Goaltenders highlight Philadelphia Flyers NCAA and European prospects

By Jashvina Shah
Merrick Madsen - Harvard

Photo: Harvard goaltender and Philadelphia Flyers prospect Merrick Madsen emerged as a starter in his sophomore season and finished eighth in the nation with a .931 save percentage.(courtesy John Crouch/Icon Sportswire).

 

 

The Flyers have a crop of prospects playing in both the NCAA and European levels, including almost all their goaltending prospects. A couple of netminders showed improvement this year, while some played few games and others – namely Matej Tomek – didn’t play at all.

Philadelphia’s NCAA prospects also feature a sizeable group of defensemen, from senior Reece Willcox to sophomore Mark Friedman. Most of Philadelphia’s NCAA defensive prospects, many who are still underclassmen, have shown improvement.

In Europe, the Flyers have a couple of goaltending prospects who could show promise. They also have some forwards taken in late rounds who are developing well.

NCAA

Merrick Madsen, G, Harvard (ECAC)
Drafted: 6th round, 162nd overall, 2013

After barely playing his freshman year, Madsen jumped into the starting role with Harvard. He made an impact early, recording his first collegiate shutout in his first game. Madsen started 28 games and helped Harvard to 18 wins. He recorded a save percentage of .931, eighth in the nation.

Madsen also helped Harvard to the NCAA tournament, where the Crimson dropped a decision to Boston College. It was a good season for Madsen, who had only played in one collegiate game prior to this year. He will be a junior next season.

Matej Tomek, G, North Dakota (NCHC)
Drafted: 3rd round, 90th overall, 2015

Tomek entered his freshman year of college after a standout season in the USHL. But an injury sidelined Tomek early, and he didn’t play at all this season. Tomek’s future playing time is a question mark, as North Dakota’s starter, Cam Johnson, may return for a junior season.

Cooper Marody, C, Michigan (Big Ten)
Drafted: 6th round, 158th overall, 2015

Marody was drafted late as an underrated prospect. But he started his freshman year well, and was the one of Michigan’s leading scorers early on. He finished his rookie campaign with 24 points in 32 games and scored 10 goals. The forward has proved he was a steal in the sixth round, rising above expectations.

He finished as Michigan’s second-highest scoring freshman and ranked eighth total on the team.

Mark Friedman, D, Bowling Green (WCHA)
Drafted: 3rd round, 86th overall, 2014

Freidman, Philadelphia’s best NCAA defensive prospect, just completed his sophomore campaign at Bowling Green. After his breakout freshman year, where he netted 19 points in 39 games, Friedman returned for a career-high 23 points over 42 contests.

He was tied for fourth in points on the Falcons’ and tied for the team’s best-scoring defenseman. Friedman was also tied with his teammate, Sean Walker, as the WCHA’s highest-scoring defenseman.

Reece Willcox, D, Cornell (ECAC)
Drafted: 5th round, 141st overall, 2012

After completing his senior season at Cornell, Willcox signed an entry-level deal with the Flyers. Never known as a flashy, scoring defenseman, Willcox finished his senior season with career highs. The defenseman, serving as the captain, netted 13 points and two goals in 33 games. He is steady on the back end, although isn’t expected to contribute much offense.

Terrance Amorosa, D, Clarkson (ECAC)
Drafted: 5th round, 132nd overall, 2013

In his sophomore season, Amorosa played in nine more contests than in his freshman year. He also finished with a career high four goals and 16 points. Amorosa missed much of the beginning of the season, but played in the last 23 games and 27 total.

Despite only playing in 27 of Clarkson’s 38 games, Amorosa was still the team’s seventh-best scorer and second-highest scoring defenseman. His 16 points was a lot, given Clarkson scores just 2.66 goals per game.

David Drake, D, Connecticut (Hockey East)
Drafted: 7th round, 192nd overall, 2013

Drake also isn’t a flashy defender, but his 6-foot-4 frame gives promise. Drake returned to UConn this year for his sophomore season. After a freshman campaign where he played in 32 games, Drake was limited to just 25 games this year. He finished with five points, all assists.

Europe

Felix Sandstrom, G, Brynas (SHL)
Drafted: 3rd round, 70th overall, 2015

After spending most of last season in the SEL with Brynas’ U20 team, Sandstrom graduated to the SHL this season. As just an 18 year old, he appeared in 25 games and recorded a .903 save percentage.

The goaltender also played for Sweden in the World Junior Championship, where he appeared in three games and held a .795 save percentage.

Ivan Fedotov, G, Reaktor Nizhnekams (MHL)
Drafted: 7th round, 188th overall, 2015

Fedotov, a late-round draft pick, returned to Reaktor Nizhnekams this season. He played in 29 games this year compared to 41 last season, and earned a .910 save percentage.

Oskar Lindblom, LW, Brynas (SHL)
Drafted: 5th round, 138th overall, 2014

Lindblom spent the 2015-16 season again in Sweden, where he spent his second straight year with Brynas of the SHL. Through 48 games with the club, Lindblom netted 25 points – a career high. At the end of the season, Lindblom signed with the Flyers and played his first professional minutes in Lehigh Valley.

The left winger also represented Sweden in the World Junior Championship, where he had three goals and three assists over seven games. His country failed to medal, falling in the bronze medal game.  

David Kase, C, Piráti Chomutov (Czech)
Drafted: 5th round, 128th overall

Kase fell to the lower rounds of the draft because of his size, but the forward was one of the higher-ranked skaters. Kase continued playing with Piráti Chomutov after being drafted. He appeared in 30 games and registered two points.

He also played for the Czech Republic in the World Junior Championship, where he served as an alternate captain. He recorded one assists in five games.

Mikhail Vorobyov, C, Salavat Yulaev Ufa (KHL)
Drafted: 4th round, 104th overall, 2015

Though Vorobyov graduated from the MHL to the KHL this season, he split his playing time between the two leagues. He appeared in 28 games with Salavat Yulaev Ufa in the KHL, where he recorded three points. Over 21 games with Tolpar Ufa in the MHL, Vorobyov had 23 points.

Prospect of the Month

Ivan Provorov - BrandonPhiladelphia’s most recent first round draft pick Ivan Provorov capped off a stellar season in the WHL with one of his best months of the year. He closed out the regular season with 17 points over 10 games in March, scoring seven goals. The March totals, his highest of all months this season, brought his regular season totals to 21 goals and 64 points. Provorov also had 13 points in 21 playoff games.

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