While the Flyers’ current situation doesn’t appear all that bright, many believe help is on the way.
Having watched young up-and-coming talents such as Noah Cates, Cam York and Morgan Frost enjoy breakthrough seasons with the Flyers this year, the team remains confident it is on the right track with its ongoing development plan.
“We still want to add more talent and skill,’’ said assistant general manager Brent Flahr who oversees the team’s scouting department. “But we do have some players right now we’re excited about.’’
Those aforementioned NHL aspirants would appear to show the evaluation system under GM Chuck Fletcher is paying off.
“We’ve got some players who we believe will be good future Flyers,’’ Flahr said.
Here are our top 10 Flyers prospects in conjunction with The Hockey News:
>1. Cutter Gauthier, C/LW, 19, 6-foot-2, 189 pounds, Boston College, (Hockey-East).
Scouts have been impressed with the Swedish native’s more than a point per-game pace with the Eagles but his showing for bronze medalist USA at the World Junior Championships was even more eye-opening. His 10 points were sixth-best in the tournament, third-best on USA.
“He has pretty much everything – the size, speed, great shot,’’ Flahr said. “With his power, it makes him a lot bigger, stronger than many of these kids. When he plays that power game, he’s a load to handle.’’
BC has been using Gauthier at center, with positive results.
“He has top-end speed, a quick release,’’ Flahr noted. “As for NHL, maybe one more year (in college).”
How acquired: 2022 draft, 5th overall.
>2. Tyson Foerster, RW, 21, 6-2, 1994, Lehigh Valley, (AHL).
Foerster’s post-draft profile reads like something out of Grey’s Anatomy: Broken shin, displaced collarbone, major shoulder surgery.
If he can just stay healthy the Flyers believe they have a potential sharpshooter in waiting.
“He’s healthy this year and it (the comeback) started at last year’s World Juniors (held in summer due to the pandemic) – it really jumpstarted him,’’ Flahr said. “In camp, he trusted the shoulder and at Lehigh Valley he’s found his way.’’
Flahr said talent evaluators are pleased with Foerster’s improvement on the defensive side of things. And offense comes natural.
“He can really shoot the puck,’’ Flahr said. “A big year will be huge for his confidence.”
How acquired: 2020 draft, 23rd overall.
>3. Bobby Brink, RW, 21, 5-8, 166, Lehigh Valley (AHL).
When you’ve led U.S. college hockey in scoring, paced your Denver University team to a NCAA Division I championship and been named a Hobey Baker Award finalist for 2022, the sky would seem the limit.
All that potential for Bobby Brink was put on hold, however, when he had to undergo offseason hip surgery. He needed to wait until early January to make his return but he’s making the most of it in the AHL.
“He’s competitive, he’s so smart, he’s off to a good start (with the Phantoms),’’ Flahr said. “He wants to be up here (in Philadelphia) but he’s a little behind because he missed all that time.”
How acquired: 2019 draft, 34th overall.
>4. Emile Andrae, D, 21, 5-8, 181, HV71 Jonkoping (SweHL).
Andrae won’t be mistaken for Zdeno Chara but don’t be fooled by his size. The young Swede won’t back down from anyone.
“He’s short in stature but he’s physically strong,’’ Flahr said. “Gets involved. He’s a guy who’s physically and mentally mature. My guess is he’s coming over here to make the team next year.”
It took a couple years for former No. 1 pick Cam York to make the jump to NHL but he’s flourishing now. The Flyers hope for a similar story with Andrae.
“He’s not a 19-year-old coming out of junior,” Flahr noted. “He’s had pro experience overseas for a couple years. But no need to rush.”
How acquired: 2020 draft, 54th overall.
>5. Yegor Zamula, D, 22, 6-3, 177, Lehigh Valley (AHL).
Zamula might have been the biggest surprise name on the Flyers’ opening night roster. He’s been up and down from the AHL but did manage to play 11 NHL games.
He was signed as a free agent way back in 2018 and the Flyers have always shown a soft spot for an undrafted player.
“He had a real good camp and deserved to be on the team,’’ Flahr said. “He was in and out of the lineup, he’s a young kid and he needs to play a lot. He knows he can play in the NHL.’’
At his height, Zamula obviously needs to put on more than a few pounds.
How acquired: Free agent, Sept. 21, 2018.
>6. Ronnie Attard, D, 23, 6-3, 208, Lehigh Valley (AHL).
Offensive-minded, improving at moving the puck under pressure. Wants to impact games.
How acquired: 2019 draft, 72nd overall.
>7. Alexei Kolosov, G, 21, 6-1, 187, Minsk Dynamo (KHL).
Good numbers on a bad team. International scouts pleased with his progress.
How acquired: 2021 draft, 78th overall.
>8. Devin Kaplan, RW, 19, 6-2, 199, Boston University (Hockey-East).
Power forward learning when (and when not) to be aggressive.
How acquired: 2022 draft, 69th overall.
>9. Olle Lycksell, RW, 23, 5-10, 163, Lehigh Valley (AHL).
All-purpose player. Three-game trial with Flyers demonstrated his maturity, skill sets.
How acquired: 2017 draft, 168th overall.
>10. Elliot Desnoyers, LW, 21, 5-11, 183, Lehigh Valley (AHL).
Confident with a bit of swagger. Overachiever. Coach trusts him in all situations.
How acquired: 2020 draft, 135th overall.