Junior-league Philadelphia Flyers prospects are future of blueline

By Jashvina Shah
Photo: Radel Fazleev is showing the potential the Flyers saw when they selected him in the 2014 NHL draft. (Courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images)

Photo: Radel Fazleev is showing the potential the Flyers saw when they selected him 168th overall in the 2014 NHL draft. (Courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images)

 

 

 

While the Philadelphia Flyers don’t have many prospects playing at the junior level, they have some of their top prospects skating in the CHL. Headlining the group is defenseman Ivan Provorov, the team’s best defensive prospect.

WHL

Ivan Provorov, D, Brandon Wheat Kings
Acquired: 1st round (7th overall), 2015

Provorov is the top prospect in Philadelphia’s system. After snagging him with the seventh overall pick, the Flyers signed Provorov to an entry-level contract. The blueliner, who is viewed as fairly NHL-ready, was returned to his junior team in Brandon. He has 28 points through 30 games so far.

A future top-pairing defenseman, Provorov has very high upside. He’s a good skater with excellent hockey IQ, and should add some more offense to the Flyers’ defense in the future. He can score, but also excels at playing a 200-foot game, bringing a combination of offensive and defensive skills.

Radel Fazleev, LW, Calgary Hitmen
Acquired: 6th round (168th overall), 2014

Radel Fazleev has been one of Philadelphia’s biggest steals in the draft. The left wing is on pace to pass his career totals from last season. He already has 42 points—more than half of last year’s totals—in 33 games this year. Fazleev is also only four goals away from matching his output from last year. After limited playing time due to an injury in his draft year, Fazleev has played well in subsequent seasons, proving he was a good choice.

His 42 points are tops on the Hitmen roster, 11 more than teammate and fellow Flyers prospect Travis Sanheim. Fazleev is viewed as a two-way forward, but there’s no doubt of the playmaker’s offensive upside now. Fazleev has become one of Philadelphia’s top forward prospects at the junior level.

Travis Sanheim, D, Calgary Hitmen
Acquired: 1st round (17th overall), 2014

Sanheim will be a part of Philadelphia’s top blueline pairing in the future. A member of the Hitmen along with Fazleev, Sanheim is third on the team with 31 points. His offensive output is second amongst Calgary defensemen, despite Sanheim missing playing time. After being out with an injury, Sanheim returned at the end of November and was named to Canada’s World Junior Team. Sanheim is currently fourth amongst all WHL defensemen in points, but has played in at least 10 fewer games than his direct competition.

When the Flyers drafted Sanheim in the first round in 2014, Philadelphia expected him to be a top player on the blueline in the future. Sanheim didn’t perform well at training camp, but has played well since returning to Calgary.

OHL

Travis Konecny, C, Ottawa 67’s
Acquired: 1st round (24th overall), 2015

Konecny, Philadelphia’s second first-round pick in the 2015 draft, is in his third season with the Ottawa 67’s. The forward has a lot of talent, and adds some much-needed depth to Philadelphia’s center position. Konecny also brings something the team’s top center prospect, Scott Laughton, doesn’t have much of—offensive upside.

Konecny signed an entry-level deal with the Flyers after the draft. He was recently named to Canada’s World Junior Team. Despite missing games to attend the tournament, he is on pace to pass his scoring from last year and already has 45 points through 29 games.

QMJHL

Nicolas Aube-Kubel, RW, Val-d’Or Foreurs
Acquired: 2nd round (48th overall), 2014

Aube-Kubel, a right wing drafted in 2014, is having a solid season with the Val-d’Or Foreurs. The forward, an alternate captain for the second-straight year, has 44 points through 29 games. Aube-Kubel also signed an entry-level contract with the Flyers this season. Philadelphia’s best right wing prospect, the 19-year-old has good playmaking skills and his offense has continued improving in the QMJHL. Aube-Kubel is also Philadelphia’s only right-wing prospect in the CHL.

Samuel Dove-McFalls, LW, Saint John Sea Dogs
Acquired: 4th round (98th overall), 2015

Dove-McFalls only appeared in five games this year because of a knee injury. He hasn’t returned to the lineup yet, but had three points over those five games. Dove-McFalls is expected to be a checking forward.

Philippe Myers, D, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies
Acquired: Free agent signing, September 2015

Philadelphia signed Myers to an entry-level deal in September following training camp. The defenseman is in his third season with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, where he has 24 points through 33 games—a career high for Myers, who had eight points last season. He appeared to have been signed as a depth defensemen in a crowded blueline prospect group.

Top Performing Non-Junior Prospects

Outside of junior hockey, several players have been performing well. One of them is Scott Laughton. While his offensive numbers may not be high in the NHL, he’s still been playing for the Flyers since October. He has 10 points, including four goals. Cooper Marody also fared well, netting seven points for Michigan over six games.

The big surprise though, is Shayne Gostisbehere, who has 14 points in 18 games with the Flyers. Not coincidentally, the team has been playing much better hockey since he was called up from Lehigh Valley.

Prospect of the Month: Cooper Marody

Cooper Marody - Philadelphia FlyersThe Michigan freshman began his collegiate career with seven points in his first six games in October. He finished the month tied for Michigan’s team lead in points alongside first-round draft pick Kyle Connor. Marody also netted three goals and ranked tied for 12th amongst the nation’s top freshmen scorers. There wasn’t much known about Marody before the draft, save that he’d faced adversity in his career. Marody now has 13 points in 15 games.