In this week’s edition of “Flyers Prospects Mailbag,” we touch on goalie prospects, Matthew Strome, Yegor Zamula, and the ever-popular Morgan Frost and Joel Farabee.
Let’s get this party started!
The Flyers are certainly in unfamiliar territory with all of these quality goalie prospects in the system. They are also not used to having their starting netminder for the foreseeable set in stone. Essentially, we have three good prospects competing for a future backup role with Philadelphia.
Felix Sandstrom will likely receive the first crack at the role. I don’t necessarily think he’s top goalie prospect in the organization but he is the furthest along in his development. Expect the Flyers to plug in a veteran as the backup for next season, and possibly the season after that. It all depends on how quickly Sandstrom progresses in his role with Lehigh Valley.
Sandstrom’s tenure as the Flyers backup will all depend on how long it takes Kirill Ustimenko or Samuel Ersson to pass him. At the end of the day, I believe that both of these prospects will surpass Sandstrom as better NHL netminders. I’m not quite sure which of the two is the top goalie prospect at this point but I find myself leaning a little more towards Ustimenko.
The reality is that all of these goalies have NHL potential, possibly as starters. Of course, they will have to start for another franchise when then time in their career comes. It will be quite interesting to see how Chuck Fletcher handles each of these promising young goalies.
The simple answer to this question is no. I do not believe that the skating narrative that has plagued Matthew Strome is a true concern anymore. Will he ever be the fastest, most skilled player on the ice? No, but it will not prevent him from being an effective professional hockey player either. I suspect Strome will play a full season with the Phantoms before we start talking about him possibly making the Flyers. Philadelphia should be patient with his development going forward.
Yegor Zamula has the potential to transform into a legitimate top-four defenseman in the NHL. However, I’m not quite ready to say that with over-the-top confidence quite yet. Zamula’s size and offensive ability are built for today’s professional game. Still, his sample size is pretty small. Let’s see what he accomplishes the next two years before we completely commit to the young blueliner’s ceiling.
Both Morgan Frost and Joel Farabee have a chance to make the Philadelphia Flyers next season. The issue will involve available openings for them to slot into. As of right now, I am picturing a third-line wing position available for the taking. I believe that both of these prospects could be given the opportunity to earn that roster spot, however, there is so much uncertainty. I will have a better idea of Frost and Farabee’s chances after the draft and free agency pass.
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: Derrik Bobb
John Gove covers prospects within the Philadelphia Flyers farm system for Philly Sports Network. Follow him on Twitter at @JohnPGove.