Flyers Prospect Report - October

Thursday, November 3, 2016
Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey
Written by: Tim Riday - Twitter

It almost pains me to not include Travis Konecny and Ivan Provorov in a prospect report.

I’ve had the pleasure of watching both players blossom into NHL-caliber players over the past year but they’ve made it to the big time. The national spotlight is on them.

In a way, it feels like they’ve graduated. Everyone can assess them on a nightly basis now. They’ve become too big to be included among the prospects. That’s not a bad thing but I’ll miss included them greatly.

Fortunately, however, the prospect pool within the Flyers’ organization is incredibly deep (crushed that metaphor). There are plenty of other youngsters to check up on.

So, let’s see how the prospects performed in October. Here we go!

Prospect of the Month
Forward Oskar Lindblom - Sweden Brynäs IF (SHL)Acquired: 2014 fifth-round pick (138th overall)
Season Stats: 14 GP, 5 G, 10 A, 2 PIMS, Plus-7, 27 shots
Monthly Stats: 11 GP, 2 G, 8 A, 2 PIMS, Plus-5, 22 shots

How old is Lindblom again? Oh, just 20? Well, he certainly doesn't play like it.

The Swedish winger is mature beyond his years on the ice. And he's finding great success in the SHL as a youngster, mostly because of his size, strength and speed.

Lindblom currently ranks second (!) in his entire league in scoring with 15 points and is leading Brynas' offensive charge in the early going.

What's impressed most is his smarts along the boards and his will to get to the middle of the ice and in the crease. He's making major strides and is looking like a guy who sure does want to fight for an NHL job next summer.

Pro Prospects
Goaltender Anthony Stolarz - Lehigh Valley PhantomsAcquired: 2012 second-round pick (45th overall)
Season Stats: 4 GP, 2-2-0, 2.78 GAA, .915 save %
Monthly Stats: Same as above

The Phantoms need to tighten up in front of their goaltenders. Stolarz has kept the team afloat in the early going and has firmly grasped the starting role in Lehigh Valley.

Goaltender Alex Lyon - Lehigh Valley PhantomsAcquired: Signed as a free agent in 2016
Season Stats: 2 GP, 0-1-0, 4.97 GAA, .855 save &
Monthly Stats: Same as above

Lyon has struggled in his first two outings this season. That was to be expected, as the NCAA and AHL are completely different monsters. Let's not pass judgement on two appearances.

Defenseman Sam Morin - Lehigh Valley PhantomsAcquired: 2013 first-round pick (11th overall)
Season Stats: 6 GP, 0 G, 2 A, 10 PIMS, EVEN, 8 shots
Monthly Stats: Same as above

Defenseman Robert Hagg - Lehigh Valley PhantomsAcquired: 2013 second-round pick (41st overall)
Season Stats: 6 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 4 PIMS, Plus-1, 7 shots
Monthly Stats: Same as above

Defenseman Travis Sanheim - Lehigh Valley PhantomsAcquired: 2014 first-round pick (17th overall)
Season Stats: 6 GP, 0 G, 4 A, 8 PIMS, Plus-2, 14 shots
Monthly Stats: Same as above

Defenseman Reece Willcox - Lehigh Valley PhantomsAcquired: 2012 fifth-round pick (141st overall)Season Stats: 6 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 0 PIMS, Minus-2, 5 shots
Monthly Stats: Same as above

Instead of giving an assessment for each defenseman, we're going to lump Morin, Hagg, Sanheim and Willcox together.

Head coach Scott Gordon has done some tinkering with his defensive corps to start the year. It's completely understandable that they've struggled. It’s the very definition of a “work-in-progress.” In addition to first-year AHLers Sanheim and Willcox, the Phantoms also brought in veterans Will O'Neill and T.J. Brennan.

It's going to take at least a month to figure out an optimal lineup. The pairs are going to change. Don't panic. Now if we're having this discussion in a few months, that's a completely different story.

Forward Nicolas Aube-Kubel - Lehigh Valley PhantomsAcquired: 2014 second-round pick (48th overall)
Season Stats: 6 GP, 1 G, 0 A, 2 PIMS, Minus-1, 4 shots
Monthly Stats: Same as above

Aube-Kubel is going to be a prospect to keep an eye on.

The quick and skillful winger possesses great hands and was a tremendous playmaker at the junior level. Don't worry about his slow start. He has plenty of time to try to adjust to the pros.

Forward Danick Martel - Lehigh Valley PhantomsAcquired: Signed as a free agent in 2015
Season Stats: 5 GP, 3 G, 1 A, 11 PIMS, Plus-1, 8 shots
Monthly Stats: Same as above

Martel is a guy I'd like to see get a shot with the Flyers this season. He's proven, despite his size, that he can score goals in the AHL. Now it's much more difficult at the NHL level but, if he can stay healthy, why not see what he can do?

Forward Radel Fazleev - Lehigh Valley PhantomsAcquired: 2014 sixth-round pick (168th overall)
Season Stats: 6 GP, 0 G, 1 A, 6 PIMS, Plus-2, 4 shots
Monthly Stats: Same as above

Fazleev is transitioning into his first year as a professional.He plays a strong two-way game. He can provide offense when needed or shut down the other team's top line if called upon. Have some patience with Fazleev, however. It's going to take some time to adjust.

Forward Taylor Leier - Lehigh Valley PhantomsAcquired: 2012 fourth-round pick (117th overall)
Season Stats: 6 GP, 0 G, 4 A, 2 PIMS, Minus-2, 17 shots
Monthly Stats: Same as above

Leier has a stranglehold on the first call-up designation. For now.

We saw the winger get some NHL time after impressing at the AHL level in 2015-16. He was brought up with some uncertainty facing Sean Couturier for a few days already, so it's likely he'll be back with the orange and black soon.

Forward Cole Bardreau - Lehigh Valley PhantomsAcquired: Signed as free agent in 2015
Season Stats: 2 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 5 PIMS, Plus-2, 2 shots
Monthly Stats: Same as above

Bardreau is gradually working his way back from an injury that cost him training camp and the start of the AHL season. Flyers GM Ron Hextall seemed really high on the forward going into the season, so it's possible he could be a call-up option once he's back to 100 percent.

Forward Tyrell Goulbourne - Lehigh Valley PhantomsAcquired: 2013 third-round pick (72nd overall)
Season Stats: 5 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 9 PIMS, Minus-2, 3 shots
Monthly Stats: Same as above

With the depth the Phantoms have going into 2016-17, Goulbourne is going to have to find a niche (i.e. penalty killing) so he can prove he deserves to stay in the lineup. Otherwise he's going to be a fourth-line option or possibly healthy scratch most of the season.

NCAA Prospects
Goaltender Merrick Madsen - Harvard CrimsonAcquired: 2013 sixth-round pick (162nd overall)
Season Stats: 2 GP, 2-0-0, 1.01 GAA, .959 save %, 1 SO
Monthly Stats: Same as above

Madsen picked up right where he left off after an incredible sophomore campaign. In Harvard's season opener, the goalkeeper pitched a 23-save shutout against Arizona State. A night later, he turned aside 24 of 26 attempts for a second consecutive victory.

More dominance on the way? It seems likely. Don't forget, Madsen was a nominee for the Mike Richter Award in 2015-16 and was named an All-Ivy League honorable mention.

Defenseman Mark Friedman - Bowling Green FalconsAcquired: 2014 third-round pick (82nd overall)
Season Stats: 7 GP, 3 G, 2 A, 8 PIMS, Minus-3, 14 shots, 13 blocks
Monthly Stats: Same as above

The offense is coming easy to Friedman in the early going. He potted his first goal of the season on Oct. 15 against Western Michigan and had a marker in back-to-back games against Miami this past weekend.

In all, the junior defenseman has five points in his first seven games this season. The problem, however, has been Bowling Green's team defense. The Falcons have already surrendered 32 goals in just eight tilts this season. Everybody needs to tighten up in the defensive zone, Friedman included.

Defenseman David Drake - University of ConnecticutAcquired: 2013 seventh-round pick (192nd overall)
Season Stats: 5 GP, 1 G, 1 A, 2 PIMS, Plus-2, 6 shots, 6 blocks
Monthly Stats: Same as above

Drake registered both of his points in a 4-4 tie at Colgate on Oct. 14. Unfortunately, the steady sophomore blueliner was injured (hand) in a 5-2 loss to Quinnipiac on Oct. 19 and is expected to be sidelined until mid-November.

Defenseman Terrance Amorosa - Clarkson UniversityAcquired: 2013 fifth-round pick (132nd overall)
Season Stats: N/A
Monthly Stats: N/A

Amorosa has been sidelined with an undisclosed injury and has not appeared in a game yet this season for Clarkson. The good news is the junior defensemen is back skating with the team. He should be cleared to return in the coming weeks.

Forward Wade Allison - Western Michigan UniversityAcquired: 2016 second-round pick (52nd overall)
Season Stats: 6 GP, 3 G, 2 A, 2 PIMS, EVEN, 16 shots
Monthly Stats: Same as above

Boy is Allison fun to watch. The freshman winger is off to a great start at Western Michigan, too.

Allison notched a goal in his collegiate debut against Ferris State and skated away with two tallies and two helpers in a back-to-back set with Bowling Green on Oct. 14 and Oct. 15. He's firing from all angles and has no problem throwing his body around to win puck battles. He’s even contributing on special teams as all three of his goals have come on the power play.

Denver, however, did an admirable job of slowing Allison down this past weekend. He was limited to four shots on goal and no points in a pair of losses in Colorado.

CHL Prospects
Goaltender Carter Hart - Everett Silvertips (WHL)Acquired: 2016 second-round pick (48th overall)
Season Stats: 12 GP, 8-2-1, 1.97 GAA, .923 save %, 1 SO
Monthly Stats: 11 GP, 7-2-1, 1.90 GAA, .916 save &, 1 SO

Over the course of this season, you'll hear a lot that Hart was the first netminder taken in the 2016 NHL Draft.

There was a clear reason for that: He can handle a heavy workload and doesn't buckle under pressure. That’s the book on the kid.

And in October, Hart appeared in 11 tilts for Everett and posted some great numbers to go along with seven victories. He also picked up his first shutout of the year on Oct. 11, turning aside all 19 saves he faced.

Combine his fantastic 2015-16 campaign with his torrid start, and it's easy to see why Hart was selected to represent Team WHL at the 2016 Canada-Russia series, which begins Nov. 7.

Defenseman Philippe Myers - Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (QMJHL)Acquired: Signed as an undrafted free agent in the summer of 2015
Season Stats: 6 GP, 3 G, 1 A, 14 PIMS, Plus-7, 25 shots
Monthly Stats: Same as above

Myers was held off the scoresheet in his first two appearances but broke out for three goals and an assist over his next three games for Rouyn-Noranda to start the season.

Unfortunately, the towering defenseman suffered a concussion on Oct. 22 against the Saint John Sea Dogs and has been sidelined ever since.

Myers was another Flyers prospect selected to play in the Canada-Russia series but his status remains unclear. We'll continue to monitor his rehab.

Forward Samuel Dove-McFalls - Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)Acquired: 2015 fourth-round pick (98th overall)
Season Stats: 14 GP, 3 G, 4 A, 8 PIMS, Minus-3, 33 shots
Monthly Stats: 13 GP, 3 G, 4 A, 8 PIMS, Minus-3, 32 shots

Dove-McFalls isn't going to light the world on fire with his offensive ability but he's coming on strong for the Sea Dogs.

The 6-foot-1 center racked up three goals, four assists and 32 shots in 13 games in October while also playing a strong two-way game.

This is an encouraging sign after Dove-McFalls missed most of the 3015-16 tour with a serious knee injury.

Forward Pascal Laberge - Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL)Acquired: 2016 second-round pick (36th overall)
Season Stats: 7 GP, 2 G, 2 A, 4 PIMS, Minus-2, 20 shots
Monthly Stats: 6 GP, 2 G, 2 A, 4 PIMS, Minus-2, 16 shots

You hate to see a prospect miss significant time because of an unnecessary and dangerous hit but that's exactly what's happening with Laberge.

The 18-year-old was targeted earlier in October by Moncton defenseman Zachary Malatesta as he gathered a loose puck at his own blue line and was struck directly in the head. Malatesta received a five-minute major and game misconduct on the play and was immediately suspended by the QMJHL.

Laberge, unfortunately, suffered a concussion and has been closely monitored by the team since. There's still no timetable for his return.

It doesn't seem likely Laberge will be able to join Hart and Myers for the Canada-Russia series. The most frustrating thing, from the Flyers' standpoint, is the hit could have been avoided. It was just a filthy play.

Forward Carsen Twarynski - Calgary Hitmen (WHL)Acquired: 2016 third-round pick (82nd overall)
Season Stats: 9 GP, 4 G, 0 A, 20 PIMS, Minus-3
Monthly Stats: 9 GP, 4 G, 0 A, 20 PIMS, Minus-3

Twarynski hit a wall mid-month, going four consecutive tilts without a point. This past week, however, he rebounded with three goals, including the game-winner against Edmonton on Friday, in three appearances.

The Hitmen, as a team, have struggled to produce offensively over the past two seasons. They'll need Twarynski to help in that department if they want to find success.

Forward Connor Bunnaman - Kitchener Rangers (OHL)Acquired: 2016 fourth-round pick (109th overall)
Season Stats: 12 GP, 7 G, 4 A, 6 PIMS, Minus-2, 33 shots
Monthly Stats: 11 GP, 6 G, 4 A, 4 PIMS, Minus-2, 30 shots

The key for Bunnaman is to find consistency. So far this season, he's continued to be streaky when it comes to producing.

He started off on a three-game point streak (three goals, two assists), then was held off the scoresheet for a game. After that, he had three goals in two games before going scoreless in two straight. Next up, a goal and two assists in two games before another two-game pointless drought.

See where we are going? There's a lot to like about his game, so hopefully he can piece it all together moving forward.

Prospects Playing Overseas
Goaltender Felix Sandstrom - Sweden Brynäs IF (SHL)Acquired: 2015 third-round pick (70th overall)
Season Stats: 6 GP, 4-2-0, 2.69 GAA, .882 save %
Monthly Stats: 4 GP, 2-2-0, 2.75 GAA, .891 save %

Don't let Sandstrom's numbers fool you. Sure, he's allowed a few soft goals here and there, but overall he's been pretty good. Brynas has played some shaky hockey in front of him and he's bailed out his teammates or several occasions.

Don't forget, he's still an extremely young player in a tough professional environment. I think he's handling the pressure admirably.

Forward German Rubtsov - Russkie Vityazi (MHL)Acquired: 2016 first-round pick (22nd overall)
Season Stats: 15 GP, 7 G, 8 A
Monthly Stats: N/A

Maybe the MHL is a better place for Rubtsov to be playing right now anyway.

The first-round pick played eight games in the KHL for Vityaz Podolsk but received very limited ice time (some nights less than two minutes) and failed to record a point.

Since then, he's played 15 games in the top Russian junior league and has produced at a point-per-game clip. He'll also be heading over to North America soon, as he'll represent his native country in the Canada-Russia series.

Forward Mikhail Vorobyov - Salavat Yulaev (KHL)Acquired: 2015 fourth-round pick (104th overall)
Season Stats: 24 GP, 3 G, 6 A, 10 PIMS, Plus-5, 18 shots
Monthly Stats: 12 GP, 1 G, 3 A, 6 PIMS, Plus-4, 14 shots

When you're coming up in the KHL, you're gonna have to earn your ice time.

Vorobyov knows this well. He received the rookie treatment last season but is starting to set himself apart from his teammates.

His average time on ice has varied between eight minutes and 17 minutes in the early going but he's finally starting to chip in.

Forward David Kase - Piráti Chomutov (Czech)Acquired: 2015 fifth-round pick (128th overall)
Season Stats: 15 GP, 3 G, 4 A, 6 PIMS, EVEN
Monthly Stats: N/A

A promotion to the second line has done wonders for Kase, a quick and shifty skater who is elusive in tight.

He's not the biggest guy on the ice but he'll take full advantage of any opponent who gives him time and space. And he's finally earning the trust of his coaches after receiving limited ice time as a rookie. Kase shows a great willingness to improve his playmaking ability and it's evident.

Trending Up
Defenseman David Bernhardt - Djurgardens IF (SHL)Acquired: 2016 seventh-round pick (199th overall)
Season Stats: 8 GP, 1 G, 2 A, 0 PIMS, Plus-1, 9 shots
Monthly Stats: 7 GP, 1 G, 2 A, 0 PIMS, Plus-1, 8 shots

Bernhardt is an intriguing prospect. Potential to be a late-round steal? Absolutely.

The Swedish defender has bounced back and forth between Djurgardens IF and its junior squad so far this season and has impressed mightily.

Bernhardt has been given a shot to play some serious minutes with the big team over the past four games and is thriving. It should come as no surprise, either. He earned a lengthy call-up after potting four goals and eight assists in nine games at the junior level.

Forward Anthony Salinitri - Sarnia Sting (OHL)Acquired: 2016 sixth-round pick (172nd overall)
Season Stats: 13 GP, 7 G, 10 A, 2 PIMS, Minus-4, 37 shots
Monthly Stats: 12 GP, 7 G, 8 A, 0 PIMS, Minus-6, 36 shots

Who needs Travis Konecny and Pavel Zacha anyway? OK, that was a horrible take. Sarnia would love to have either of those players at its disposal.

But ... Salinitri is showing a lot of promise in the meantime. He ranks in the top three for the Sting in goals, assists and points and has turned heads with his quick hands and high hockey IQ thus far.

Perhaps his best showing came on Oct. 20, when he recorded a hat trick and an assist in a 6-1 drubbing of the Peterborough Petes.

Let's see if the kid can keep it up. He doesn't show any signs of slowing down yet as he's riding an eight-game point streak (six goals, seven assists during that span).

Forward Tanner Laczynski - Ohio State UniversityAcquired: 2016 sixth-round pick (169th overall)
Season Stats: 7 GP, 3 G, 8 A, 10 PIMS, Plus-8, 23 shots
Monthly Stats: Same as above

It's the Laczynski show at Ohio State.

The freshman forward is a big reason for the Buckeyes' 5-0-2 start to the season. He currently leads the team in assists and points through seven games and has sent 23 shots on target.

The Flyers haven't had a ton of success with late-round picks in the past but Laczynski, at just 19 years old, could prove to be a steal.

Trending Down
Goaltender Matej Tomek - University of North DakotaAcquired: 2015 third-round pick (90th overall)
Season Stats: N/A
Monthly Stats: N/A

Tomek, a sophomore, is still yet to see any ice time for North Dakota. He’s the third netminder behind junior starter Cam Johnson and senior backup Matt Hrynkiw. Barring an injury, Tomek isn’t expected to play much this season.

Goaltender Ivan Fedotov - Toros Neftekamsk (VHL)Acquired: 2015 seventh-round pick (188th overall)
Season Stats: N/A
Monthly Stats: N/A

Another Flyers goalie prospect probably chomping at the bit just to get between the pipes.

Fedotov is still waiting his turn. Toros Neftekamsk has a serious logjam in net and hasn't turned the young Russian's way yet.

Forward Cooper Marody - University of Michigan WolverinesAcquired: 2015 sixth-round pick (158th overall)
Season Stats: N/A
Monthly Stats: N/A

In case you missed it, Marody was deemed academically ineligible this semester.

The sophomore forward reportedly struggled to keep up with one class as a freshman when he had a bout with mono.

The earliest he'll be able to return is late December.

Final Thoughts
There wasn’t much negative to report this month. You’ve got to be pleased with the overall performance of the Flyers’ prospects at each level.

Sure, the Phantoms didn't’ get off to a great start but there is a big turnover on that squad. They need some time to piece together their team. Things will get better.

Injuries seemed to be worrisome storyline, however. It’s important not to rush prospects back until they are completely cleared and confident upon returning.

That’s something we’ll keep a close watch on.

And obviously it will be fun to see if Lindblom and company can sustain some early success. It just keeps getting more and more exciting to be a Flyers fan, especially with this crop of prospects coming.

Edited by: Tony Androckitis

3 comments:

perttu junnonaho said...

We must try to trade Aube-Kubel to Minnesota for big and strong left winger Greening, cause we need badly more size to our line-up and we have log-jam on right wing and cause they both are second round pick"s it would be great for us! Greening will give us more size and quality on left wing position where we are badly in need of upgrading our team!

Rudy said...

Awesome review, thank you for the hard work!

Unknown said...

perttu...lol wut?

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