Dom Lunardo | April 27th, 2020
After an up-and-down last few seasons in the City of Brotherly Love that saw the team miss the postseason in four of the last seven years, the Philadelphia Flyers seemed to have found their “mojo” in 2019-20. This mojo appears in the form of the perfect balance of youth, good coaching, veteran leadership, and a stud goaltender. Mix these all together and you had a team on the path to the NHL playoffs before the NHL hit the pause button due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Flyers Flyin’ High
In terms of their on-ice product, the Flyers have seen some brilliant performances this season out of their top players. With Carter Hart in goal, the team has found a stable presence between the pipes, which has translated to several more points “in the bank” in comparison to past years. Upfront, players like Jakub Voracek, Kevin Hayes, Sean Couturier, Travis Konecny, and team Captain Claude Giroux have all had excellent seasons. On defense, Ivan Provorov, Philippe Myers, and Matt Niskanen have led the charge from the blue-line out. The Flyers also have a few good pieces in their development system. Notorious for producing talent even in the later drafts, the Flyers scouting department remains one of the best in the National Hockey League. What do some of these prospects look like? How much can they contribute to the Flyers’ on-ice success in the coming years?
Number 3: Morgan Frost, Center, Lehigh Valley Phantoms (AHL)
Morgan Frost gets the ball rolling at number three on our list. At the ripe age of 20, the Aurora, Ontario native has a very bright future ahead of him as one of the most coveted prospects “in the system” in Philadelphia. At just 20 years of age, Frost is already well on his way to a long career in the NHL. Frost has already played 20 games this season so far in the black and orange.
A first-round, 27th overall pick during the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Frost enjoyed a phenomenal four years in the Ontario Hockey league (OHL) playing for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. His last two seasons in “The O” saw him post 112 and 109 points respectively before being called up by the Flyers. Frost possesses excellent edge-work and is strong on his skates for a smaller player. He also sees and thinks the game at a very high level, with a real knack for the net. It won’t be long before Morgan Frost is a full-time member on the Flyers top-9 forward group.
Number 2: Wyatte Wylie, Defenseman, Everett Silvertips (WHL)
As if the Flyers don’t have enough quality players on their back-end…Coming in at number two is stud defenseman, Wyatte Wylie. Wylie currently playing for the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League (WHL). The U.S. born blue-liner has been turning heads in “The Dub” and has taken his game to a whole new level over the fast few seasons. Born and raised in Everett, Washington, Wylie may make history as one of the most accomplished players in Everett’s history both on and off the ice. He is a tremendous skater who loves to jump into the play as seen in his 25 goals over the past two seasons. Wylie is intelligent with the puck, a great passer and shifty on his skates. Looks like the Flyers have another blue-chip prospect coming down the pipeline on defense in Wyatt Wylie.
Number 1: Jay O’Brien, Center, Penticton Vees (BCHL)/Boston College (NCAA)
Coming in at number one, is diminutive centerman, Jay O’Brien. Selected 19th overall during last summer’s NHL Entry Draft, the Flyers have themselves a real find in O’Brien. At 5’11, 185 pounds O’Brien’s frame doesn’t shout out at you, but he has a real presence down the middle. His ability to play both sides of the puck and string, powerful strides are a real asset to any team. Besides, O’Brien works well in small spaces and can distribute the puck at an elite level. His enrollment at Boston College will only serve to help O’Brien as he prepares for a long career in the NHL. O’Brien’s upside is extremely high and will be adored by the Flyers faithful in no time.
Honorable Mentions: D Mason Millman, RW Yegor Serdyuk, RW Bobby Brink
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