This season was disappointing, there’s not doubting that, but with the losses in the past, Flyers fans can look forward to the future of the organization. There’s no better hope for bringing new fervor to the Flyers than some of the young prospects.
Here’s a look at just some of the potential talent that will probably make their way into the orange and black. Some we’ve already seen and have a good idea of how they might fare in an NHL setting while others we hope to see in the near future.
1. Scott Laughton, C, Oshawa Generals
Acquired: 1st Round (20th Overall) in 2012
18 year old Scott Laughton has become a popular name in regards to the Flyers top prospects. It has been noted that there are other players around the same age as Laughton that are a bit more talented, but Laughton has an aspect of play that Philadelphia needs and that the fans are used to, aggressiveness. Laughton is a hard worker, he is aggressive attacking the puck and provides a kind of leadership that would benefit any team and we all know Philly loves a hard worker. His hard style earned him comparison to legend Bobby Clarke. this season Laughton signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Flyers on August 8, 2012 and made his NHL debut on January 19, 2013 at home against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He played 4 more games this season with the Flyers not gaining any points, but certainly embedding his name into the back of our mind.
2. Nick Cousins, C, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Acquired: 3rd Round (68th Overall) in 2011
If you know the name already it’s probably because of the controversy around him off the ice, but that’s an issue for another time or possibly another blog.
Cousins has been a great asset to the Greyhounds and is noted as a creative playmaker. The 5’11”, 180-pound center leads the team in points and is in the top 10 in the OHL in scoring. Despite being smaller, Cousins is an effective scorer with the ability to get under an opposing players skin. Cousins has also showed a proficiency at battling in the corners and fans know that the Flyers could use someone who can win battles and get the puck out front or to the point.
3. Brandon Manning, D, Adirondack Phantoms
In 57 games this season with the Phantoms, Manning earned a 4 game run on the Flyers last season after, in 46 games in Adirondack, the 6’1″, 195-pound blueliner notched six goals and 19 points. For a team struggling on the blue line, Manning is the kind of all around defenseman the Flyers need. Manning is currently on the Flyers roster filling in for the injured Huskins, but there’s no doubt that Flyers fans will be seeing more of Manning some time soon. More than just a depth defenseman Manning is strong in his own zone but can also add an offensive edge. I for one look forward to seeing how he comes along.
4. Anthony Stolarz, G, London Knights
Acquired: 2nd round in 2011
Last season Stolarz seemed like nothing special, but went on to surprise the organization and the NCAA. Stolarz left the University of Nebraska-Omaha in December after a less than satisfactory season with an 0-3 record and a .871 save percentage and 3.03 GAA and joined the Dale Hunter’s London Knights program. Stolarz seemed like just an average goalie with not so amazing stats, but this season with the Knights the 6’6″ goalie has a 12-3-2 record with a .920 save percentage and a 2.31 GAA against the world’s top major junior players making him a more than interesting option for the Flyers.
5. Shayne Gostisbehere, D, Union (N.Y.) College (NCAA)
Acquired: Round 3 (78th overall) in 2012
The Philadelphia fanbase is seething for a more solid blue line and Gostisbehere could help fill that defensive void. Gostisbehere was a standout defenseman for the United States’ gold medal-winning squad in the World Junior Championships in Russia and while he isn’t very big at only 5’11” his positioning and stick handling make him a proficient D-man. Gostisbehere has already topped his last seasons points high of 23 in 11 fewer games with the Union this season showing an obvious development. He’s solid offensively and a good puck mover which the Flyers could always use on the blue line.
6. Jason Akeson, RW, Adirondack Phantoms
Akeson represents a strange case in the Phantoms. Last season he led the Phantoms in scoring and was the only Phantom to outscore Brayden Schenn. Akeson’s 36 points beat Schenn’s 33. Even though Akeson was signed to a three-year entry-level contract on March 2, 2011 with the Flyers, he hasn’t made an NHL appearance despite his high points total. In 2010-11 Akeson tied for first in the OHL in points with Tyler Toffoli with 108 points. He also led the league in assists, with 84. So there’s no doubt that Akeson has the talent that would be welcome on the Flyers, but the curious thing is the treatment he’s been getting. Akeson was cut from the Phantoms in training camp and was forced to reprove himself in Trenton (ECHL) even after getting 55 points in 76 games alst season. Whatever the issue we hope the AHL gets over it and allows Akeson to get an NHL chance.
7. Marcel Noebels, LW, Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
Acquired: 4th round draft pick in 2011
Noebels had 34 points in 31 games with the Portland Winterhawks last season and got 22 points in 23 playoff games. Noebels showed his versatility as a player by changing from his regular left wing position to center for the Winterhawks. he’s a bigger player at 6-3, 200lbs which should help him be a physical player. His points show a steady level of play and a consistency that the Flyers have been lacking in all of their forwards recently.
8. Tye McGinn, LW, Adirondack Phantoms
Acquired: 4th round draft pick in 2010
How could we forget Tye McGinn? Last season, his first in th AHL, McGinn had 12 goals and six assists in 63 games. Tye earned himself a 16 game run for the Flyers that was only ended by an orbital bone injury he sustained during a fight. In those 16 games McGinn earned 5 points and was a forceful player especially down low. While not exactly a prospect, McGinn is currently rehabing with the Phantoms and we hope to see him back on the FLyers roster sometime soon.