Flyers prime 20 prospects: Cutter Gauthier is No. 1 on 2022-23 preseason listing

September 15, 2022

For the following few days, the prospect pool of the Philadelphia Flyers will take middle stage in Voorhees, New Jersey, at rookie camp — the yearly prelude to official NHL coaching camp.

So how does mentioned prospect pool stand getting into the 2022-23 marketing campaign? That’s the place our biannual rating of the group’s prime 20 prospects is available in.

The Flyers’ prospect group isn’t as robust or as deep because it was in the course of the top of the Ron Hextall-driven retool. However a No. 5 decide — which the Flyers had in July — will go a great distance towards boosting the top-end of the pool, whilst mainstays on the listing like Cam York and Morgan Frost have lastly graduated out of rookie standing. And the group nonetheless isn’t missing for high quality depth items that ought to have lengthy NHL careers, albeit within the backside half of lineups.

As all the time, the listing was constructed on my own and The Athletic contributor Alexander Appleyard. The entire group’s gamers who retain Calder Trophy eligibility — underneath 26 years outdated and performed not more than 25 NHL video games final season (or six video games or extra in two separate seasons) — have been included within the voting course of, as we every ranked our prime 25 prospects after which mixed the 2 lists to assemble a 20-player rating.

This isn’t an goal rating of the Flyers’ prospects based mostly on a mathematical components. Alex and I used firsthand viewing, uncooked manufacturing and conversations with scouts, gamers and different hockey sources to tell our opinions. And after we differed drastically on a participant’s placement within the closing listing, we’ve once more supplied an “opposing view” to clarify the discrepancy, which hopefully sheds gentle on why our evaluations proved so distinct.

For a company in determined want of an infusion of each high-end, top-of-the-lineup expertise and higher depth at middle, Gauthier stands as a transparent “huge swing” at checking each bins.

Gauthier’s upside is immense, befitting a participant chosen with the No. 5 decide within the draft. He can shoot, he skates nicely for his measurement, he’s getting higher and higher at controlling the play down low along with his physicality and he has the type of uncooked puck expertise that make it straightforward to dream on him as a dynamic offensive weapon. Gauthier largely performed the wing for the U.S. Nationwide Workforce Improvement Program, however many scouts — together with these with the Flyers — consider he could make the full-time leap to middle, which is precisely what he’ll be doing at Boston School.

Gauthier doesn’t come with out threat. There are some respectable questions relating to his hockey sense and his capacity to complete on all of the high-difficulty performs that he makes an attempt. However even in a worst-case state of affairs, Gauthier doubtless has too many bodily items to not find yourself no less than a helpful bottom-six winger. That might be an underwhelming end result for a top-five decide, in fact, however the possibilities of Gauthier being a complete bust appear slim. And if he hits? Then, the Flyers are an enormous, robust, smooth-skating sniper of a top-six middle with respectable 1C upside. His freshman 12 months at BC ought to go a great distance towards displaying the hockey world which path Gauthier is extra prone to tread, and if he excels, he might be seeking to flip professional as quickly as subsequent spring. — Charlie O’Connor

Brink led faculty hockey in scoring final season, helped his College of Denver membership to the nationwide championship and held his personal in a short end-of-season NHL audition. He was one of many few true organizational shiny spots throughout an particularly dismal 2021-22 marketing campaign for the Flyers.

So in fact Brink needed to get harm this summer time, knocking him out for no less than half of 2022-23.

Brink’s hip surgical procedure is way from career-ending, however his timeline for return isn’t till late December, so it definitely runs the chance of spoiling his first full skilled season. It doesn’t change the truth that Brink stays one of many Flyers’ prime prospects, largely due to his offensive upside. Brink is an unorthodox proper winger; he’s undersized (5-foot-8) and has an odd skating stride that makes him extra fast than actually quick. However his mixture of elite imaginative and prescient, high-end hockey IQ and misleading tenacity has allowed him to attain at each single stage so far, and rating a ton. Brink stays a prospect with a variety of outcomes — he might find yourself being a transparent top-six winger and first playmaker on a contender’s PP1, or the NHL might show to lastly be the extent the place his bodily deficiencies show an excessive amount of to beat and he tops out as extra of a Jordan Weal-type part-time NHLer. To this point, nevertheless, all indicators are pointing to the previous being the extra doubtless end result, even when it’s removed from a assure. — O’Connor

Final season should have been a cathartic one for Zamula. After an injury-plagued 2020-21, Zamula was wonderful for the Phantoms. Over the course of the season, the left-shot blueliner was arguably their finest participant, placing up 0.5 factors per sport, only a few of which have been on the facility play, and looking out assured in all three zones when usually there was chaos unfolding round him. He additionally performed 10 video games for the Flyers, and regardless of his counting stats not leaping off the web page, the younger Russian impressed along with his poise and skill to maneuver the puck up ice, the results of which was a formidable 56.46 Anticipated Objectives For proportion at five-on-five.

Zamula is constructed for the trendy NHL. He skates nicely, has plus puck expertise, is aggressive with regards to getting up ice and appears to grasp the significance of the defensive blue line and denying clear entries. This 12 months ought to be the 12 months when the rangy defenseman establishes himself within the NHL. He’s arguably seventh on the depth chart proper now, and due to this fact solely an harm away from a full-time lineup spot. However whether or not it’s this 12 months or subsequent, Zamula is usually a good all-around second-pair defenseman before later. — Alexander Appleyard

After Foerster thrived in a 24-game stint within the AHL in the course of the pandemic-shortened 2020-21 marketing campaign, the hype prepare was in full power surrounding the 2020 first-round decide. Then, in a flip of occasions that proved par for the course within the Flyers group in the course of the 2021-22 season, harm struck Foerster and no less than quickly derailed mentioned hype.

That’s to not say 2021-22 was solely a misplaced developmental 12 months for the 20-year-old winger. He appeared in 9 AHL video games, after which after recovering from his shoulder surgical procedure, he performed in 13 OHL common season video games for the Barrie Colts and 6 playoff video games. Then, as a result of the world juniors match was pushed again to the summer time as a consequence of a COVID-19-driven postponement, he was in a position to signify Canada and impressed, ending with six factors (three objectives, three assists) in seven video games.

Nonetheless, Foerster wasn’t actually in a position to actually construct off his robust draft-plus-one season, with rehabilitation taking on the majority of his time. That ought to change this 12 months. Foerster arrived at improvement camp in wonderful form, incomes plaudits from Flyers senior adviser (and former Kings director of participant improvement) Mike O’Connell. Foerster’s shot stays top-of-the-line within the pipeline, and if his skating continues to enhance — he did appear a bit faster at improvement camp — he has the potential to become a high quality scoring winger and energy play weapon on the NHL stage. — O’Connor

The 2021-22 season was a coming-out get together for the undersized Swede. Within the Allsvenskan (Sweden’s second-tier professional league), there was an argument that the Flyers prospect was the league’s finest defenseman, and no argument that he was probably the most harmful blueliner within the league. Within the common season, he was fifth amongst defensemen with 0.81 factors per sport, and within the playoffs he led his HV71 aspect to promotion to the SHL in 2022-23 with 11 factors in 10 video games. It was one of the best ever season for a junior-aged defenseman at that stage, with Andrae now holding the all-time factors and points-per-game data.

Andrae additionally impressed on the worldwide stage, with eight factors in seven video games on the delayed world juniors, regardless of getting into the match having to beat a big layoff after he sustained a fractured forearm within the Allsvenskan playoffs. His progress away from the puck in 2021-22 was simply as spectacular as his manufacturing. The 2 main areas of concern about his sport coming into the season have been skating and determination making however now neither looks like a significant subject.

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If in 2022-23 Andrae may be one of many higher defensemen within the SHL at 20, he could be monitoring nicely to achieve his potential as a harmful No. 3 NHL defenseman. — Appleyard

Nobody can deny the power that the large Manitoban winger has. He has already confirmed he can play within the NHL. If all was even on this world, he would already be a longtime presence within the Flyers lineup offering objectives and grit within the center six.

Nevertheless, since turning professional two years in the past, he has solely performed 53 whole video games as a consequence of a litany of accidents which were horrifically timed. Final 12 months, he picked up a excessive ankle sprain in a rookie sport, missed 25 video games, after which injured his elbow simply three video games again, placing him out for an additional month. However the true kicker was that after recovering from that harm the Flyers known as him up, and in his first and solely NHL sport of the season, he suffered an MCL sprain and missed the following two months. He did return in March and performed out the ultimate few months of the Phantoms’ season injury-free, however didn’t appear fairly on the stage he had been earlier than.

Allison has an honest shot to make the Flyers out of camp, and if he can try this he ought to be third-liner proper off the bat, with the power to place up 45-50 factors per 12 months at his peak if he can keep wholesome. — Appleyard

Slowly however absolutely, Ronnie Attard is altering the minds of his remaining doubters.

A late-blooming defenseman who was handed over in two consecutive drafts earlier than lastly being chosen by the Flyers within the 2019 third spherical after a breakout 30-goal marketing campaign for the Tri-Metropolis Storm within the USHL, Attard steadily improved at Western Michigan, culminating in a stellar junior season that noticed him rating 13 objectives and rack up 36 factors in 39 video games. The 23-year-old then signed his entry-level contract after the Broncos have been eradicated from the NCAA match, and took his distinctive model of play to the NHL.

At first, Attard struggled with the transition. Whereas his measurement (6-foot-3, 207 kilos) and physicality have been instantly obvious, Attard made far too many defensive errors — largely centered round over-aggressive reads with out the puck — and appeared removed from prepared for the NHL. However after about eight video games, it began to click on for him. Instantly, his aggressiveness was killing performs by the opposition, not extending them. In reality, over Attard’s closing eight video games with the Flyers, he posted a stellar 61.2 p.c anticipated objectives share at five-on-five, and even acquired a glance on the highest pair alongside Ivan Provorov.

Attard continues to be a protracted shot to make the large membership out of camp, given that each one of Tony DeAngelo, Rasmus Ristolainen and Justin Braun stay forward of him on the best aspect defensive depth chart (to not point out Ryan Ellis if he returns to well being). However Attard confirmed in his 15-game NHL stint on the finish of 2021-22 that he can maintain his personal on the prime stage, and maybe do much more than that. Second pair upside is definitely not out of the query for him. — O’Connor

Talking of those that impressed of their NHL debuts, there was no higher performing Flyers prospect in the course of the late-season auditions than Noah Cates.

It’s not that Cates’ inventory had dropped over the course of his 4 years at Minnesota-Duluth, but it surely’s truthful to say that by the top of his faculty profession, it had in all probability stagnated. After practically reaching point-per-game standing as a sophomore, his scoring charges dipped as a junior (0.68 factors per sport) and a senior (0.65). Those that watched him on a constant foundation contended that it was largely the Bulldogs’ stingy system that had prompted the dip in Cates’ manufacturing, and he remained a favourite of scouts. However even future NHL bottom-sixers are likely to have higher collegiate manufacturing than Cates had in his closing two seasons, so it’s comprehensible that some cooled on him.

That modified as soon as Cates turned professional and made his NHL debut. From his very first sport, Cates popped, wanting far faster than he had in previous improvement camps and bettering each line that he skated on. Not solely did the offensive manufacturing instantly emerge — 9 factors in 16 video games — he additionally shortly established himself as one of many Flyers’ finest play-driving forwards, posting a stellar 58.18 p.c anticipated objectives for share at five-on-five (per Evolving-Hockey). That wasn’t merely one of the best amongst Flyers rookies — it was one of the best fee on the Flyers, interval.

The 23-year-old winger enters coaching camp as one of many favorites to earn a lineup spot. He gained’t be handed a job, but when he performs wherever close to in addition to he did in March and April for the Flyers, it is going to be practically not possible for the teaching employees to ship him to Lehigh Valley. — O’Connor

The gifted Swedish goalie had a particularly robust 2021-22 season, arguably dealing with “true adversity” for the primary time in his skilled profession. Within the earlier three seasons, the person from Falun had been one of the best goalie within the Allsvenskan, top-of-the-line goalies within the SHL, lit up the world juniors after which made his senior worldwide debut for Sweden. All whereas just about by no means lacking a sport via harm and consistently progressing technically.

However after making his approach to North America and looking out the half in preseason and the primary few video games for the Phantoms, Ersson’s season was a nightmare. In simply his third sport of the season, he suffered a groin harm, sat out for six weeks, got here again and needed to go away his first sport again, then missed one other six weeks earlier than precisely the identical factor occurred once more in early February. He has not performed a sport since and had surgical procedure on his groin within the meantime.

Maybe these points at the moment are totally resolved. Ersson is one of the best goalie prospect the Flyers have, with no actual weaknesses technically or athletically. If he can keep wholesome he ought to be pushing for NHL video games this season. — Appleyard

Opposing view: Ersson stays an thrilling goalie prospect, and particularly given the uncertainty surrounding Ivan Fedotov, he’s clearly the best upside netminder within the Flyers’ system after Carter Hart. However due to his injury-plagued 2021-22, it’s nonetheless unclear how his sport will translate to North America. He definitely has the expertise to thrive right here, and even take a run at establishing himself because the long-term backup to Hart. However given the unpredictability of goalie prospects, I’m taking a bit extra of a “wait and see” strategy to Ersson, and that simply barely retains him out of my prime 10 — for now. — O’Connor

Ever since being drafted within the fifth spherical of the 2020 draft, the Quebecois middle/winger’s inventory has been rising. After an important 2020-21 season throughout which he posted 1.32 factors per sport, he took one other step ahead in 2021-22, as he was named Halifax Mooseheads captain, ended the season seventh within the QMJHL in objectives and performed on this planet juniors for Canada, coming away with a gold medal. In his final 103 video games within the QMJHL, Desnoyers has amassed 64 objectives and 146 factors.

His trajectory is clearly that of an NHLer, and whereas his offensive chops are extraordinarily spectacular, it’s price noting that there’s far, way more to his sport than that. He’s a diligent defensive participant who performs each shift like it’s his final, and on the QMJHL stage might in all probability have produced much more if he weren’t so accountable. Desnoyers can also be a wonderful penalty killer who led the league in shorthanded objectives final 12 months with 5.

Desnoyers turns professional this 12 months, so search for him to work his manner into the Phantoms’ prime six shortly and supply influence in all three zones. He might be an NHL third-liner inside the subsequent couple of years, with an out of doors probability of top-six potential. — Appleyard

Cease me in case you’ve heard this one earlier than: right here’s a promising Flyers prospect whose 2021-22 marketing campaign was torpedoed by harm.

In Knowledge’s case, it was summer time shoulder surgical procedure that ruined his 12 months earlier than it even actually had an opportunity to begin. As a result of he missed the majority of the season’s first three months whereas rehabbing, the Flyers selected to ship him again to Kingston within the OHL, quite than give him a second 12 months within the AHL, the place he had impressed a lot in 2020-21 as an 18-year-old. It was the best transfer — Knowledge wasn’t himself for the majority of his OHL marketing campaign, as he performed himself into midseason conditioning and battled with the psychological hurdles of his shoulder subject. His manufacturing (38 factors in 43 video games) wasn’t essentially unhealthy, however provided that he racked up 18 in 28 video games in a far superior league the 12 months earlier than, it was completely a disappointment.

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Knowledge rounded again into kind by the top of the OHL common season, and by his personal admission, felt fully again to his outdated self by the playoffs. Regardless of final season not being an particularly constructive one from a developmental standpoint, Knowledge stays a prospect with clear-cut NHL bottom-sixer upside, and has the potential to be a fan favourite given his chippy model and outgoing character. He’ll doubtless want a pair seasons within the AHL to completely adapt to the tempo of the professional sport, but when he picks up proper the place he left off in 2020-21 in that very same league, it’s not out of the realm of risk that he places himself on a sooner observe. — O’Connor

When Tanner Laczynski signed his entry-level contract in the course of the summer time of 2020, there was each motive to consider he might be fast-tracked to the NHL. In any case, he had spent 4 years in faculty, performed a pro-style sport and had positional versatility going for him. Except for some considerations relating to his skating capacity and whether or not he would have the ability to sustain with the tempo of the professional sport, he was about as near a plug-in-and-play prospect because the Flyers had.

Two hip surgical procedures later, and Laczynski continues to be ready to determine himself as a full-time NHLer.

Laczynski was in a position to return for the conclusion of the 2021-22 marketing campaign, and even acquired a one-game look-see on the NHL stage. However it was clear he was not but at one hundred pc within the wake of his second surgical procedure. As an alternative, he was largely simply looking for his bearings, scoring 17 factors in 28 video games with the Phantoms within the course of. Now, after a completely wholesome summer time, Laczynski returns with a watch on incomes that long-awaited NHL job. The skating considerations stay, and it’s truthful to fret that the surgical procedures might have sapped his velocity much more. However the strengths of his sport — hockey sense, forechecking, dedication to two-way play — haven’t disappeared, and there’s nonetheless a high quality bottom-six Swiss Military knife (and even perhaps a middle-sixer) in there. At 25, it’s Laczynski’s time to determine himself. — O’Connor

O’Brien’s inventory as a prospect cratered over the course of his first two post-draft seasons, first struggling mightily at Windfall School after which not dominating within the BCHL as a lot as one would anticipate a 20-year-old first-round decide to do. O’Brien has definitely rebuilt a few of his inventory at Boston College, nevertheless. For the second straight 12 months, O’Brien was considered one of their higher forwards, practically cracking the point-per-game mark (22 factors in 24 video games).

The dream of O’Brien rising as a clear-cut top-six NHL ahead has largely dissipated. However given his bodily instruments and tenacity, O’Brien has high quality bottom-sixer potential. Now, he merely has to persuade the Flyers that he ought to be chasing down that purpose of their group, as he’s but to earn an entry-level contract from the membership. On condition that that is his senior season, he must ship a standout marketing campaign as a way to nail down that ELC and switch professional in 2023-24. — O’Connor

The New Jersey native was taken with the Flyers’ third-round decide (69th total) this summer time, however definitely has a expertise stage increased than his draft spot. Huge, sensible, expert and skater for his measurement — that mixture is often one which means a participant is a assured top-40 decide. Nevertheless, Kaplan was buried on the U.S. NTDP’s third and fourth traces for many of the season, and in consequence his uncooked numbers have been negatively impacted, which definitely affected his draft slot. He nonetheless managed to attain at a point-per-game tempo on the U18 WJC, although, and was nearly PPG in his USHL outings.

His transition sport is a pleasure to observe, and his hockey IQ is high-end, particularly with regards to playmaking. He additionally makes use of his measurement nicely to be a demon on the forecheck in addition to an actual constructive defensively. Additionally, for a participant who’s 6-foot-3, he’s extraordinarily agile, with above-average velocity.

He’ll play for Boston College for the foreseeable future, and whereas within the NCAA wants to enhance his shot and be extra aggressive within the offensive zone when it comes to attending to scoring spots. If he can try this? He will likely be a sure-fire middle-six winger within the NHL someday, with second-line upside. — Appleyard

Opposing view: Kaplan definitely has the bodily instruments to be a high quality NHLer, and he flashes high-end playmaking at occasions. However his short-area skating is a priority and might want to enhance dramatically as a way to him to succeed on the professional stage. Kaplan has greater than sufficient time to bulk up bodily and add extra quickness to his repertoire; he’ll spend a number of seasons in faculty probably. However Kaplan will keep comparatively low in my rankings till tangible manufacturing emerges, and he establishes himself as a go-to offensive choice at BU. — O’Connor

Heading into the offseason, Ivan Fedotov was the clear favourite to win the backup netminder job in Philadelphia for 2022-23. Whereas he would have no less than needed to win a contest towards Felix Sandström, Fedotov’s latest observe file — a stellar efficiency on the Olympics and a .937 save proportion whereas main CSKA Moskva to the KHL title — would have made him the chalk decide to nab the help function behind Carter Hart.

Now his future — each hockey and in any other case — is in severe query.

Fedotov was taken into custody this summer time whereas coaching in Russia, and whereas particulars relating to his location and standing are restricted, on the very least, it’s unlikely he’ll have the ability to relocate to the USA and start his North American professional profession in 2022-23. The political scenario in Russia clearly complicates Fedotov’s makes an attempt to maneuver to the NHL, and there’s little readability on when that will likely be resolved. Purely as a prospect, Fedotov doubtless deserves to be increased on this listing than fifteenth — his measurement (6-foot-7), latest development and apparent expertise make him top-of-the-line younger netminders within the group, and given his age (25) and intensive KHL expertise, there’s little concern about his bodily readiness for the North American professional sport. However the uncertainty relating to his future can’t be ignored, although all ought to be hoping that Fedotov is ready to pursue his NHL dream sooner or later. — O’Connor

Opposing view: There isn’t a doubt in my thoughts that Fedotov couldn’t solely be a stable NHL backup proper now, however that he might have come over final 12 months and held his personal behind Hart. The mix of measurement, athleticism and technical capacity that the large Russian possesses, mixed along with his immense stage of consistency during the last three years, culminated in a implausible 2021-22 season the place he staked a robust declare to being one of the best goalie on earth not within the NHL. On the finish of the season, his trophy cupboard was bursting as he was named one of the best goalie within the KHL, made the KHL first all-star staff, backstopped CSKA to the KHL championship and picked up a silver medal within the Olympics for Russia as their starter.

On paper, with solely pure hockey issues in thoughts? He might in all probability stake a robust declare to being a prime 10 prospect for the Flyers. However it can’t be ignored that it’s unclear whether or not the behemoth goalie will even be allowed to play hockey in Russia in 2022-23. The preliminary listening to for his navy evasion case is scheduled for Sept. 20, along with his attorneys in search of to persuade the court docket to invalidate the navy call-up he acquired. Possibly issues will likely be clearer then. However in the meanwhile, Fedotov’s solely “contract” is with the armed forces of the Russian Federation, and it’s a matter of “if” and never “when” as to his arrival date in North America. — Appleyard

It’s not an exaggeration to name 2021-22 a catastrophe for the shoot-first Finnish winger. Throughout three groups, in two leagues, on two totally different continents, he posted only one purpose and three factors in 22 video games, and was an everyday wholesome scratch for every staff he was on. The consequence was that he missed out on choice for the Finnish World Junior staff, after being a mainstay top-line participant on the U17 and U18 stage for his nation, and main considerations have been raised from a variety of sources about his future on the highest ranges {of professional} hockey.

Now, it’s price remembering that Tuomaala is simply 19, and has some fantastic instruments at his disposal. Only a few gamers have the mix of velocity and shot that he has. However in 2022-23 — the place he will likely be taking part in in Liiga for Jukerit — he must discover ways to use his instruments and assume the sport at a professional stage, as far an excessive amount of of his professional profession thus far he has been both behind or forward of the play, within the improper spots and the improper occasions wanting misplaced on the ice.

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His upside is that of a second-line NHLer, however he has a protracted approach to go to get there. — Appleyard

Olle Lycksell is a reputation that many Flyers followers who usually are not “die-hard” would possibly nonetheless not know. However by the top of 2022-23, you’ll be able to financial institution on everybody realizing the 23-year-old winger’s identify. This 12 months, he’ll lastly make the transition to the AHL with the Phantoms and is a stable wager to be a “breakout” sort of participant.

The explanation? Final season he already performed a top-six function within the SHL, posting 51 factors in 59 video games throughout the common season, playoffs and the Champions Hockey League, so he clearly is aware of tips on how to succeed on the professional stage. Moreover, his talent set is one which on paper appears very conducive to success on smaller ice. He’s a plus defensive participant, an important skater and extremely expert, particularly within the ”small” areas. And perhaps most significantly? Only a few gamers have extra swagger on ice than him. Lycksell has performed 5 professional seasons and has ironed out just about all of the “flaws” in his sport over that point. It would take a while for Lycksell to comprehend which performs he can and might’t make on smaller ice with much less time, however when he does search for him to be on the sharp finish of Phantoms manufacturing, and prepared for an NHL bottom-six function doubtlessly by season’s finish. — Appleyard

Final season should have been particularly rewarding for Sandström: a reward for years of exhausting work and occasions the place he should have doubted himself as a consequence of kind, accidents and medical points. He performed a full season for the primary time since 2016-17, with 49 video games throughout the AHL and NHL. However most significantly, he performed nicely, and confirmed the rationale he was as soon as listed amongst one of the best goalie prospects on earth. His 5 video games within the NHL particularly have been eye-opening, as he posted a .910 save proportion and appeared like he belonged, impressing each teammates and Flyers brass alike.

He has a implausible probability to be a full-time NHL participant this 12 months, and can battle for the backup function in camp, with journeyman AHLer Troy Grosenick as his important competitors. There isn’t a doubting Sandström’s expertise, and it’s no stretch to say that when it comes to athleticism he’s elite and has been for years. He has additionally cleaned up some points — equivalent to a poor glove hand — over the previous couple of seasons. The one query now’s actually consistency. It’s the largest 12 months of Sandström’s profession, and he goes into it with — for the primary time in a very long time — all of the playing cards in his arms. — Appleyard

Maybe it’s all lastly beginning to come collectively for Isaac Ratcliffe.

When Ratcliffe turned professional in 2019, he was one of many group’s most fun prospects. A 6-foot-6 winger with a plus shot coming off a 50-goal marketing campaign with Guelph of the OHL, it wasn’t tough to think about Ratcliffe shortly rising via the system and establishing himself as a staple of the Flyers’ prime 9. As an alternative, Ratcliffe struggled mightily with the Phantoms in his first professional season (15 factors in 53 video games) after which watched his 2020-21 marketing campaign be ruined by accidents. By the point 2021-22 rolled round, Ratcliffe’s inventory couldn’t have been decrease.

However a profitable 10-game NHL stint — that he solely acquired as a result of the Flyers have been ravaged by harm — simply could have modified the trajectory of his profession. Largely utilized in a fourth-line function, Ratcliffe amped up the physicality of his sport whereas additionally chipping in with some offense and showcasing some energy play utility. No, he didn’t seem like the 30-goal scorer that some hoped he would possibly turn out to be, however he held his personal in a depth function. Seemingly fueled by the arrogance gained from his NHL audition, Ratcliffe completed the AHL season robust, with 10 factors in his closing 13 video games.

Now, there’s a believable NHL path for Ratcliffe as soon as once more. Make the roster as a bottom-sixer, after which construct the offensive aspect of his sport from there. Ratcliffe might want to clear waivers to be despatched all the way down to the AHL this 12 months, so anticipate him to get a protracted take a look at camp. — O’Connor

After being drafted as a 19-year-old by the Flyers in 2021, Aleksi Kolosov turned heads throughout the prospect-watching world final season. Within the KHL, the place younger goalies not often get begins, the Belarusian netminder performed 25 video games throughout the common season and playoffs, and was Dinamo Minsk’s finest goalie, bettering veteran Slovak Olympian Patrik Rybar. Moreover, regardless of his age, Kolosov additionally established himself because the Belarus backup in worldwide play behind ex-NHLer Danny Taylor.

The KHL season is already underway, and Dinamo trusts Kolosov sufficient that they’ve declined to herald a veteran goalie to behave as insurance coverage for the Flyers prospect. As an alternative, they’ve paired him with 22-year-old Konstantin Shostak, who spent most of final season as a split-starter in Liiga. This 12 months you’ll anticipate the Hasek-esque (when it comes to unorthodox model and never capacity!) Kolosov to kick on and higher his .906 SV% from final 12 months and make a push towards being an above-average starter on a staff that’s prone to be one of many weaker ones within the KHL. Kolosov could also be extra of a long-term Flyers prospect however he has apparent NHL the other way up the road. — Appleyard

Honorable mentions

Alex Bump (Charlie 18th): Bump isn’t your common fifth-round decide — he was named USA At present’s prime prep hockey participant, and he possesses respectable offensive talent, together with a plus shot. He’s additionally not missing confidence, evaluating his sport to that of Filip Forsberg instantly after being drafted, and noting after improvement camp that he felt like he was proper on par talent-wise with the highest prospects in attendance. Bump will spend one 12 months within the USHL earlier than heading to the College of Vermont, and positively has the potential to interrupt out and ship his inventory hovering.

Owen McLaughlin (Charlie twenty fourth, Alex twenty first): A neighborhood product (from Phoenixville), McLaughlin is likely one of the pipeline’s most underrated prospects. He completed tied for tenth final season in USHL scoring, and in a 2021 redraft will surely go so much before the seventh spherical, when the Flyers nabbed him. The 19-year-old middle continues to be extra of a long-term venture however his inventory is on the rise. It can solely get increased if he excels on the College of North Dakota, the place he’ll play within the fall.

Linus Högberg (Charlie twenty third, Alex twenty second): The 24-year-old Högberg made his NHL debut in 2021-22, and didn’t look fully misplaced throughout his five-game stint with the large membership. He has stable mobility and defensive instincts however at this level, it’s unlikely that a lot offense will emerge from him. With none actual dynamic attributes, he’s wanting extra like a high quality harm alternative than a constant NHL blueliner.

Jon-Randall Avon (Charlie twenty second, Alex twenty fourth): After incomes an entry-level contract from the Flyers at camp final 12 months, he returned to his OHL membership and racked up 68 factors in 64 video games, an enormous leap from his final full season within the league in 2019-20 (11 factors in 56 video games). Avon has legitimately robust skating capacity and doesn’t lack offensive talent — not a nasty prospect to nab for nothing greater than a contract slot.

Wyatte Wylie (Alex twenty third): Wylie settled right into a full-time AHL function final season, holding his personal with the Phantoms. His upside might be solely that of an NHL third-pair blueliner, however that he’s a proper shot provides him a little bit of a leg up, given the dearth of high quality RHDs within the prospect pool past Attard.

Ethan Samson (Charlie twenty fifth, Alex twenty fifth): Samson didn’t have a dominant draft-plus-one season within the WHL, however 43 factors in 68 video games isn’t too shabby for a blueliner chosen within the sixth spherical. He’ll push to attempt to earn a contract this season with the large membership, and assuming he takes no less than a average step ahead developmentally, it’s nicely inside his grasp.

(Picture of Cutter Gauthier: Andy Lewis / Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Pictures)