Photo: Selected 11th overall, Samuel Morin was one of four defensemen the Flyers selected in the 2013 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Rich Graessle/Icon SMI)
The Philadelphia Flyers and General Manager Paul Holmgren used the team's six draft picks to accumulate size and toughness but also address areas of need within the organization. The team drafted a total of four defensemen, including Samuel Morin with the 11th overall selection, none of whom are shorter than 6'2. The Flyers also stayed true to their historical form by using their middle and late-round picks on players who are considered long-term projects.
Photo: Center Sean Couturier was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers eighth overall in 2011. (courtesy of Bill Streicher/Icon SMI)
A disappointing 2012-13 season for the Flyers has left an awkward situation in Philadelphia heading into the offseason. The struggles of the team seem to go hand-in-hand with the struggles of goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov. Meanwhile, former Flyers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky recently won a Vezina Trophy with the Columbus Blue Jackets, less than a year removed from being traded out of Philadelphia.
Photo: Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Oliver Lauridsen had a solid showing in his 15-game call-up to the NHL this season. (courtesy of Jerome Davis/Icon SMI)
The prospect pool for the Philadelphia Flyers is consistently one of the more diminished gatherings of young talent every year, but they rarely miss on top-end talent when given the opportunity to acquire it. Because of their lack of picks and their aggressive style of team-building, it is far more important for the organization to consistently hit on their high draft picks as well as attract some of the better free agent prospects on the market every year.
Photo: Drafted in 2012, defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere has shown a lot of promise in his two seasons with Union College. (courtesy of J. Meric/Getty Images)
The tale of the NCAA and European bases for the Philadelphia Flyers prospect pool is a particularly one-sided one. The Flyers traditionally shy away from European development, and with Paul Holmgren's yearly blitzkrieg on college free-agents, it is fairly obvious that the scouts within the organization favor the collegiate developmental path.
Photo: Cam Atkinson is one of several Blue Jackets prospects who has seen regular time in the lineup for Columbus during the 2013 NHL season (courtesy of Jason Mowry/Icon SMI)
Welcome to the Hockey's Future Spring NHL Team Rankings, the staff's ranking of each NHL team's system based on the strength of the entire prospect pool. For reference, just the top five prospects are listed. To be eligible, a prospect must meet HF's prospect criteria. The ranking is done twice a year, with this edition being an update to the Fall ranking.