Recent first round picks prominent in Philadelphia Flyers prospect awards

By Jashvina Shah
Ivan Provorov - Philadelphia Flyers

Photo: Philadelphia Flyers prospect Ivan Provorov was the top defenseman in the WHL this season and is likely to jump directly to the NHL next season.

 

 

Many of the Philadelphia Flyers prospects who performed well this past season came from the most recent draft class. There was Ivan Provorov, expected to be the team’s top defensive prospect, and Travis Konency, who proved his first-round selection was a good decision by the Flyers.

There were several other players who had good seasons, including goaltender Merrick Madsen and little-known sixth-round pick Cooper Marody. While it was a successful year for many of Philadelphia’s prospects, some of them struggled.

Hardest Worker: Samuel Dove-McFalls, C, Saint John (QMJHL)

Dove-McFalls, taken in the fourth round of last year’s draft, doesn’t have much of an offensive upside. But the forward is known for his strong work ethic and his two-way playing style and served as Saint John’s captain for the past two seasons. This year he finished with 12 points but was limited to just 29 games. He had seven points in 17 playoff games.

Hardest Shot: Samuel Morin, D, Lehigh Valley (AHL)

At 6-foot-6, Morin is one of Philadelphia’s tallest prospects. He only weighs 203 pounds, but his tall frame is enough to give him a hard shot. Morin joined the Lehigh Valley Phantoms this season for his first season of professional hockey, amassing 19 points in 76 games. The blueliner, who spent four seasons with the QMJHL’s Rimouski Oceanic, is more of a defensive defenseman.

Best Defensive Prospect: Ivan Provorov, D, Brandon (WHL)

With Shayne Gostisbehere officially on the graduated list, the team’s top defensive prospect position falls to Provorov. It was a title many knew he would inherit, as the first-round pick was one of the best defensemen available in the draft. After netting 73 points with Brandon this year, Provorov looked like one of the most NHL-ready defenseman outside of the NHL. The blueliner also finished with a plus-minus rating of plus-64.

Fastest Skater: Travis Konecny, C, Sarnia (OHL)

Konecny was named the OHL’s fastest skater for the 2014-15 season and his skating has continued to be one of his biggest assets. He started the season in Ottawa, where he had 45 points through 29 games. After joining Sarnia midway through the season, Konecny added 56 points. He also had a goal and an assist for Canada during the World Junior Championship.

Prospect of the Year: Ivan Provorov, D, Brandon (WHL)

Not only was Provorov the team’s best defensive prospect, but he was also the team’s best overall prospect. When the Flyers drafted Provorov in 2015, they knew he would form the team’s future top-line pairing. And that might come sooner than expected, as Provorov dominated the WHL all season long. His 73 points led all blueliners in the league, and he finished with 13 points in the playoffs. The blueliner brings a mix of offense to his 200-foot game and has a high hockey IQ.

Breakout Player for 2016-17: Travis Konecny, C, Sarnia (OHL)

Konecny joined Ottawa for his second year as captain this season. He averaged just above a point per game last year and pushed his draft stock enough to be taken in the first round. Since then, he has only improved. The center had a breakout year in 2015-16 and finished with 101 points between both Ottawa and Sarnia – good for eighth overall in the OHL.

Most Improved Prospect: Merrick Madsen, G, Harvard (ECAC)

Madsen inherited Harvard’s net as a sophomore with little experience at the collegiate level. But he dazzled from the start, posting a shutout in his first collegiate game. Madsen helped Harvard to 18 wins and posted a .931 save percentage for the season, eighth in the country.

Overachiever: Cooper Marody, C, Michigan (Big-10)

Marody entered the season as a relative unknown, taken in the sixth round. But he quickly contributed to Michigan’s success, and was tied with freshman phenom Kyle Connor at one point as the team’s leading scorer. Marody finished with 24 points in 32 games and had nine multi-point games.

Underachiever: Michael Parks, RW, Lehigh Valley (AHL)

Parks joined the Phantoms on an AHL contract after a stellar career at North Dakota. The forward was known for his speed, but his size was always a concern. He didn’t make much of an impression at the professional level and played in just three games due to injuries, likely marking the end of his time with the organization. He had one assist.

Highest Risk/Reward Prospect: Danick Martel, LW, Lehigh Valley (AHL)

Martel was signed as a free agent after completing his major junior career. He spent 67 games with the Phantoms this season and played well, putting together 37 points over 67 games. His 22 goals were a team high, but Martel’s 5-foot-8, 160 pound frame is a concern.

Prospect of the Month

Ivan Provorov - BrandonAfter struggling to score during the playoffs in March, Provorov found the net again in April. Through 12 games in the month, the blueliner recorded three goals and seven assists for 10 points. He helped Brandon defeat Edmonton, Moose Jaw, and Red Deer. He also had three multi-point games and a plus-17 rating.

 

Follow Jashvina Shah on Twitter via @icehockeystick