In this week’s “Flyers Prospects Mailbag”, we do a lot of looking ahead to next season. With Philadelphia’s season all but lost, it makes us all feel a little better projecting some of the youth that will be with the big squad in 2019-20.
Let’s get this party started!
John, Out of Camp this Summer which prospect you think makes the NHL next year?#LetsGoFlyers
— Craig Bowen (@Craig68005756) January 21, 2019
Assuming that Philippe Myers and Nicolas Aube-Kubel are all but locks to be on the team, I’m going to go with Morgan Frost. There’s still some uncertainty to whether his OHL success with translate to the professional level. I, for one, am optimistic about his chances. Additionally, I’m having difficulty picturing not making this team and playing in Lehigh Valley. Now, the Flyers can make moves to lessen his chances, but for now, I’m sticking with Frost making the team out of camp.
What is morgan frost upside if he improve pace with puck?
— Roosevelt (@CarlHammill) January 21, 2019
He can transform into an elite top-line forward at the NHL level. Honestly, I already feel that is his upside. Of course, that becomes even more likely with any improvement.
Will Frost be on 2019 Flyers Roster
— Jerry Pagano (@jpcowboys) January 22, 2019
Yes, he will. Offseason moves could alter this a bit. However, Frost can play both at center and wing. His versatility makes the likelihood of him making the Flyers even greater.
Which of the college prospects do you think might sign at the end of the season? Any chance @FarabeeJoel signs after his freshman year?
— RMC (@CTFlyerFan) January 22, 2019
I have a feeling that Joel Farabee will spend another year at Boston University developing his game. He’s had a fantastic freshman year. Another season can only help — no need to rush the youngster at this point.
At this point, the only player that comes to mind is possibly Tanner Laczynski. He’s proven all he needs to at the collegiate level. Signing with the Flyers and playing for the Phantoms will assist in his continued development. I still think he’s got a bit to go before he makes the Flyers. Before this season, I would have put Wade Allison on this list as well. However, an injury-plagued year has me changing my mind.
Will Ratcliffe get NHL games next year? Maybe mid season call up
— Brian – the 🍠 🍾 Fan (@brian_gartside) January 22, 2019
A lot would have to go right for Isaac Ratcliffe to make the team right out of camp. However, a midseason call-up is not out of the question. It truthfully depends on the moves Philadelphia makes over the offseason. If Chuck Fletcher brings in more NHL-ready talent to this roster, it could prevent players like Ratcliffe from seeing NHL ice-time next season.
What do you think of Errson? Could he backup Hart in the future?
— Bryce Barkauskas (@thebasicbryce) January 22, 2019
I’ve been incredibly impressed by what I’ve seen from the young Swedish netminder. It’s always exciting to see goalie prospects succeeding, especially when you’re a franchise that’s had its fair share of goalie woes. However, we cannot forget that Ersson is only 19-years-old and still has a lot to prove. In regards to him backing up Carter Hart in the future, it can certainly happen one day. Ideally, the Flyers are going to want a proven veteran netminder to back up their goalie phenom for a few seasons. Still, if Hart gets to a point where he does not need veteran support, Ersson can come in and back him up for a season or two. Eventually, the Flyers could wind up trading Ersson once he becomes starter worthy.
This modern NHL is a speed and skill game. Flyers current team is slow and many lack natural goal scoring abilities. Do u see those skills in any of the prospects they have?
— David Schwass (@dbschwass) January 22, 2019
I do. Jay O’Brien is the first player that comes to mind regarding speed. However, we need to remember that these prospects are growing up in a fast game, so the chance they bring a little more of that dynamic to the ice is likely. I’ve been impressed with Isaac Ratcliffe’s scoring abilities and believe he can only get better as he continues to take advantage of his big frame. Another name that comes to mind regarding scoring is Matt Strome. The kid is a natural goal-scorer. Unfortunately, his skating ability may prevent him from making a significant impact in the NHL.
Despite Frost incredible season in the OHL this year, we have seen players similarly execute in the CHL and struggle in the NHL. What do you think Frost needs to improve to make the Flyers 2019 roster? Flipside, what will he bring to the 2019 Flyers if he makes it? #LetsGoFlyers
— Connor Donald (@connorten) January 22, 2019
This is a great question, and it is the main reason some are hesitant to be sold entirely on Morgan Frost as an elite player for Philadelphia. When I think of Frost, I think of an intelligent prospect with phenomenal playmaking ability, incredible hockey sense, and the skills necessary to fill the opposition’s net with a plethora of pucks. In my mind, that should translate into a successful NHL career. The physicality of the pros is not as prevalent in the CHL so that will need some adjusting. However, I do not view it as unmanageable and I expect Frost to crack the Flyers roster. If Frost needs more time to get used to the professional style, he will do some seasoning in Lehigh Valley next season. Still, I would not expect him to be there for long.
What if any time table to see Big Rat at the NHL level …hell I'll settle for the Phantoms as long as it's sooner than later. I wanna see if this kid is real deal.
— Brendan Gillespie (@chef2theleftB) January 22, 2019
Unless he completely knocks Philadelphia’s socks off in training camp, Ratcliffe will start next season in Lehigh Valley. There is the chance that he receives a midseason call-up but I wouldn’t be surprised if he spends a full year with the Phantoms. The 2020-21 season is when I expect to see Ratcliffe with the Flyers.
How many games does Hart play next year? Will he get the load of a legit starting goaltender?
— CanadianAussie (@mater_dura) January 22, 2019
Carter Hart will be Philadelphia’s starting netminder next season. However, I do think that Fletcher is going to look for a veteran netminder that can serve more of a 1B role instead of a traditional backup role. Hart is still young and the last thing the Flyers want to do is run him into the ground. Still, I expect him to log between 50 and 55 starts next year.
Will Wade Allison be seen in the organization?
— Ian Farrell (@IF_2F3567) January 22, 2019
I hope so. When Allison is healthy, he possesses the potential of a reliable NHLer. Unfortunately, injuries have taken their toll on him this season. I’m still optimistic that Allison will be a part of this franchise. However, I do think he will return to Western Michigan next season.
Which d-men do you see making the jump to the ‘big show’ next year?
— Anthony Melideo (@AnthonyMelideo) January 22, 2019
I’m going to go with Phil Myers here. Ideally, he receives an opportunity this season but I think he will be with the NHL squad permanently next season.
This season could not be more unfortunate for the once-promising college hockey player. He has battled injury and illness all year long. However, he is expected to rejoin his team this weekend. Fingers crossed that he can remain healthy for the remainder of the season.
Who is your dark horse to make the lineup within the next 2 years?
— Quin (@mquin18) January 23, 2019
I’m going outside of the box here. I believe that Wyatte Wylie will make tremendous strides and make the Flyers for the 2020-21 season. His offensive ability constantly impresses me and I think he can transform into an effective NHL blueliner.
Does Maksim Sushko have a future with the organization? He seems to be lost among the other prospects that are trending upwards.
— AP🐝 (@provolone22) January 23, 2019
It is very challenging for me to ever give up on a prospect. They were drafted for a reason and obviously possess the potential to play in the NHL. Maksim Sushko has not experienced the level of progression I expected from him this season. Unfortunately, his stock has taken a hit because of it. Due to the depth of Philadelphia’s prospect pool, the likelihood of Sushko losing out on an opportunity has increased. Still, all it takes is a quick turnaround and we are having a different conversation.
I would not rule out Ersson or Sandstrom on the Phantoms next season. I’m tempted to pick Sandstrom over Ersson simply because of age and experience. Although one of them could play in Lehigh Valley next year, I don’t think both of them will be there. As for Zamula, I believe 100% that he will be in Lehigh Valley next season. The organization is high on him and the Phantoms is the best place for him to continue to develop. I’m sticking to my guns with Frost making the Flyers out of camp next season. However, if he does start the year in Lehigh Valley, he will definitely be on the Flyers by the all-star break.
Thank you so much to all of the people who provided questions for Flyers Prospects Mailbag! If you missed out this week, keep an eye on Twitter for my next request for your prospect questions.
Mandatory Photo Credit: NHL.com