Gostisbehere and Laughton lead small crew of NHL-ready Philadelphia Flyers prospects

By Jashvina Shah
Photo: Although he has only suited up for 33 games, Shayne Gostisbehere's 27 points (9 goals, 18 assists) leads rookie defencemen in scoring with a margin of 9 over the nearest comer (Colton Parayko). (Courtesy of Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire)

Photo: Although he has only suited up for 33 games, Shayne Gostisbehere’s 27 points (9 goals, 18 assists) leads all rookie defensemen in scoring, with a margin of nine over the nearest comer (Colton Parayko). (Courtesy of Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire)

 

 

The Philadelphia Flyers haven’t had many prospects graduate to the big club this season, but the few that have made the jump received monumental playing time. For a team that doesn’t have much NHL-ready young talent, it’s doubly important for the prospects it does have to pan out—and so far, so good.

The most notable prospects with NHL time were awarded to Shayne Gostisbehere and Scott Laughton. Laughton has graduated from the prospects list.

Taylor Leier, Nick Cousins and Brandon Manning have also played in the NHL this season—with varying degrees of success. The Flyers can only hope that these players adjust to the league as well as Laughton and Gostisbehere have, but they will likely wait until next season to find out in a long-term capacity.

Scott Laughton, C, 21

Laughton has long been one of Philadelphia’s top prospects, especially at forward. He has now graduated from Hockey’s Future’s prospect criteria because he’s spent so much time in Philly. Last year, Laughton moved between both leagues, but he has been in the NHL throughout 2015-16—appearing in 51 games and scoring 14 points (four goals, 10 assists). Laughton, a center, did play a few games at left wing.

While Laughton has appeared in a chunk of NHL games, he still hasn’t been producing much offensively. The center is expected to be a two-way player, bringing mostly a defensive style of play to his game.

Shayne Gostisbehere, D, 22

After returning from an injury sustained last season, Gostisbehere has spent some time in the NHL this season. He has been playing for the Flyers since November, racking up 27 points (eight goals 14 assists) in 33 games. The point production from Gostisbehere isn’t surprising, since his speed and offense has translated well to the professional level so far.

While Gostisbehere still needs some work on his defensive game, he has spent time on Philadelphia’s top pairing. He’s also spent time on Philadelphia’s top power play unit. Although he wasn’t even in the conversation in October, you have to think that he has become at least an outside Calder Trophy candidate.

Brandon Manning, D, 25

Despite the logjam Philadelphia has at defense, Brandon Manning has been able to find a spot with the organization. He has spent his entire season in the NHL and has three points through 31 games with the Flyers. While the defenseman hasn’t played in every single game for the Flyers and has sat as a healthy scratch, he’s been solid for the Flyers when he’s been in the lineup.

Taylor Leier, LW, 21

Since joining the pro ranks, Leier has spent most of his time at the AHL level—the forward spent 73 games with Lehigh Valley last year. After a good camp, he was called up to the Flyers for a short, six-game stint in November.

Nick Cousins, C, 22

Cousins began the season in the AHL and was called up to the Flyers in late November. He had four games with the Flyers, and had zero points. He was sent back down to Lehigh Valley in December.

2016 World Junior Championships update

The Flyers had seven representatives at the World Junior Championships: Ivan Provorov, Radel Fazleev, Travis Sanheim, Travis Konecny, Oskar Lindblom, Felix Sandstrom and David Kase.

Team Canada members Sanheim and Konecny left the tournament without a medal. Konecny had two points in five games, while Sanheim had one point through five games. For the Czech Republic, David Kase had one point—an assist—in five games.

Felix Sandstrom was a backstop for Sweden through seven games. The team fell in the bronze medal match to the U.S. He finished with a .794 save percentage and a 3.88 goals-against average over 123:49 minutes. Lindblom had six points (three goals, three assists) in seven games for Sweden.

Silver-medal winning Russia featured Provorov—Philadelphia’s top prospect—and Fazleev. Provorov had eight points, all assists, through seven games while Fazleev added three (one goal, two assists).

Prospect of the Month: Ivan Provorov

Ivan Provorov - Philadelphia FlyersWhile Russia didn’t win gold, Ivan Provorov helped his country to silver at the World Junior Championships—recording eight points in seven games. The defenseman then joined the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings for 10 games during January, recording 13 points—three goals and 10 assists—over that stretch.

Provorov is off to a wild start in February, and has nine points in his first three games, including a five-assist night against the Prince George Cougars on February 5th.