Welcome to “Flyers Prospect Stock Watch” a new monthly/bi-monthly prospect series from Philly Sports Network. This piece is dedicated to prospects within the Philadelphia Flyers farm system that have seen their stock rise or fall depending on recent performances.
The first edition of this column will provide a slightly broader outlook than usual. A lot of hockey has been played since the start of each’s leagues season, and some prospects have been exceeding or not living up to prior expectations.
Here we go!
Cates received a lot of positive feedback for his performance in the World Junior Championships. He is transforming into an all-situations player with excellent hockey sense and a strong work ethic. Cates still has some work to do if he wants to one day be viewed as a productive scorer. However, it is easy to picture him as a bottom-six forward on the Flyers.
To be fair, expectations were already high on Farabee before the 2018-19 season got rolling. However, his stellar play both in his rookie season at Boston and during the WJC has risen Farabee’s stock even higher. Now, you can’t rattle off Philadelphia’s top-five prospects without mentioning Farabee.
Before this season, Friedman was not a common topic of conversation. His performance on Lehigh Valley’s blueline now has him in line for a possible call up before season’s end.
For obvious reasons, Yegor Zamula was not a household name before this season. As an undrafted free-agent, expectations were quite low. Thanks to an entry-level contract and a breakout year with Calgary, there is a lot of hype surrounding Zamula. I’m not quite ready to crown him a prospective elite defenseman in the NHL. However, it’s hard to ignore the stride he has taken this year.
When Philadelphia selected Wyatte Wylie in the fifth round of last year’s draft, people viewed him as no more than a cool name. It turns out that the youngster can actually cause some serious damage on the blueline. His ability to create offense has spectators, including myself, rethinking his ceiling. A lot of development is still needed, however picturing Wylie as an effective NHLer is not unrealistic.
Tanner Laczynski & Wyatt Kalynuk
Both former late- round picks are in the running for this year’s Hobey Baker Memorial Award. Enough said!
Outside of Carter Hart, Ersson is the Flyers best goalie prospect. He is having an excellent season in the Allsvenskan, raising both his value and popularity.
Being a part of this list is not any fault of Allison’s. Injuries have prevented the former second-rounder from having the kind of junior year at Western Michigan everyone expected. After a fantastic 2017-18 season, Allison was one of the early favorites to be crowned the NCHC’s player of the year. Unfortunately, health issues have kept him off the ice and limited his production. Of course, this does not mean Allison cannot still have a successful professional hockey career. However, the hype around him has taken a hit, making his stock decline a bit for now.
After a 60-point effort for Owen Sound in 2017-18, expectations were for Sushko to take a big step forward in his development this season. So far, that has not been the case. The former fourth-round draft has struggled to produce consistent offense this year.
This is where I think I’m going to get some criticism but hear me out before you yell at me. Vorobyev’s stock was at an all-time high at the beginning of this season. Making the Flyers right out of training camp was a wonderful and unexpected accomplishment. However, he was unable to stick in Philadelphia, only playing in seven games. Once back in Lehigh Valley, I expected to witness a level of hunger in Vorobyev with the hopes of making it back to the Flyers soon. I have not seen that so far. His play is inconsistent and sometimes comes off as lazy. Vorobyev was once viewed as one of the players viewed as close to being a regular in the NHL. Now, I wouldn’t be shocked if he gets lost in the Flyers deep prospect pool.
Mandatory Credit: Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports
John Gove is a full-time elementary educator with a passion for sports media. He has covered various aspects of hockey and basketball for various outlets over the past five years. Currently, he serves as a contributor and editor for Philly Sports Network focussing on prospects within the Philadelphia Flyers farm system and Villanova Men’s Basketball. John also serves as a co-host of Pod Street Bullies, PSN’s flagship Flyers podcast. Follow him on Twitter at @PodStreetGove.