It’s been a tough time for the Flyers lately, as they’ve lost five of their last six games. The most recent loss came Tuesday night at the hands of an NHL-worst San Jose Sharks team.
But the organization has always been open to the idea of rebuilding.
The current performance? Yes, it’s brutal. Although the Flyers’ ultimate goal is to build the future, not necessarily compete today.
How does it look tomorrow?
Look at the current crop of big-name prospects, well…
• Yes, Matvei Mikkov I’m doing quite well in Russia. After being loaned out to HC Sotschi for an extended season, the 18-year-old winger has recorded nine points and nine assists in 20 games, doing it all with keen awareness and an incredibly sharp shot.
Since betting heavily on Michkov seventh in the draft over the summer, it’s never really been a matter of “if” for the Flyers, but rather a matter of “when.”
The scoring phenom already had a KHL contract with SKA St. Petersburg when the Flyers selected him, meaning he probably wouldn’t be available for an NHL jump until 2026, but general manager Danny Brière and the front office did has already insisted on its willingness to wait, and the same goes for the Flyers’ fan base – although they eagerly await every big Michkov highlight from Russia until then.
Hey, it’ll be a few years before Michkov gets here. There’s nothing wrong with being upset about it in the meantime.
• Cutter Gauthier also plays quite well for Boston College, with eight goals and two assists in ten games and also has a great shot.
(That guitar celebration is pretty good too.)
Gauthier, selected fifth overall in the 2022 draft by Chuck Fletcher’s old regime as an “upside play,” opted to stay in college for a second season, but the 19-year-old was expected to be his starting player would sign a contract and make the NHL jump once Boston College’s run is over.
However, the Eagles are playing well this year, so they may have to wait until after a deep run into the NCAA Tournament in the spring.
MORE: Five thoughts on the Flyers during their latest loss
• Defender Emil Andrä ripped the Flyers’ roster out of camp, and although he showed promise and made some good plays, he was ultimately sent to the AHL for more developmental minutes after it became apparent that the NHL pace was too high.
Selected in the second round of the 2020 draft, the 21-year-old turned heads for his quick and decisive ability to move the puck, but adapting to a smaller rink from Sweden and the much faster pace of the NHL was always going to be a problem advantageous A difficult task for any defender.
Andrae has only played in three games since being sent to the Phantoms, but that was due to injury. He returned to the team on Wednesday and had an assist in the 4-2 loss to Springfield, but also had a minus-2.
There’s still plenty of time to get going, though, and if he finds it, another promotion with the Flyers will soon be on the horizon.
• Samu Tuomaala has been interesting since training camp. The 20-year-old Finnish winger, a second-round draft pick in 2021, can fly across the ice and fire a lightning-fast snap, but it was clear in camp that he is still very raw as a complete hockey player.
At the moment, however, he has two goals and six assists in 11 games for the Phantoms and is flashing some heads-up playmaking:
And with this OT winner, great finish on the net:
It will be interesting to see how he progresses this season in Lehigh Valley.
• 24-year-old striker Olle Lycksell He had a brief stint with the Flyers last season and has thrived so far this season with the Phantoms, scoring eight goals in 11 games, including a hat trick against Springfield on Oct. 20.
• Elliot Desnoyers is keeping pace in Lehigh Valley with two goals and five assists, but after leading the Phantoms with 23 goals last season, it would be better to see a stronger performance from the 21-year-old winger.
• Jump back to the blue line, Adam Ginning has two goals and three assists in 11 games, but is minus-6, and Ronnie Attard has one goal and two assists in eight games and is -4.
Attard, who has only a relatively short amount of experience and standing, is probably closer to the Flyers’ roster, but with Marc Staal injured and Andrae sent off, the move to be Louie probably wasn’t a particularly good sign for him to convene Belpedio instead.
• Finally, the two youngest young talents who are first-round defensemen with the London Knights of the OHL Oliver Bonk is holding strong with 12 assists and a plus-2 rating in 15 games while a third-round center pick Denver Barkey has consistently earned money with nine goals and 19 points in the same 15 years.
The 18-year-olds are at least two to three years away, but the steady production is a good sign that they are on the right track.
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