*At this point it’s more like STAYING in America for the Flyers first round draft pick.
The long awaited announcement has come for German Rubstov. He will spend at least the rest of the 2016-2017 season in the QMJHL with the Chicoutimi Sanguenéens, who took the risk of drafting German with the 27th overall pick in the CHL Import Draft, knowing full well he may never play a single game.
ICYMI, Flyers 2016 first-round pick German Rubtsov will be joining the QMJHL’s Chicoutimi Saguenéens.
— Bill Meltzer (@billmeltzer) January 6, 2017
The announcement couldn’t have come at a better time, as German just finished with a bronze medal in the World Junior Championships in Canada. Rubtsov was unable to register a point in the tournament playing in limited time, before he suffered a concussion that kept him out of the final few games of the tournament.
Rubtsov had yet to register a point in the KHL, and ultimately would have continued to be given less then 8 minutes a game on the 4th line of his Vityaz club.
It remains to be seen where Rubtsov will slot in for the Sanguenéens, but it’s safe to assume he will take on at least a top 9 role as a center, and could most likely fit into the top two lines.
Chicoutimi has decent center depth. At least 7 players, Rubtsov included, are listed as centers for the Sanguenéens, one of them being Nicholas Roy, a 4th round pick of the Carolina Hurricanes and a standout for Team Canada at the World Juniors.
Apparently Chicoutimi has a lot of center depth, so Rubtsov will likely be 2C on the team. He should get PP and PK time, too. #Flyers
— Flyers Prospects (@futureofphilly) January 6, 2017
Once German is healthy, he will be a huge boost to the Sanguinéens, who are not in a horrible position from a league standpoint. They are 10th in the QMJHL at 19-15-2, but they sit at 4th in their respective division, which brings to perspective just how competitive their division will be. In addition to playing in the same division as the league leading Shawinigan Cataractes, German will also line up against a certain Victoriaville Tigres player who will be tied to him for the rest of his career.
When Philadelphia traded back to acquire Rubtsov 22nd overall, they picked up a 2nd round pick only 13 spots away from 22. The Flyers used that pick to take Pascal Laberge, a 6’1, two-way center who racked up 68 points in 56 games after struggling with personal and physical issues in his rookie season.
Rubtsov and Laberge will now be rivals in their junior league, as if flyer fans didn’t have enough reason to keep their eyes glued to the QMJHL to view the progress of Philippe Myers.
We could see Rubtsov in Allentown with the Phantoms as soon as October. The Flyers have taken harsh criticism to taking Rubtsov over players like Gauthier and Bellows, but this paints a much different picture now that he will showcase his talents in North America. As fate would have it, Ron Hextall and Flyers brass now have a golden opportunity to see what they have in the young Russian.