The NHL trade deadline is just around the river bend (yeah, that’s a Pocahontas reference). Although prospects aren’t always the hot topic around this time of year, they still play a role in trade speculation. This week’s Flyers Prospects Mailbag touches on prospects the Flyers might target in a return for veterans such as Wayne Simmonds. We also spend a lot of time talking about German Rubtsov.
Let’s get this party started!
@JohnPGove It's about that time of year when college & European seasons wrap up. Will any Flyer prospects debut with the team before the end of Philly's season?
— Brandon Marshall (@BartlettBrando) February 17, 2019
My apologies in advance for the boring answer. There’s nobody in either the NCAA or over in Europe that I can picture making their debut with the Flyers this season. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Felix Sandstrom comes over and is on the roster in Lehigh Valley. Unfortunately, that’s the only one I can picture.
Since the Flyers may be trading some vets for picks/prospects, which prospects should they target at the trade deadline?
— Brandon Marshall (@BartlettBrando) February 18, 2019
Great question, Brandon. There are certainly some intriguing names that Philadelphia could look into, especially when fielding trade offers for Wayne Simmonds.
In Boston, a name that stands out for me is Jakub Zboril. The 21-year-old defenseman is a former 13th-overall pick that has lost favor a bit with the Bruins. I know the Flyers aren’t in desperate need of a young blueliner, but Zboril could be a nice addition to the prospect pool.
Though Calgary has not been linked to Simmonds, you never know if there’s interest. A forward prospect I’d inquire about in the Flames organization is Dillon Dube. The former second-round selection has a tremendous amount of speed and intelligence. He’s a center so I’m not sure how interested Philadelphia would be. Still, he a promising youngster at least worth some consideration.
In regards to the Nashville Predators, I’m all about bringing in Eeli Tolvanen. Yes, there are some red flags, however, the winger comes with an incredible amount of upside. I’m not sure if Nashville is ready to part ways with him. Still, it would be worth an inquiry.
The intriguing team that I’m starting to lean towards regarding Simmonds is Tampa Bay. The Lightning would have to deal a quality prospect because they do not have a first-round pick to trade. Some prospects of interest are Alex Barre-Boulet, Mitchell Stephens, and Taylor Raddysh.
Have you heard anything about Rubtsov getting healthy?
— Craig Bowen (@Craig68005756) February 18, 2019
German Rubtsov underwent season-ending shoulder surgery in the fall. Obviously, this is super unfortunate because he was off to such a strong start. Now, instead of fighting to make Philadelphia’s roster out of training camp next season, he will likely have to spend some time with the Phantoms. If he can pick up where he left off before the injury, a mid-season call-up is not out of the question.
with his recent success does Farabee turn pro next year?
— Shayne Moon (@smoon_shayne) February 18, 2019
I go back and forth with this one Shayne. My gut instinct says he returns to Boston University for his sophomore season. It’s not necessary by any means. Farabee is proving that his game is ready for the professional level. However, I feel that the likelihood that he would be playing for the Phantoms and not the Flyers out of the gate might encourage him to continue his growth at the college level for one more year.
If Myers Stays & Morin (Longshot) Can Play – Will they Move MacDonald & Gudas by Trade Deadline⁉️Will they Buy out MacDonald this Summer⁉️Does Frost have a Legit Shot at making @NHLFlyers next Year⁉️#LetsGoFlyers I am #FlyerRob #FlyersMail #FlyersTalk pic.twitter.com/yKjoaZ8HYx
— Robert N. Wilson III (@NAARobertWilson) February 18, 2019
Of the two veteran defensemen in question, Radko Gudas is the only that could get moved by the trade deadline. However, I’m not convinced that the Flyers want to trade Gudas. He only has one more year on a friendly deal and is a solid bottom-pairing blueliner. MacDonald, on the other hand, will be bought this summer. There is simply no market for him and the Flyers just need to cut the dead-weight loose.
Since I started covering prospects for Philly Sports Network, I have preached that Morgan Frost will make the NHL next season. Of course, offseason acquisitions may change this, but I’m hopeful that it won’t. People worry because of the “learning curve” that occurs when transitioning to the professional game from juniors. I don’t care what level Frost is playing at. He has a phenomenal skill set and he will start demonstrating that next season for the Flyers.
Hi bud. How is Rubtsov overall Situation? When is he back healthy and where. Maybe big Club next season?#LetsGoFlyers
— FlyersFan (@OrangeBlack12) February 18, 2019
I touched on it earlier but Rubtsov underwent season-ending shoulder surgery in the fall. He’s out for the year and will look to pick up where he left off this season next year. I’d be shocked if he’s not in the AHL to start the year. Before his strong start to the 2018-19 season, Rubtsov had fallen out of favor a bit. Although he had a productive ten games in Lehigh Valley, he’s going to need to prove that he’s still trending in the right direction.
German Rubstov makes this team next year!?
— Jay Shellem (@jay_shellem) February 19, 2019
Man, people have Rubtsov on the brain this week. Like I said before, I don’t think he makes the team out of camp. A mid-season call-up, depending on how things go, is not out of the question.
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 Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-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.