While the Philadelphia Flyers have not had the most dazzling prospect pool in recent NHL memory, they have had a steady amount of success from the top of their ranks. While consistently trading away first and second round picks does not provide the steadiest foundation from which to build an organization, the Flyers have had almost astonishing success making trades for high-end players who are just hitting their developmental stride.
The 2008 Draft Class for the Philadelphia Flyers is an odd look at a success that could have been. It is not as if the organization should chalk the entire year as a front office failure, but it does boast a few cautionary tales of how doing everything seemingly correctly can still bring about disastrous consequences. A team can prepare for the worst but bad luck can find anyone at any time.
The Phantoms' franchise, even before it moved to Glens Falls to become the Adirondack Phantoms, has been in a state of struggle underneath a successful NHL franchise. This comes despite a large amount of success from drafted prospects. The Phantoms have not really been successful since winning the Calder Cup during the NHL lockout year of 2004-05. Two early exits from the postseason over the course of what will be seven seasons of hockey does not suggest a steady foundation of prospects on which to build an NHL franchise.
Below is the bottom third of the NHL Team Rankings in terms of prospects as voted on by Hockey's Future staff. To determine the ranking, each team's entire prospect pool was taken into consideration. For reference, just the top five prospects are listed. To be eligible, a prospect must meet HF's prospect criteria. The rankings are done twice a year, with the second scheduled to be published in the Spring.
While the Philadelphia Flyers prospect pool consistently hovers near the bottom of the league, it is not for a lack of production. A steady stream of graduates has kept the team rotating through young talent since the end of the 2004-05 NHL Lockout. Though they once again lack blue-chip prospects within their pool, most of the weight for the future of the team is carried by young NHL players such as Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Sean Couturier, and the Schenn brothers, Luke and Brayden.