December 31-in-31: Philadelphia Flyers

Edric Joseph

2020-12-22

The 31-in-31 Offseason Series is an annual event here at DobberProspects! Every day in December we will be bringing you a complete breakdown of a team’s prospect depth chart, riser & fallers, and top prospect ranking. 

With a very balanced lineup and no glaring holes, prospects will have to do plenty of good with the ice time they are kindly afforded by Coach Vigneault and company. With the win-now window just opening for the Flyers, the chances to get multiple call-ups to audition for more playing time are going to be gradually tougher to come by. 

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Graduating To The NHL

Philippe Myers appears to be a frontrunner for the vacancy left by Matt Niskanen’s retirement. Failing to land that opportunity, he got along royally with Travis Sanheim. The Flyers got at least a marginally good deal signing him to the contract they did.

Joel Farabee was one of the better Flyers down the stretch, never mind young players. He did not knock it out of the park in his first season, although he sure did get on base. His hockey sense was prevalent throughout. He should do well driving the play offensively, up to his ability.

Nicholas Aube-Kubel really shined as a terrific glue guy in the games he was allotted an opportunity. While he is not a goal scorer by trade, per se, he did provide energy and excellent backup in puck scrums. To that end, he really carried the mail when aligned with Michael Raffl and Connor Bunnaman. Do not sleep on his playmaking. He is not Connor McDavid, although he can surprise some people at times.

On the Cusp

Morgan Frost really swung for it to start his NHL career, including a very memorable first career NHL goal. He managed to make a good impression, even when centering the third line and getting less cushy deployment. While he did punch himself out, he eventually regained his composure and continued to assert himself as a scoring threat. It would be a surprise to see him not make a leap to the NHL in a full-time capacity, his talent and upside demand it.

Connor Bunnaman was making for a decent fourth-line center as the season progress. He can make a marked improvements, but his chances to do so will be limited with how the depth chart has been filling up. 

Graduating from JR/NCAA to Pro

Tanner Laczynski completed a successful four-year run with Ohio State and a gold medal at the 2017 World Junior Championships. The Flyers will be paying close attention to Laczynski, as he has the makings of a good hand to have onboard, while he plays both center and wing and earns his ice-time in any area of the ice he happens to occupy.

Wade Allison could be a fun bottom-six player for the Flyers down the road. He has good wheels and can be an offensive contributor in a pinch. Those that like Wayne Simmonds’ game should appreciate Allison’s style of play.

Linus Sandin is a capable player for special teams, although he may struggle to be more than an adequate bottom-six fixture in the long-term.

Linus Hogberg was rarely out of position given his skating and can be a sneaky pickpocket with his stickhandling. He is on the slower, more scenic route to being an NHLer.

Risers

Mason Millman has been one of the unsung heroes of the Flyers pipeline. If he was in a bigger OHL market and making the same progress, there is no doubt in my mind he would be a much more coveted prospect. He truly has been making the most of his chances playing for the Saginaw Spirit and could be a decent player in the Flyers top-four down the road. If you could set him and forget him in deep leagues, you may look at him in an even more favorable light in a year or two.

Cam York delivered, despite playing through a high-ankle sprain. His season would have been better than it was had he been given a fair shake medically. He’s no Paul Coffey, although, he has a bit of Coffey in him when you see him make breakout passes.

Bobby Brink looked sharp against tougher competition than what he faced in Sioux City. He will look to build on his offensive skills and further punish opponents that don’t respect his skillset. If his skating stride was corrected, Brink would have the whip every time he got into the offensive zone with the puck on his stick.

Fallers

German Rubtsov had trouble making much headway or really making his presence felt. He has been trying to regain his on-ice confidence while on loan to the KHL.

Issac Ratcliffe is in his first taste of professional hockey. As the season progressed, he was really starting to turn a corner, until the pandemic ended the season. It is not the time to hit the panic button and move on to other options, however, his stock did take a bit of a tumble last year.

Jay O’Brien did not trainwreck last year, although, it sure was an underwhelming season. He still has the skills to be a net-positive for an NHL team, but he really has to start making noise for Boston University to keep his hopes alive. His skillset remains considerable, his the extent of his Hockey IQ remains to be seen. 

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PROSPECT DEPTH CHART 

Prospects ranked as a combination of upside and NHL ETA 

LW C RW
Matthew Strome Morgan Frost Bobby Brink
Noah Cates Connor Bunnaman Tyson Foerster
Issac Ratcliffe German Rubtsov Nicholas Aube-Kubel
David Kase Jay O’Brien Tanner Laczynski
Carson Twarynski
Mikhail Vorobyev Bryce Brodzinski
Elliot Desnoyers Nathan Noel Connor McClennon
Wade Allison
LD RD
Cam York Wyatte Wylie
Emil Andrae Ronnie Attard
Yegor Zamula Mark Friedman
Samuel Morin Reece Wilcox
G
Samuel Ersson
Felix Sandstrom
Kirill Ustimenko
Alex Lyon
Matej Tomek

TOP 20 PROSPECTS

Prospects ranked and tiered as a combination of upside and NHL likelihood 

1. Morgan Frost
2. Cam York
3. Bobby Brink

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4. Emil Andrae
5. Tyson Foerster
6. Yegor Zamula
7. Connor Bunnaman
8. Samuel Ersson
9. Wade Allison
1o. Noah Cates
11. Tanner Laczynski

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12. Issac Ratcliffe
13. Mason Millman
14. Carsen Twarynski
15. German Rubtsov

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16. David Kase
17. Ronnie Attard
18. Mark Friedman
19. Linus Hogberg
20. Jay O’Brien

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Thanks for reading! Tune in tomorrow when Kyle Watson takes a dive into the Pittsburgh Penguins prospect depth chart.

LATEST PROFILE UPDATES

Name Fantasy Upside NHL Certainty
Henrik Borgström 7.3 8.7
Boris Katchouk 6.5 6.5
Grant Mismash 4.5 5.5
Philippe Myers 4.0 7.5