Flyers Prospects Mailbag: Calder Hart?

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In this week’s “Flyers Prospects Mailbag”, we discuss the possibility of Carter Hart winning the Calder Trophy, possible prospect trade candidates, the future in net for Lehigh Valley, and physical prospects.

Let’s get this party started!

Thank you for the question, Cole. I think we are looking at prospects that might struggle to find a home on the NHL roster due to the farm system’s depth. Some college players come to mind such as Tanner Laczynski, Wyatt Kalynuk, Gavin Hain, and to a lesser extent, Wade Allison. I’m sure Fletcher will consider using CHL players such as Maksim Sushko and Matt Strome as trade chips as well. However, he is not going to send off top prospects such as Morgan Frost, Philippe Myers, Isaac Ratcliffe, or Joel Farabee unless a deal really knocks his socks off.

Regarding Mark Stone, I’d love to see the Flyers acquire him either via trade or free agency. If it is through a deal with Ottawa, Philadelphia would need assurances that Stone intended on re-signing with the organization. However, as of right now, reports have come out that Stone would like to stay with the Senators. If this changes, I’m all for the Flyers taking a serious run at him.

The Flyers have to make the postseason and Carter Hart’s goaltending has to be the main reason it happens. Listen, Hart’s performance in net has been outstanding and he is single-handedly changing the vibe around the organization. Unfortunately, I do not see him catching Elias Petter. However, it certainly is not outlandish to think he will finish as a finalist. I just can’t see him winning it at this point.

It is certainly a possibility but a few things would have to happen. First, the Flyers would have to decide what they are going to do with Anthony Stolarz and Alex Lyon. With Stolarz, they will be doing some assessing throughout the rest of the season on whether he can serve as the backup to Carter Hart next season. If they believe so, they will need to re-sign him, as he is set to be a restricted free-agent. Committing to Stolarz as the backup would eliminate the need to go out and sign a veteran in free agency. Next, Philadelphia would need to decide what they want to do with Lyon. He is on the books until the summer of 2020 and I do not believe he holds much trade value. If Felix Sandstrom and Kirill Ustimenko were to join Lehigh Valley, the Phantoms would either carry three netminders or send Lyon down to the ECHL. There is much more upside to Sandstrom and Ustimenko and I’d love to see them both in Lehigh Valley next year. Still, Fletcher needs to make decisions on the young goalies currently with the franchise first.

This is a great question. I must admit that I am a guilty party in regards to discussing Matt Strome as trade bait. He is certainly having another fantastic season in the OHL playing for the Hamilton Bulldogs. His offensive ability is top-notch and it’s unfortunate that we spend so much time criticizing one aspect of his game and not enough time applauding his strengths. Unfortunately, I do not think Strome will be viewed as a legitimate valuable asset at the NHL-level until he proves it. I’m not saying this is fair, however, it’s very difficult for prospects to escape negative stigmas until they demonstrate it’s not a hindrance.  I do think that Strome has the potential to be a force with the Flyers. Similarly, I  believe most people will hesitate to view him as such until they see how his skills translate to the professional level.

Thank you for the question, Brandon. The first prospect I’d like to highlight has not quite grasped how to utilize his size. At 6’6″, 204lbs, Isaac Ratcliffe can transform into a true physical presence that can terrorize the opposition on the ice. Samuel Morin is the other prospect that automatically comes to mind. He is a big-bodied, physical player that could transition into one of the Flyers toughest players. Of course, health will play a major role in determining that.

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.


Photo credit: Alex Mclntyre