Flyers Prospect Watch: German Rubtsov exclusively opens up on path to Philly & gives message to fans “I want to get better every day and do what I can to help my team succeed”

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There is no denying what the Philadelphia Flyers are trying to do. They are a team in a rebuild, that remains focused at rebuilding through the draft. General Manager Ron Hextall has preached patience and he remains focused at using his young prospects to fill vacancies when the right situation arises. Good scouting and key draft selections are huge in today’s NHL.

When the Flyers selected German Rubtsov 22nd overall in the 2016 NHL Draft, the hockey world instantly blew up. The Flyers may have selected the next, “Russian Missile.” Rubtsov fell to the Flyers lap, after teams discovered a doping scandal that involved the Russian team he once played for.

We did our research on this kid, trust me. Up, down and all around. Inside their country and everything else. We’re convinced that it’s not an issue,” Hextall stated to the media after the 2016 NHL draft.

Rubtsov was born June 27, 1998, in Chekhov, Russia. He began his professional hockey career playing for the Russkie Vityazi, at the start of the 2014-15 season. In his first season, he amassed 1 goal, and 4 assists a total of 5 points in 11 games played.

For the 2015-16 season, Rubtsov began competing for Team Russia U18 of the Junior hockey league (MHL). To no one’s surprise he made the team convincingly. He showed his versatility by playing in any situation the coaching staff asked of him. For the season, he garnered 12 goals, and 14 assists for a total of 26 points in 28 games played. More importantly, Rubtsov really developed into a solid two way player.

“I try to have a solid overall game in both ends,” Rubtsov said. “Defense is a priority for me, but most of all I want to make my team and teammates better every day. I take my training very seriously.”

The 18 year old standout, wanted to showcase his talent at the World Championships, with the hopes of playing before NHL scouts. Each member of the Team Russia U18 tested positive for a banned substance called melondium. This forced the committee to bar the team from competing in the World Championships. He was devastated, but forced to move on when he found out his fate.

Fortunately, after much debate the Team Russia U18 product, was able to participate in the World Junior Championships after all. Rubtsov suffered a broken nose just five games in, and that ended his stint in the Championship. This injury didn’t keep him from training in the off-season though.

“I continue to train hard in every aspect of my game. My training has been the same with minor tweaks for some time now.”

At age 18, Rubtsov wanted to move on from the doping scandal, as it never deterred him from possibly playing in the NHL. Even though, his stock was dropping heavily, he still continued to dream of one day playing in the NHL. His dream came true when the Flyers called out his name during the 2016 NHL Draft with the 22nd pick. Rubtsov was overjoyed to join a special organization in the Flyers, which made it a match made in heaven.

It was a dream come true to hear my name called. It is an honor to have your name called by such a historic and important franchise. Absolute dream come true.”

Rubtsov had to return back to Russia after being drafted by the Flyers. He was still under a two year contract agreement with Vityaz Podolsk in the KHL. He was then traded back to the Russkie Vityazi for the start of the 2016-17 season, to which he garnered 7 goals, and 8 assists for a total of 15 points in 15 games played. Could this successful season be dedicated to one special person?

My father has been the most important trainer and motivator for me. He teaches me the right way to be a professional and a man. He is my hero.”

On January 9, 2017, Rubtsov terminated his KHL contract. He was then able to join the junior team of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens after he was selected 27th overall by them in the 2016 CHL Import Draft. To Rubtsov’s delight he finished the 2016-17 season with 9 goals, and 13 assists for a total of 22 points in 16 games played for the Sagueneens. Doug Praskach of predlines.com, compares Rubtsov to Pavel Datysuk and said, “Excellent chance to make it and maybe soon. He has silky hands and moves and is a pass first center that can make magical plays.”

To no surprise, the Flyers finally signed the stud to a three-year entry-level contract on March 2, 2017. The deal was for $2.9 million, with an average cap hit of $925,000. Moreover, Rubtsov was traded to the Acadie-Bathurst Titans from the Sagueneens on November 2, 2017. The Sagueneens weren’t a contender in the QMJHL, as they wanted to rebuild for the future. Of course, the Titans were loading up for a championship run. This move has paid off in a big way for both the Titans and Rubtsov. For the season with the Titans, Rubtsov has registered 8 goals, and 13 assists for a total of 21 points in 21 games played. What’s even more impressive is that Rubtsov is a plus 2.

I would like to play as well as I can so that the team can be successful and win. I want to get better every day and do what I can to help my team succeed.”

With Rubtsov finally under contract with the Flyers, they have multiple options to further his development when training camp opens next season. They could place him with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms as he will turn 20 years old in June, or Rubtsov can make the team out of camp. Either way, he will be with the Flyers for the foreseeable future. Rubtsov truly has all the goods to become a star in the NHL, thus making him a draft day steal. He leaves the fans of Philadelphia with this message:

“The Flyers and fans can expect for me to give everything I have to my core to make the team and try to win and get better.

 

Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

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