Gostisbehere takes top spot among Philadelphia Flyers top 20 prospects

By Jashvina Shah

Photo: Nicolas Aube-Kubel finished 15th in QMJHL scoring with 84 points (38 goals, 46 assists). (Courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Photo: Nicolas Aube-Kubel finished 15th in QMJHL scoring with 84 points (38 goals, 46 assists). (Courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

 

10. (NR) Philippe Myers, D, 7.0 C
Free agent, September 2015

Myers, a QMJHL defenseman, was signed by the Flyers as a free agent in September. He’s been playing with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies where he has 43 points in 61 games. He’s a big defenseman at 6-foot-5, but moves well for his size. He’s a mobile defenseman who can score and may be another piece to Philadelphia’s future blue line.

9. (11) Anthony Stolarz, G, 7.0 C
Drafted 2nd round, 45th overall, 2012

Stolarz was just recalled by the Flyers because of Michal Neuvirth’s injury. He’s been called up before as a backup this season. Stolarz is in the midst of a breakout season with the Phantoms, where he has a .917 save percentage over 40 games. He’s made improvements this season after struggling to adapt to the AHL last season. Injuries played a big part in that struggle, but a healthy Stolarz is making an impact for the Phantoms.

8. (9) Nicolas Aube-Kubel, RW, 7.0 C
Drafted 2nd round, 48th overall, 2014

Aube-Kubel is the team’s best right wing prospect. He’s added some offensive upside to his game lately. He became a top-line winger with Val-d’Or last season and it’s probable he may turn into a more offensive winger. This season he has 81 points in 59 games, a new career high.

7. (6) Robert Hagg, D, 7.0 C
Drafted 2nd round, 41st overall, 2013

Hagg may not be a standout, but he has some good traits—like his breakout pass. Unfortunately, he’s struggled with consistency in the AHL. He’s played in 51 games this year and has just six points, but he isn’t an offensive defenseman like Phialdelphia’s top defensive prospects. Hagg has slipped in the rankings each season, but it’s mostly because the Flyers have been picking up top blueline prospects in the draft.

6. (7) Nick Cousins, C, 7.0 C
Drafted 34d round, 68th overall, 2011

Cousins keeps rising in the rankings because he keeps getting better each season. He was having a great year in the AHL where he had 38 points in 38 games for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. In February, he was called up by the Flyers due to an injury and has stayed with the team ever since. He has just eight points in 22 NHL games this year. His point production may still be on the lower side, but he’s been a good two-way player for the Flyers who’s worked on his defensive game. Not only has his defensive game improved each season, but so has his scoring. Right now Cousins has just been a reliable callup for the Flyers, but he could become a part of the team.

5. (12) Travis Konecny, C, 7.5 C
Drafted 1st round, 24th overall, 2015

When the Flyers took Konecny in the first round, there were some questions surrounding the move and whether he was worth such a high pick. But since the draft, he has proved the Flyers right. The forward has a lot of talent and is a good skater. He started the season with Ottawa where he had 45 points in 29 games. He was traded to Sarnia where has played on the top line and has 21 goals and 50 points in 29 games.

4. (2) Samuel Morin, D, 7.5 B
Drafted 1st round, 11th overall, 2013

Morin rounds out the group of Philadelphia’s elite defensive prospects, although he differs drastically from the three players ahead of them. Unlike his fellow prospects, Morin is a defensive defenseman. He doesn’t have much offensive upside and has dropped in the rankings because of it, but Morin is still a steady presence on defense. At 6-foot-8, Morin is a big defenseman. He joined the Lehigh Valley Phantoms this season where he has 15 points in 62 games.

3. (2) Travis Sanheim, D, 7.5 B
Drafted 1st round, 17th overall, 2014

Sanheim rounds out the trio of the team’s elite offensive defensemen prospects. He’s not as defensive as Provorov but has great vision. He’s been rising each season and has 64 points in 49 games. While his 64 points aren’t a career high, it’s impressive since he played in 18 less games this season than last season. The defenseman also played in five games at the World Junior Championships and recorded a point for Canada.

2. (1) Ivan Provorov, D, 8.0 B
Drafted 1st round, 7th overall, 2015

Provorov dropped one spot in the rankings only because Gostisbehere is without question Philadelphia’s best defensive prospect (although he won’t be a prospect much longer). Provorov will still be a big part of Philadelphia’s future blue line plans. He’s a very offensive defenseman and has 69 points through 59 games with the Brandon Wheat Kings. But, the defenseman is also physical and plays well on both ends of the ice. He’s expected to be NHL ready as well, so could join the Flyers sooner rather than later.

The first-round pick was a good investment from the Flyers, who now have a solid future defense with Gostisbehere and Travis Sanheim. Provorov again appeared in the World Junior Championships, this time finished with eight points in seven games.

1. (5) Shayne Gostisbehere, D, 8.0 B
Drafted 3rd round, 78th overall, 2012

Gostisbehere has long been one of Philadelphia’s top prospects, but there have always been questions about how he would fare in the NHL—until now. Gostisbehere made in impact when he joined the Flyers last season, but unfortunately an injury sidelined him. Gostisbehere is back and has been wreaking havoc in the NHL. He now holds the record for longest NHL point streak by a rookie defenseman and has 38 points this season, first amongst Flyers defensemen. And it’s despite not playing in every game, as he was recalled in November and also missed two games with an injury.

Gostisbehere is an incredibly offensive defenseman, so heading into his professional career there were questions about his defense. Even so, he’s had a big enough impact on the score sheet to prove he’s Philadelphia’s top prospect.

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