Gostisbehere takes top spot among Philadelphia Flyers top 20 prospects

By Jashvina Shah
Photo: Shayne Gostisbehere will receive consideration for Rookie of the Year after an unexpected season in which he set an NHL record for points in consecutive games by a rookie defenseman (15). (Photo: Courtesy of Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

Photo: Shayne Gostisbehere will receive consideration for Rookie of the Year after an unexpected season in which he set an NHL record for points in consecutive games by a rookie defenseman (15). (Photo: Courtesy of Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

 

 

There weren’t many changes to the Philadelphia Flyers top 20 prospects. But there is a new number one, with Shayne Gostisbehere taking the lead because of his impact at the NHL level. Other prospects saw jumps, including Merrick Madsen, Cooper Marody and Travis Konecny.

The majority of the team’s top prospects are still defensemen, as the Flyers have stockpiled for the position in recent drafts. Konecny and Nick Cousins, however, are the organization’s best forward prospects.

20. (20) David Kase, C, 7.0 D
Drafted 5th round, 128th overall, 2015

Kase has spent most of his time with Pirati Chomutov in the Czech league, where he’s had two points over 30 games. Through 16 games in Czech2, Kase has 14 points. He also competed in the World Junior Championships and had an assist in five games. The fast forward has some good attributes, like his ability to make space for his teammates.

19. (18) Reece Willcox, D, 6.5 C
Drafted 5th round, 141st overall, 2012

Wilcox is one of many collegiate defensemen the Flyers have in their system. Willcox is in his senior season, rebounding from a junior year where he only played 21 games due to injury. Willcox has a career-high 13 points this year, but offense isn’t the main aspect of his game—his defensive play is. He’s been a reliable defender over his time at Cornell.

18. (17) Valeri Vasiliev, D, 6.5 C
Drafted 7th round, 201st overall, 2012

The defenseman drops a little bit in the rankings each season. He was excepted to transition easily to the North American game, but he has spent the past few seasons in the KHL. Now with Avangard Omsk for the second year, Vasiliev has played in 11 games with one point. With Philadelphia’s plethora of blue line prospects, it’s tough to see how Vasiliev first into the team’s future.

17. (16) Oskar Lindblom, LW, 6.5 C
Drafted 5th round, 138th overall, 2014

The late draft pick spent another season in the SHL. He had a career-high 25 points over 48 games with Brynas. Lindblom also played in the World Junior Championships where he had three goals and three assists over seven games. The forward may be a steal for Philadelphia, as he’s improved a lot since being drafted. His skating has improved and he’s carving out points in the SHL as a 19-year-old.

16. (14) Taylor Leier, LW, 6.5 C
Drafted 4th round, 117th overall, 2012

Leier has played well for the Phantoms. He’s the team’ second-highest scorer with 42 points. The forward has some players to compete within Philadelphia’s system, but he’s gotten better this year and has been a strong two-way forward. The 42 points are a career high for Leier, who spent six games with the Flyers this season.

15. (15) Radel Fazleev, LW, 6.5 C
Drafted 6th round, 168th overall, 2014

Fazleev has become a scorer in the WHL since his rookie year. He’s a playmaker who has a career-high 69 points over 57 games with Calgary this year. In the World Junior Championships, he added three points in seven games. Fazleev can be overshadowed by his teammate and fellow Philadelphia draftee Travis Sanheim, but don’t overlook the tight wing. He’s been a strong two-way center who’s becoming one of Philadelphia’s top prospects.

14. (8) Mark Alt, D, 7.0 C
Drafted 2nd round, 53rd overall, 2010

While Alt was previously one of Philadelphia’s better defensive prospects, he’s dropped considerably thanks to recent Flyer draft picks. Even so, Alt has been a good skater and two-way defenseman who’s contributed. He spent a game with the Flyers last year and has been a reliable call-up. Alt has spent the entire season with Lehigh Valley where he has 14 points.

13. Merrick Madsen, G, 7.0 C
Drafted 6th round, 162nd overall, 2013

The Flyers drafted Madsen late, and there was no real indication of how good of a goaltender Madsen was. He spent his freshman collegiate season as the backup but jumped into the Flyers top 20 this year after a solid sophomore season. Madsen entered the season as Harvard’s netminder despite having minimal collegiate experience and the sophomore didn’t take long to wow the conference. He earned a shutout in his first collegiate start and with a .933 save percentage, third in the ECAC.

12. (10) Mark Friedman, D, 7.0 C
Drafted 3rd round, 86th overall, 2014

After a good freshman season at Bowling Green, Friedman has continued quietly playing well with the Falcons. He’s more of a two-way defensive like Gostisbehere and has 23 points, a new career high, over 41 games with Bowling Green. The defenseman hasn’t made many major improvements this year but has played smarter.

11. (19) Cooper Marody, C, 7.0 C
Drafted 6th round, 158th overall, 2015

Marody moved up a few spots on the list because of his breakout freshman year at Michigan. He was a little unknown when the Flyers snagged him in the sixth round, but he started off the season well. He’s a skilled and patient player, which helped him to 24 points in 28 games with Michigan. The freshman missed seven games with an illness but has scored in every game but one since his return, netting 10 points in seven games.

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