Flyers Prospect Watch: Tradable Youth Heading into Offseason

Tanner Laczynski
Ohio State’s Tanner Laczynski is shown during an NCAA hockey game against Michigan State on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)

The Philadelphia Flyers find themselves flush with valuable prospects as they head into the 2019 offseason. For a team looking to take the next step and become a legitimate contender, Philadelphia may find it in their best interest to trade some of their young talents in the farm system in return for quality NHL-ready talent.

Now before everyone gets up and arms about the suggestion of trading prospects, I want you to hear me out. As the Flyers prospect guy at Philly Sports Network, I value and appreciate the up-and-comers as much as anyone. I also understand Philadelphia is not going to just wait around for all of the prospects to develop and just hope they become what we all expect. Even if the organization decided to take such an unrealistic approach, there simply would not be enough room for all of these players. Whether you like it or not, the Flyers are going to look to trade some of these guys. For that reason alone, it is worth going through so options.

Before we dive into the list, I want to make clear that I chose all of these prospects for a reason. Everyone mentioned should assist Philadelphia in obtaining what it seeks this offseason. Prospects with little-to-no value are not mentioned because it would simply be a waste of time. Without any further ado, let’s get down to brass tax.

Tanner Laczynski

If the Flyers viewed Laczynski as a part of the franchise’s future, they would have signed him to an entry-level contract this offseason. As we all know, that is not happening. After another successful season with Ohio State, Laczynski’s value may be at its highest. Philadelphia does not want to risk a down year or injury next season so the time to deal him is now. Alone, Laczynski probably does not give you much. However, he could prove to be a nice extra piece in a package for a top-four defenseman or top-six forward.

Wade Allison

Allison falls into the same category as Laczynski. If he was going to be a part of the Flyers organization, I believe he would have been signed to an entry-level contract this year. However, he is heading back to Western Michigan for his senior year. As a former second-round pick, Allison could fetch a decent return, especially as a part of a package. Personally, I’d love to see Allison with the Flyers some day. I’m just not convinced that it’s in the cards, unfortunately.

Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Am I ruffling some feathers yet? Before you get all bent out of shape about Aube-Kubel making this list, please keep in mind that I do value him. Again, it has to do with his future fit in the organization. The new crop of forwards heading to Lehigh Valley could outshine and eventually surpass Aube-Kubel in terms of organizational value. There are teams out there that should have interest in bringing him aboard which makes him a valuable trade piece in a potential package.

German Rubtsov

Before being sidelined for the rest of the season due to injury, German Rubtsov had an impressive 14 games with the Phantoms. It was exactly the production the young forward needed after many people were ready to give up on him. The prospect depth at center makes Rubtsov an expendable asset and their could be plenty of teams interested. Philadelphia would be smart to package him in a trade while his value is high just in case what we saw last season is a fluke.

Mikhail Vorobyev

Vorobyev’s opportunity to show his worth at the NHL level was last season. It did not work out at all. To me, he is now an afterthought within the franchise. Maybe another team with less prospect depth will be willing to give him a chance.

Samuel Ersson

Philadelphia has three fantastic goalie prospects with their starting netminder set in stone for the foreseeable future. With Felix Sandstrom and Kirill Ustimenko playing in North America next season, optics make Ersson look like the odd man out. Now, I don’t think the Flyers should actively shop Ersson, it is far too early to just give one of these guys away. However, if there is a trade that can make Philadelphia a contender next season that includes Ersson, I will not be mad. Teams obviously value strong goaltending and Ersson might be an appealing name.

Final Thoughts

Any trade that involves prospects should be for players that can help the Flyers win now. Philadelphia is in a great position to deal some of their young players without their prospect pool taking a serious hit. Trading youth might now appeal to some, but it is a necessary evil if the team wants to take the next step.

Mandatory Credit: (AP Photo/Al Goldis)