SV%

In the third round, the Flyers drafted what is widely considered as one of the top goaltending prospects in the 2015 draft - the third goaltender to be selected - in Felix Sandstrom (listed at 6-2, 192). His season was shortened due to injuries but did work his way into Sweden's Highest League for two games for his hometown Brynas IF Galve as an 18-year-old. Sandstrom is AHL-eligible as an 18-year-old because European prospects are exempt from the 20-year-old AHL minimum placed on North American hockey players playing junior hockey in Canada or in the USHL and college ranks in the United States. I'd think it's still likely Sandstrom will remain home in Galve, Sweden to play hockey in the SHL in 2015-16.

3rd Round (90th overall): Matej Tomek, G - 18 years old
2014-15 Season with Topeka RoadRunners (NAHL): 24-7-2, 1.83 GAA, .928 SV%, 6 SO

The Flyers took another top-five goalie prospect in 18-year-old Matej Tomek, who was dominant in the NAHL last season and won the league's goaltender of the year award. Tomek is committed to the University of North Dakota for his freshman season in the fall of 2015, where new Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol just left. Obviously, the two are familiar with one another right?

4th Round (98th overall): Samuel Dove-McFalls, LW - 18 years old
2014-15 Season with Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL): 66GP, 14G-20A, 73 PIM

The Flyers added a forward with size that tripled his point production from his rookie season to his second year of junior hockey last year. Another 18-year-old prospect two years from playing in the AHL, but like his peers from North America Dove-McFalls could join the Phantoms in the spring on an amateur tryout after his season in the QMJHL has ended.

4th Round (104th overall): Mikhail Vorobyov, C - 18 years old
2014-15 Season with Ufa 2 (Russia-Jr): 39GP, 8G-12A, 40 PIM

5th Round (128th overall): David Kase, RW - 18 years old
2014-15 Season with Chomutov (Czech2): 30GP-7G-7A, 10 PIM

A smallish forward playing in the Czech Republic, Kase is undersized at 5-11, 169 and certainly has some maturing to do in his game both on and off the ice - likely staying overseas to continue playing in his native country in 2015-16.

6th Round (158th overall): Cooper Marody, C - 18 years old
2014-15 Season in USHL split between two teams: 51GP, 21G-35A, 30 PIM

7th Round (188th overall): Ivan Fedotov, G - 18 years old
2014-15 Season with Nizhnekamsk-2 (RUS-Jr): 24GP, 3.30 GAA, .866 SV%

The Flyers took a third goaltender at the draft in Fedotov, a towering Russian goalie listed at 6-6, 191. With only Steve Mason and Anthony Stolarz signed through the 2015-16, building goaltending depth seemed to be the theme at the 2015 Entry Draft for the Flyers organization.

AHL Phantoms Roster Taking Shape

While the Lehigh Valley Phantoms remain without a head coach, the roster has already started taking shape. As for the AHL picture for Lehigh Valley Phantoms, here's a list of the NHL free agents who played primarily in the Phantoms in 2014-15 as well as the team's AHL free agents and players signed through next season.

In-House Free Agents

NHL UFA: Jason Akeson, Andrew Johnston, Blair Jones, Matt Konan, Oliver Lauridsen, Jay Rosehill, Zach Stortini & Rob Zepp

AHL UFA: Steven Delisle, Brett Flemming, Austin Fyten, Kevin Goumas, Brett Hextall, Darroll Powe & Martin Ouellette

Signed Through 2015-16 Season

While none of these are set in stone, it's an early look of who is signed through next season and played more than a few games at the AHL/ECHL level last season.

Goaltenders (1): Anthony Stolarz

Defensemen (8): Mark Alt, Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg, Maxim Lamarche, Nick Luukko (AHL), Brandon Manning, Christian Marti & Jesper Pettersson 

Forwards (10): Brandon Alderson, Cole Bardreau, Nick Cousins, Tyrell Goulbourne, Danick Martel, Derek Mathers, Aaron Palushaj, Scott Laughton, Taylor Leier, Petr Straka

Phantoms Roster Notes
  • As you can see, the organization is pretty set at both the NHL and AHL levels on the blue line unless there are further trades made over the summer. 
  • The forward core needs some more depth and you should see a few AHL deals coming for some bottom six depth forwards and possibly another forward or two added to two-way NHL deals for organizational depth.
  • The Phantoms could use another AHL veteran for (or two!) for depth purposes, but I'll talk more about the Phantoms' needs in my annual Free Agency Live Blog that will post in the morning.


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