Several Philadelphia Flyers prospects led their teams to successful postseasons

By Jashvina Shah

Taylor Leier - Philadelphia Flyers

Photo: Forward Taylor Leier had a standout season and postseason with the powerhouse Portland Winterhawks. In 21 playoff games, Leier managed 26 points. (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

Several Philadelphia Flyers prospects made the playoffs in their respective leagues. Some played well for their teams, while others were forces as their teams challenged for championships. The Flyers were particularly well represented in the CHL playoffs as well as the NCAA tournament.

NHL

After missing the playoffs last season, the Flyers returned this year to face the New York Rangers. Philadelphia eventually lost to New York in seven games. Prospect Jason Akeson, who was recalled at the end of the season, played a prominent role for the Flyers. The forward appeared in all seven games, and finished as one of the team's leading scorers. He netted three points, including two goals.

Akeson scored his three points despite averaging a lower total of ice time, recording 12:59 minutes per game over the series. In total, Akeson took the ice for 90:57 minutes, which ranked in the bottom three amongst Flyers. He averaged 1:44 minutes of ice time on the powerplay, but did not appear on the penalty kill. The Flyers failed to advance past the first round in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2009.

OHL

In the past couple of years, the Oshawa Generals have not had much success in the OHL playoffs. In 2012, the Generals fell in the first round, and in 2013 they lost in the second round. This season, the Generals made it all the way to the OHL East Conference Finals. Oshawa swept Mississauga in the first round. In the second round, the Generals swept Peterborough. In the East Conference Finals, the Generals were swept by North Bay.

Over the series, Flyers prospect Scott Laughton played in nine games, appearing in all four against Mississauga. He recorded a point in eight of those nine games, finishing with three multi-point games. Laughton, Oshawa's captain, recorded 11 points (four goals, seven assists) and averaged 1.22 points per game. Last season, Laughton netted 13 points over seven games, including one game-winning goal.

WHL

As the captain of the Portland Winterhawks, Taylor Leier was a force for the Winterhawks this season, even though Portland failed to return to the Memorial Cup. The Winterhawks swept Vancouver in the in the first round, defeated Victoria 4-1 in the second round and took down Kelowna in the Western Conference Championship. The Winterhawks battled the Edmonton Oil Kings in the WHL Championship, losing game seven 4-2. Leier skated in all 21 games for the Winterhawks, recording 26 points – fifth on the team in scoring. He netted six goals and finished with a plus-15 rating. He recorded nine multi-point games and scored in 15 of his 21 games.

QMJHL

The Rimouski Oceanic have not been able to replicate their success from 2012, when the Oceanic fell to St. John in the QMJHL finals. This season, Rimouski fell to Blainville-Boisbriand in seven games in the second round, despite putting together an early 2-0 series lead. In the first series, the Oceanic swept Chicoutimi, putting up at least four goals in each game. Samuel Morin, one of Philadelphia's top defensive prospects, scored in three games. He finished the playoffs with eight points (four goals, four assist), which ranked 11th amongst QMJHL defensemen. Morin also recorded three multi-point games

NCAA

The Flyers had one of the best players in the NCAA tournament in Shayne Gostisbehere, as he helped Union capture its first national title. Gostisbehere netted five points in the NCAA tournament, second amongst defensemen. Gostisbehere did not score in regionals, but he helped his team with strong play against Providence in the East Regional final.

The defensemen recorded all five of his points in the Frozen Four, recording one goal and four assists in the wins over Boston College and Minnesota. He scored one goal and two assists in the Dutchmen's win over Minnesota in the National Championship game, and was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. The third-round draft pick also finished with a plus-seven rating in the National Championship game, meaning he was on the ice for all seven goals Union scored in the 7-4 victory.

Notes and Signings

Gostisbehere signed an entry-level contract with the Flyers on April 15th, just a few days after the national championship game. The 21-year-old finished the season in the AHL with Adirondack, where he appeared in two games and recorded a minus-two rating.

The Flyers signed Robert Hagg in March 21st and he reported to Adirondack. Through 10 games with the AHL affiliate, Hagg netted four points (one goal, three assists). He played with MODO this season in Sweden. He recorded six points (one goal, five assists) in 50 games with MODO.