Flyers Prospect Report

By Bill Meltzer

1. Maxime Ouellet:

1999 First rounder was the best goalie in the QMJHL this season and a
standout at the World Junior Championships. The expectations for Ouellet,
while not quite equal to the buzz that has surrounded Roberto Luongo, are
nevertheless quite lofty. Most expect him to be a good- and maybe elite-
NHL starter in the future. The Flyers plan to have him play one more
season at the junior level before promoting him.

2. Antero Niittymäki:

Finnish Elite League rookie of the year had an eye-opening rookie season
for TPS Turku, leading them to the Finnish championship. He had an up and
down World Junior Championship performance, however. Fast glove and quick
reflexes. He’d be the top goaltending prospect in many organizations, but
is stuck behind Boucher and Oullet in the Flyers organization. The Flyers
have said that he is ready for AHL play after just one SM-Liiga season.

3. Mikhail Chernov:

Seemed to take a step backward early in the season. Perhaps he was still
reeling from the tragic boating accident in Kelowna that took the life of
Dmitri Tertyshny. As the season wore on, Chernov bounced back very nicely
and had a strong second half. Can play aggressively but still sometimes
gets mesmerized by the puck. Still a bit turnover prone but improving. Good
all around abilities are starting to become refined. Also has a heavy shot
that he ought to utilize more often.

4. Tomas Divisek:

Mature, quick-learning, two-way forward, who can play both center and wing.
Good ice vision, slightly above average hands. Needs to improve his
skating. Could be a solid third line NHLer or even perhaps a second liner.

5. Jason Beckett:

Hard-hitting, positionally savvy Western Leaguer. No offensive upside.
Needs to work on his headman passing and his skating.


6. Vaclav Pletka:

Small, shifty Czech sniper finished second in the Extraleague in goals
scored. He specializes in hiding out from traffic and then darting into the
seams. Also a good puckhandler. Deficient physically and defensively, so he
must score to hold a roster spot in the North American pros.


7. Francis Lessard:

Hyper aggressive defenseman is coachable and eager to learn. Makes a lot of
mistakes and takes a lot of bad penalties but there’s a lot to like about
his upside.


8. Ruslan Fedotenko:

Undrafted rookie free agent recovered from a slow start and an ECHL
demotion to share the Phantoms rookie-of-the-year honors with Tomas
Divisek. Still needs to show improved consistency on a game-in and
game-out basis.

9. Jeff Feniak:

Solid and physical defensive defenseman. Similar mold to Beckett.

10. Bruno St. Jacques:

Baie-Comeau defenseman has impressive mobility and poise. He was impressive
in a late-season cup of coffee with the Philadelphia Phantoms