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HomeHockey2022-23 Top 10 Philadelphia Flyers Prospects

2022-23 Top 10 Philadelphia Flyers Prospects

The Flyers are struggling this year and are going to miss the playoffs, but also finish with very low odds at the draft lottery as well. The prospect pool is also average to weak overall offering little hope for a quick turnaround.

The pressure to always be competitive is high in Philadelphia, but the fan base there may be ready to embrace a rebuild era and build the team back up through the draft.

The Flyers draft history is not great, the team has missed on several first-round picks in recent history with selections of Jay O’Brien, Nolan Patrick, German Rubtsov, and Samuel Morin all falling under the bust category.

On the plus side, the Flyers have a good young core of under-25-year-old players with Carter Hart, Cam York, Travis Konecny, Owen Tippett, Joel Farabee, and Noah Cates.

Top 10 Philadelphia Flyers Prospects

1. Cutter Gauthier, LW/C – Boston College (NCAA)

Age: 19
Ht/Wt: 6-2/194
Drafted: 2022 round one, fifth overall by Philadelphia Flyers.

Gauthier is having a tremendous freshman year with the Eagles and is scoring at over a point per game. He was also a force for USA at the WJC posting ten points in seven games.

He is a Flyers type of player as the big winger plays a violent game and can score goals. He has a lethal shot and can score from distance or in close with tips and rebounds. His size lends to his net-front presence making him a nightmare for defenders to contain. He is also effective along the boards and can carry the puck up the ice like a freight train.

Look for Gauthier to sign his ELC following the Eagles season and play the balance of the Flyers NHL games. With James van Riemsdyk on an expiring contract in the top-six, there could be an opening that Gauthier could fill, but at 19 years old there should be no rush on him and the best thing for his long-term development could be a season in the AHL.

2. Bobby Brink, RW – Lehigh Valley Phantoms (AHL)

Age: 21
Ht/Wt: 5-8/165
Drafted: 2019 round two, 34th overall by Philadelphia Flyers.

The 21-year-old is a highly decorated prospect. After a solid freshman season in his D+1 year, he dominated the NCAA, leading the league in points (57) and assists (43) and his team to an NCAA Championship.

Now in his rookie year in the AHL, he is adjusting to the pro level and has been a consistent scorer. He is on pace for a 32-point season in 41 games featuring a nice little five-game point streak which he notched eight points. Brink is now 21 years old and should be ready to graduate to the Flyers roster to help provide some offensive support for the start of the 2023-24 campaign.

3. Tyson Foerster, RW – Lehigh Valley Phantoms (AHL)

Age: 21
Ht/Wt: 6-2/194
Drafted: 2020 round one, 23rd overall by Philadelphia Flyers.

Foerster has taken a different development path to the NHL than usual. With no OHL to play in for his D+1 year due to COVID, he played 24 AHL games as an 18-year-old. His play there was impressive scoring 17 points and started the following year back in the AHL for nine games before being loaned out to Team Canada for the WJC where he had six points to help win Gold. He was then returned to the OHL to finish the year and his junior career.

Now in his proper first full season in the AHL he continues to develop his overall game and is still producing offensively. Shoulder injuries have also been a factor in his development, but he plays a solid all-around game, has size, and is very smart. His skating is his weakest attribute, but not to the point where it should keep him from the NHL.

4. Samuel Ersson, G – Lehigh Valley Phantoms (AHL)

Age: 23
Ht/Wt: 6-2/176
Drafted: 2018 round five, 143rd overall by Philadelphia Flyers.

The Flyers believe they have a real good player from the fifth round in Ersson. Since his draft year, the 6-2 Swede spent two years developing in the SHL and made the jump to North America for the 2021-22 season, but injuries limited him to just five games and he struggled with a 0-3-1 record. Despite the setback, he is back to good health and has been lights out in his first full season.

Currently, his AHL record is 16-11-1 and his outstanding play has earned him several NHL recalls. He lost his first game 6-5 and then went on to win five of the next six games before he was returned to the AHL. A second NHL recall was less successful as he surrendered 16 goals in three games.

Ersson has seen his stock rise considerably since his draft in the fifth round and missing almost an entire season of development. He is the Flyers top goalie prospect and should compete for the backup role as a full-time NHL goalie next year.

5. Emil Andrea, LD – HV71 (SHL)

Age: 21
Ht/Wt: 5-9/176
Drafted: 2020 round two, 54th overall by Philadelphia Flyers

Andrea struggled in his D+1 season to find ice time and production with HV71 in the SHL. The team was relegated to a lower tier and there he rebounded against lesser opposition producing 33 points in 41 games and leading HV71 to the HockeyAllsvenskan Championship. He was also Captain for Sweden at the WJC where he was outstanding with eight points in seven games.

With his confidence restored, he is back in the SHL and on pace for a 27-point season in 51 games. The undersized Andrea plays an aggressive and physical game. He is dogged in puck pursuits and has good mobility but his meal ticket to the NHL will depend on his ability to create offense at the NHL level.

Andrea remains unsigned, but could quickly put pen to paper when the current SHL season concludes and make the jump to North America. Some NHL games to finish the year would serve him well before spending the coming campaign in the AHL.

6. Ronnie Attard, RD – Lehigh Valley Phantoms (AHL)

Age: 23
Drafted: 2019 round three, 72nd overall by Philadelphia Flyers.

Attard had passed through two NHL drafts before a breakout performance in his third year in the USHL where he scored 30 goals and 64 points as Captain of the Tri-City Storm. Attard then played three seasons in the NCAA at Western Michigan University. After posting 36 points in 39 games as a junior he signed his ELC with the Flyers and played the final 15 NHL regular season games, scoring two goals and four points.

Attard is a big, mobile, and physical defender, delivering 24 hits in his 15 NHL games. Attard has spent the entire first full season as a pro developing in the AHL and is on pace for 11 goals and 32 points in 71 games with the Phantoms. He will be a prime candidate to make the jump to the NHL in the 2023-34 season.

7. Yegor Zamula, LD – Lehigh Valley Phantoms (AHL)

Age: 22
Ht/Wt: 6-3/176
Drafted: Signed as a free agent by Philadelphia in 2018

Zamula is a volatile stock to say the least. After being undrafted through two NHL drafts, Zamula came to North America as a CHL Import. His play did not earn him a draft choice, but after being invited to the Flyers rookie camp, he signed as a free agent.

The following year with the Calgary Hitmen he had a breakout performance scoring 56 points in 61 games. He was a point-per-game player in his final year in junior and was a force for Russia at the WJC with five points in seven games winning the Silver Medal.

The big, physical, and mobile defender was a top prospect. Now three years later and three seasons of pro development, he continues to find his game and adjust to the pace. His stock has begun to decline and other prospects are beginning to surpass him on the depth chart. A back injury may be partially to blame, but his current development trend seems to be going in the wrong direction.

8. Elliot Desnoyers, LW – Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Age: 21
Ht/Wt: 5-11/183
Drafted: 2020 round five, 135th overall by Philadelphia Flyers.

Drafted as a defensive prospect after posting seasons of 31, and 35 points in the QMJHL, Desnoyers had an offensive breakout in his D+1 year scoring 49 points in only 37 games. He followed that up in his final year of junior as Captain of the Halifax Mooseheads scoring 88 points in 61 games and earning a role on Team Canada for the WJC.

Desnoyers has carried that offensive production as a rookie in the AHL and is the leading scorer on the Phantoms on pace for 50 points in 68 games. It is looking like the Flyers made a shrewd selection at 135th overall, he may not translate to an offensive force in the NHL, but he is looking like a solid third-line defensive winger with some good offensive upside.

9. Olle Lycksell, RW, Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Age: 23
Ht/Wt: 5-11/176
Drafted: 2017 round six, 168th overall by Philadelphia Flyers

Lycksell is looking like a classic late bloomer. Since his draft, he has bounced around on three different teams with back-to-back 21-point seasons, before a breakout 34 points in 47 games with Vaxjo. It earned him a two-year contract with the Flyers, and he was brought to North America.

As an AHL rookie he has 34 points through his first 35 games, his point-per-game production has earned him some NHL recalls and in eight games he has one point. In short order, Lycksell has gone from being an obscure prospect to one of the Flyers top ten!

10. Jay O’Brien, C – Boston University (NCAA)

Age: 23
Ht/Wt: 5-11/185
Drafted: 2018 round one, 19th overall by Philadelphia Flyers.

O’Brien had been labeled a bust after the Flyers selected him 19th overall out of high school. His D+1 year at Providence in the NCAA was a disaster, scoring five points in 25 games. Despite that, he still was named to the US team for the WJC and was held pointless there.

Following that disappointing year, he went down a level to play in the BCHL and regained his confidence. He returned to the NCAA in the COVID short 2020-21 year as a member of the Boston Terriers and was a point-per-game player with 16 points in as many games. Injuries in his junior year limited him to 24 games but he still produced 22 points. O’Brien is now a senior at Boston University and has 29 points through 32 games.

If the Flyers do not sign him he can become a free agent or possibly play an exemption fifth season in the NCAA. While he may never live up to his 19th overall draft status, he is playing his way towards looking like an NHL player.

Honorable Mentions:

Devin Kaplan – RW: Another prospect at Boston U. Kaplan as a freshman has size and offensive upside. Skating is a concern.

Zayde Wisdom – RW: Was a top player for Lehigh during the pandemic year, a shoulder injury set him back and he has not looked the same since.

Kieffer Bellows – LW/C: Former first-round selection of the Islanders is now a reclamation project.

Ethan Samson – D: Offensive defenseman has a point per game in the WHL with Prince George Cougars.

Jon-Randall Avon – C: Free agent signed from Peterborough Petes in OHL.



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