Below are statistics for and updated
reports on all Philadelphia Flyers prospects still alive in their respective
playoffs through Thursday, May 6th. Skaters are listed alphabetically on
a level-by-level basis. Goaltenders are listed separately at the bottom
of this page.
New to the list this week:
Rejean Beauchemin, Goaltender
Gone from the
Brett Engelhardt, Forward
Rosario Ruggeri, Defenseman
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS (NHL)
Joni Pitkanen, Defenseman
Pitkanen continues to hang in there as a rookie in the
Stanley Cup playoffs. His pairing with veteran Mattias Timander has been
the least-consistent of the Flyers’ defensive units in the playoffs, though
Timander did step up and play well during the Toronto series. Pitkanen
has struggled from shift to shift at times, and proved to be turnover-prone
when he came under attack from the Maple Leafs’ ultra-physical forwards.
He managed to get through the series without making any major mistakes,
however, and will now look to regroup against the less-physical, but highly-skilled
Tampa Bay Lightning in the conference finals. Pitkanen finished the series
against the Leafs with a minus-two rating and two assists. One of those
helpers come on the outlet pass to Jeremy Roenick that led to the overtime,
series-clinching goal in Game 6.
Patrick Sharp, Center
After struggling in his role as the Flyers’ fourth line
center, Sharp was a healthy scratch for Games 4, 5 and 6 against the Maple
Leafs. He was assigned to the Phantoms for the opening game of the team’s
second round series against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and responded by scoring
two goals in the losing effort. Sharp has the ability to be a dominant
player at the AHL level, as he was clearly one of the best players on the
ice on Wednesday night. He is, however, expected to be returned to the
Flyers in time for the start of the conference finals against Tampa
PHILADELPHIA PHANTOMS (AHL)
Calder Cup Playoff East Division Semifinals (vs. Norfolk Admirals)
Game 1 – Phantoms 1, Admirals 2
Game 2 – Admirals 2, Phantoms 1 (OT)
Game 3 – Phantoms 3, Admirals 1
Game 4 – Phantoms 2, Admirals 1 (3
Game 5 – Tonight at Norfolk
Game 6* – Tomorrow at Philadelphia
Game 7* – Monday at Philadelphia
Phantoms win series, 4-2
Calder Cup Playoff East Division Finals (vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
Game 1 – Penguins 5, Phantoms 4
Game 2 – Tonight at Philadelphia
Game 3 – Tomorrow at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
Game 4 – Monday, 5/10 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
Game 5* – Wednesday, 5/12 at Philadelphia
Game 6* – Friday, 5/14 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
Game 7* – Sunday, 5/16 at Philadelphia
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton leads series, 1-0
* = if necessary
B.J. Abel, Center
Surprisingly, Abel has been one of the Phantoms’ more
effective forwards in the postseason. The rookie pivot is tied for second
on the team in goals and third in points through seven playoff games. He
had a three-game point streak snapped in the 5-4 loss to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
on Wednesday night.
Jeff Carter, Center
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Carter appears to be gaining confidence and getting more
comfortable with every passing game. The 19-year-old center notched his
first professional goal last Saturday, the game-winner in the series-clinching
win over the Norfolk Admirals. He then was one of the Phantoms’ best forwards
in Game 1 against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, netting another goal and playing
a solid, all-around game. Carter simply exudes talent and superior skill
on the ice. The more the London, Ontario native plays, the more this becomes
apparent. This time last week, Carter was still looking for his first goal
with the Phantoms. This week, he has the poised look of a young player
getting ready to explode offensively.
Ben Eager, Left wing
Eager has been a scratch for each of the Phantoms’ seven
playoff games thus far. He did not travel with the team for road games
during the semifinals series against Norfolk, feuling speculation that
he is suffering from some sort of undisclosed injury. The Phantoms have
been very quiet on the matter.
Joey Hope, Defenseman
Hope has played well in his five postseason appearances.
Because he is not the most talented of defensemen, the rookie has to keep
his game simple to be effective. He has done so thus far. Head coach John
Stevens has scratched popular, solid rearguard Kirk Furey in favor of Hope
over the past few games. With the Phantoms (and Flyers) getting back to
full-strength defensively, it will be interesting to see if Stevens stays
with the current lineup or continues to tinker.
Randy Jones, Defenseman
The Phantoms would certainly benefit from an increase
in offensive production from its defensive unit against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Jones’ one assist on the playoff year is a disappointing figure, as he
is the team’s most talented offensive defenseman behind veteran John Slaney.
The rookie rearguard has continued to provide the team with smart, positional
play in his own zone, but his contributions at the other end of the rink
(particularly on the power play) have been far from stellar so far this
James Laux, Defenseman
Laux has been a healthy scratch for each of the Phantoms’
seven playoff games thus far.
Freddy Meyer, Defenseman
Like Jones, Meyer’s offensive output to this point in
the postseason has been disappointing. The rookie blueliner was second
among defensemen and fifth on the team overall in goal scoring during the
regular season, but he has not been able to generate much through seven
playoff games. His inability to find the back of the net is a cause for
concern, though he has played reasonably well in his own zone. Meyer is
one of the ice time leaders for the Phantoms, and he will continue to see
plenty of action in all game situations.
Stefan Ruzicka, Right wing
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Ruzicka appeared in the Phantoms’ first two playoff games,
but has been a healthy scratch since. At this point, head coach John Stevens
is opting to sit the talented, 19-year-old forward in favor of players
with more experience. Whether Ruzicka can work his way back into the lineup
remains to be seen, but look for a forward shakeup if the team drops Game
2 to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton tonight.
Dennis Seidenberg, Defenseman
Seidenberg has been very busy in the past week. He was
recalled to the Flyers on Tuesday to serve as an emergency seventh defenseman
for Game 6 of the team’s semifinal series against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Despite suiting up, he did not get off of the bench in the 3-2 overtime
win. The German defender was reassigned to the Phantoms the following day.
Despite the team’s disappointing performance in Game 1 against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton,
Seidenberg was a bright spot. He played his best game since returning from
his broken leg, notching a power play goal, an assist and a plus-1 rating.
Wade Skolney, Defenseman
Like all of the other Phantoms defensemen, Skolney will
be asked by head coach John Stevens to step up his game in the wake of
the team’s Game 1 loss to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Skolney has continued
his quiet, yet effective play in the postseason. He has also been very
disciplined, as his low penalty minute total so far would attest.
Stephen Wood, Defenseman
Wood has been a healthy scratch for each of the Phantoms’
seven playoff games thus far.
In a very surprising move, the Flyers have summoned Beauchemin
to Philadelphia to serve as an emergency third-string goaltender for the
team. The presence of another netminder was needed, with Antero Niittymaki
and Neil Little still involved in the AHL playoffs with the Phantoms. Beauchemin,
who had been working as a teacher’s aid in Manitoba, was sensational in
his first season as a starter in the WHL this year. He led the Prince Albert
Raiders to their first playoff appearance in four years, earning an Eastern
Conference Second Team All-Star berth in the process. The Winnipeg native
will practice with the Flyers for now, but will only dress for a game if
Robert Esche or Sean Burke sit out due to injury.
Bruckler served as a backup to Reinhard Divis on this
year’s entry for Team Austria at the World Championships in the Czech Republic.
The 22-year-old netminder did not appear in a game, but did gain valuable
experience by being a part of one of the biggest events on the hockey calendar.
Austria made big strides in the tournament this season, despite being eliminated
in quarterfinal play.
* Was credited with shorthanded
empty-net overtime goal at Hershey on April 11th
* Recorded an assist vs. Norfolk on 4/21/04
Niittymaki had a rough go of it in the Phantoms’ 5-4 Game
1 loss to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The sophomore netminder was victimized
for five goals on 29 shots in what was one of the team’s worst defensive
efforts in recent memory. The skaters blew multiple coverage assignments
during the second half of the contest, leaving Niittymaki out to dry on
a number of occasions. Considering that this was the young Finn’s first
“bad” postseason game in the AHL, it will be interesting to see how he
It looks like Tremblay and the Gatineau Olympiques will
be representing the QMJHL in this year’s Memorial Cup Tournament. The Olympiques
currently lead the Moncton Wildcats in the “Q” finals, three games to none,
and can close out the series tonight. Tremblay has been very strong against
Moncton (3-0, 1 shutout, 1.33 GAA, .935 SP), just as he has been all season
long for the Olympiques. He is on the verge of making a huge name for himself.
AHL – American Hockey League
ECHL – (The former East Coast Hockey
HE – Hockey East (NCAA)
IIHF – International Ice Hockey Federation
NCAA – NCAA Frozen Four Tournament
OHL – Ontario Hockey League
QMJHL – Quebec Major Junior Hockey
WJC – World Junior Championships