In hockey world this time of year, things tend to drag on a bit slowly. There are only two teams playing while everyone else is gearing up for the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. For that reason, our minds tend to wander into hypothetical land this time of year. In this week’s mailbag, we explore that realm a bit in regards to Flyers prospects.
This is a very interesting scenario that would make Flyers Twitter explode for sure. First off, if any of these three prospects are packaged with our first round pick, the return better make us Stanley Cup contenders for the next five years.
To me, it is unlikely that any of these youngsters get dealt. However, if I were to pick a most likely candidate, it would be Isaac Ratcliffe. If Ratcliffe is dealt, the likelihood of Morgan Frost or Joel Farabee making the Flyers next season would be quite slim. Philadelphia would be acquiring NHL-roster game-changers at both wing and center. The spots available for a prospect to claim are already slim and they would become virtually non-existent with a deal like this. Of course, this would place Frost and Farabee in Lehigh Valley.
Although I used Ratcliffe as an example, the same can be said if any of these three prospects were dealt in this scenario. To be clear, I do not endorse trading any of these three prospects, especially along with the Flyers first-round pick.
If Sean Couturier, Kevin Hayes, and Nolan Patrick for the foreseeable future center Philadelphia’s top three lines for the foreseeable future, Morgan Frost will play wing when he eventually makes the Flyers. Frost is not a fourth-line player at all. With the sudden depth at the center position, sticking him at wing makes the most sense and allows him more of an opportunity to move up the depth chart.
Gregg, as of writing this there are no updates on where Jay O’Brien is playing next season. I agree that the best option is the Canadian Hockey League. To be honest, I’d be a bit disappointed and discouraged he chooses the BCHL. It would be a step backward, in my opinion.
Unfortunately, I think Samuel Morin is an afterthought in the Flyers organization these days. It might not be fair but I do not think that Philadelphia views the 23-year-old blueliner as an important part of the franchise’s future. The young core, regarding defensemen, involves Ivan Provorov, Travis Sanheim, and Philippe Myers. Along with Shayne Gostisbehere and possibly Radko Gudas, the Flyers are going to look to add another quality veteran to its group of defensemen. I expect Chuck Fletcher looked to put Morin in a trade package. Maybe another team is willing to give the former first-round pick a shot.
This is a great question, Chris. The two players that came to my mind immediately both currently play in the NCAA. When entry-level contracts for Wade Allison and Tanner Laczysnki were not handed out, I immediately started thinking that both of these players might not have a future with the Flyers. Typically, a player does not go into their senior year of college, especially prospects the caliber of Allison and Laczynski. Whether it’s because of the organization or the players, something is preventing these two from joining Lehigh Valley. At this point, I’d view them both as prospects that could be used as a part of a bigger trade to bring in some NHL talent.
In my mind, there is only one spot on this current roster that is up for grabs. That is a winger, most likely on the third line. Although a prospect such as Frost, Farabee, or Ratcliffe could fill that spot, I’m also getting the feeling that a proven NHL talent will, either via free agency or trade. Personally, I do not see having these three prospects starting in the AHL as a bad thing. Yes, they might be able to hang in the NHL. However, they will only benefit from more time to develop in Lehigh Valley.
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 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.