The 2018-19 regular season is over. Now is the time to take a look at some of the Philadelphia Flyers’ prospects (Carter Hart, Philippe Myers, and Morgan Frost) and what they have been up to this year. Have some taken a step forward or backward? Philadelphia has a pipeline with some considerable upside.
Prospect wise, Philadelphia picks in the 11th slot this year. The Flyers pick ten times in the 2019 NHL Draft. Below, are the top ten prospects of the Philadelphia Flyers.
2018-19 Top 10 Philadelphia Flyers Prospects
1. Carter Hart, G – Philadelphia Flyers (NHL), Lehigh Valley (AHL)
Drafted: 48th overall in the second round of the 2016 draft by Philadelphia.
Hart is an elite goaltender and was even better than advertised during his 31- game stint with the Flyers this season. He won 16 games and finished with a respectable 2.83 goals-against average and .917 save percentage on what was a porous defense.
Those numbers are so good that the Flyers are convinced that Carter Hart is their goaltender of the future. While that remains to be seen, Hart created a nice, first impression on a team in some transition. As Carter Hart develops over the next few seasons will tell what kind of goalies Philadelphia actually has.
2. Philippe Myers, D – Philadelphia Flyers (NHL), Lehigh Valley (AHL)
HT/WT: 6-5/ 209
The defenseman carries much upside and even got in 21 games of action with Philadelphia. This was after a breakout season in Lehigh Valley where Myers totaled 33 points in 53 games (nine goals). While there are things Myers needs to work on at the NHL level, flashes of skill were undeniable even with the top club.
Again, some argue that Myers is nothing more than a second, maybe third pairing defenseman. The reality dictates that Myers’ upside is that of a top pairing blueliner. He quarterbacks a power play, can show a physical side when needed and is not afraid to jump into the play. His biggest issue now is translating that offensive side from the AHL level to the NHL.
3. Morgan Frost, C — Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
Draft: 27th overall in the first round of the 2017 draft by Philadelphia.
Frost tore up the OHL again this year for the Greyhounds racking up 109 points in just 58 games. That included 37 goals on a ton of shots and scoring chances. Frost plays like a man among boys and processes decision at a rate just too fast for defensemen to keep up with when it comes to the OHL.
Defensively, Frost improved in his second year with Sault Ste. Marie. So far, he has 18 points in 11 playoff contests. There is a level of speed and mobility that makes one expect a transition to the AHL at some point next season. He may even see a call-up to Philadelphia not too long after. Frost just has that skill set a team like Philadelphia desperately needs.
4. Joel Farabee, RW/LW – Boston University (NCAA)
Drafted: 14th overall in the first round of the 2018 draft by Philadelphia.
Farabee is another forward in Philadelphia’s system with off the charts hockey sense. He had 36 points in 37 games for Boston University last season. He signed a multi-year entry-level deal which starts for the 2019-20 season.
His upside is that of a top-six forward. That may fluctuate some but based on what has been seen, Farabee will grow pretty quick. Farabee’s offensive upside may be higher than Frost’s down the road. He just has zero weaknesses at this stage and needs a step up in competition. His time in Philadelphia will come soon enough. Be patient if one is a Flyers fan as Philadelphia has two gems of forwards.
5. Egor Zamula, D – Calgary Hitmen (WHL)
The defenseman surprised a lot of pundits and fans alike when he exploded for a 56 point season in 61 games for Calgary this season. Few saw this coming. Zamula tallied ten goals as well. Even in the playoffs, Zamula added seven assists in 11 games including several points via the power play.
One of his biggest assets Zamula possesses is his ability to pursue pucks and make plays from engaging as quickly as he does. He is likely a couple of years away from the NHL as he does need to work on some defensive aspects. However, that offensive explosion is likely no fluke.
6. Isaac Ratcliffe, W – Guelph Storm (OHL)
Drafted: 35th overall in the second round of the 2017 draft by Philadelphia.
Ratcliffe developed nicely in his last two years with Guelph totaling 150 points in 132 games. His playoff numbers are more telling along with his ability to be physical even if he could stand to gain some upper-body strength. Ratcliffe’s wingspan may be his biggest asset going forward.
Furthermore, he skates well for a big man. There is a little concern about his first stride but that can be corrected with proper coaching. In time, Ratcliffe will be an absolute handful even in the NHL. His upside is that of a 30 goal forward who can play second line and even some top line minutes as needed.
7. Misha Vorobyev, F – Lehigh Valley (AHL), Philadelphia (NHL)
Drafted: 104th overall in the fourth round of the 2015 draft by Philadelphia
Injuries slowed down Vorobyev a tiny bit this year but in 42 games, the center had 26 points. He was projected to be closer to 45-50 points. The young Russian showed a lot of promise in more limited time.
The winger shows a dynamic ability to avoid hits yet be able to battle for pucks in corners with some tenacity. He is just about ready to get a bottom-six role in Philadelphia next season. The only regret is how Philadelphia management handled the forward. He played 15 games for the Flyers but probably should have seen more action. Maybe the Russian will next season.
8. German Rubtsov, C, W – Lehigh Valley (AHL)
Drafted: 22nd overall in the first round of the 2016 Draft by Philadelphia.
After the last year or so, Rubtsov did tally 10 points in 14 games for Lehigh Valley. Then, he injured his shoulder which required season-ending surgery. It was a case of what might have been. Rubtsov has truly been up and down when it comes to his development. One just has to hope that next season, the forward comes back 100%.
Fortunately, the upside is still of a middle-six winger with some power play possibilities. Several upper-body injuries are troubling but the prognosis is good for Rubtsov. Now, can he return with the same passion that he showed in Lehigh Valley to start last season? If he does, a call-up could occur in 2019-20.
9. Samuel Ersson, G – Vasteras IK (Allsvenskan)
Drafted: 143rd overall in the fifth round of the 2018 Draft by Philadelphia.
Ersson is no Carter Hart but nonetheless has a good bit of upside. He gained prominence while playing in the World Junior Championships. The Swedish goalie posted a 2.23 goals-against average and .920 save percentage in four games. His numbers in Sweden were for a second-tiered hockey team but were almost quite impressive.
Also, his lateral movement improved greatly in the last year which somewhat explains a jump in the goalie’s numbers. Ersson figures to see at least another 2-3 years in development before he even plays in the NHL and that means 1-2 years before coming to North America. Again, Carter Hart could be a nice mentor by then.
10. Jay O’Brien, C – Providence College (NCAA)
Drafted: 19th overall in the first round of the 2018 draft by Philadelphia
O’Brien was overrated by Ron Hextall and previous Flyers management but that does not mean the forward does not have a good bit of skill. His college season left much to be desired, however. He had five points in 25 games. Some of the offensive woes could be attributed to injuries.
The center has much to work on because he was transitioned to the wing midway through the season. He is truly a boom or bust prospect in every way.