Injuries to Philadelphia Flyers blue line left room for defensive call ups this season. Shayne Gostisbehere was one player promoted, and appeared in his first NHL game. Scott Laughton, one of Philadelphia’s top prospects also saw his first NHL action—and is showing why he should stay.
But, Philadelphia’s prospects were not so lucky health-wise, as several rookies were injured in their NHL stints.
A couple of other Phantoms were called up, and three of Philadelphia’s prospects aided their teams at the World Junior Championship. A couple Flyers prospects played for Sweden, while Samuel Morin helped Team Canada bring home gold.
Scott Laughton, C, 20
Laughton was long thought of as Philadelphia’s top prospect. A typical Flyer-type player, Laughton was hailed as a two-way center with good defensive skills and a bit of a physical edge to his game. This season was Laughton’s first at the professional level. And although he was not expected to produce points, Laughton was one of Lehigh Valley’s top scorers. Through 13 games, Laughton had six goals and five assists.
In November, he was promoted to the NHL. And he has not been sent down since. Laughton spent the past two months with the Flyers, and was very impressive in his NHL stint. He played in 27 games with the big club, and as expected was not been scoring much, but recorded six points.
But on January 14th, Laughton suffered an upper—body injury in the third period of Philadelphia’s game against Washington. He is listed as day-to-day.
Shayne Gostisbehere, D, 21
Like Laughton, Gostisbehere was having quite a year in his first foray into the professional level. The defenseman, known for his speed and offensive ability, played in five games-and recorded five assists—In Lehigh Valley. But the Flyers suffered too many blue line injuries, and called Gostisbehere up to the pro ranks.
Gostisbehere also looked impressive in his pro debut, but only appeared in two NHL games before a torn ACL sidelined him. But the Flyers remain hopeful that he will return before the season ends.
Jason Akeson, RW, 24
After a successful 2014 postseason with the Flyers, Akeson continued his NHL stint. He made the big club from training camp, and spent 12 games with the Flyers. But his offensive statistics were stifled, and Akeson was not earning much playing time with the Flyers. The right wing was sent back down to the AHL, where he benefited from increased playing time. After Scott Laughton was injured, Akeson was called back by the Flyers but was sent down the next day without playing an NHL game.
Brandon Manning, D, 24
Manning was called up in late October, and played in two games before being sent down. He recorded an assist in the small stint. Manning is Philadelphia’s highest-scoring defenseman at the AHL level, and has 25 points through 38 games.
2015 World Junior Tournament Update
The Flyers had three prospects playing at the international tournament. Samuel Morin suited up for Team Canada and played in all seven games and earned a plus-three rating while helping Canada bring home gold.
Robert Hagg and Oskar Lindblom played for Sweden, both appearing in seven games. Hagg finished with two assists, while Lindblom’s nine points (four goals, five assists) ranked second on the team in scoring. Sweden fell to Slovakia in the Bronze Medal game.
Philadelphia Flyers Prospect of the Month
After splitting a series with Michigan Tech, Bowling Green is on the rise. The Falcons are third in the strong WCHA, and defenseman Mark Friedman already has 12 points in 23 games. The rookie is on a four-game point streak, and has recorded at least an assist in eight of the past 10 games.
Friedman has two goals and 10 assists through 23 games this season.