As another hockey season approaches, the Philadelphia Flyers still find themselves among the top five farm systems in the NHL. Though a handful of quality young players will jump to the pro’s this season, there is still plenty of promise spread throughout the NCAA, various Junior leagues, and Europe.
Over the next few weeks, we will be taking a look at all of the prospects within the Flyers organization. Today, we will focus our attention on those set to play in Major Junior or Junior A this coming season.
Philadelphia has just over a handful of prospects in a Major Junior or Junior A league across Canada. Five of those players will be playing Major Junior in either the QMJHL, OHL, or WHL this season. One Flyers prospect will be lacing their skates in the BCHL, a Junior A hockey league.
Egor Serdyuk – Victoriaville Tigres
Serdyuk, one of Philadelphia’s sixth-round picks in 2019, is entering his second season in the QMJHL with Victoriaville. His debut season could not have gone much better as he led all rookies in goals (25) and points (65). Additionally, Serdyuk was elected to the QMJHL All-Rookie Team. Of course, the success of his rookie campaign will mean very little if he cannot build off of it this season. Now that the young winger’s effectiveness is apparent, look for head coach, Louis Robitaille, to increase Serdyuk’s usage and responsibilities. There are still a lot of improvements for the Russian native to make. However, he will be an interesting prospect to keep an eye on this season.
Mason Millman – Saginaw Spirit
Another 2019 draft pick, Mason Millman, is already being dubbed a “dark horse” in the Flyers prospect pool. Only entering his second full season with Saginaw, Millman comes with a strong foundation of skills. The defenseman will see an increase in playing time and usage throughout the game. As is the case with any prospect, it is important that we see an increase in his production during year two. Also, building off his already disciplined and intelligent defense will be key. Personally, I’m not ready to dub this prospect a future top-four defensemen as his sample size is still limited. However, Millman will be a very intriguing player to keep an eye on throughout the 2019-20 OHL season.
Roddy Ross – Seattle Thunderbirds
Ross came into the WHL midway through last season an absolutely took the league by storm. He helped Seattle get into the postseason and is now ready for his first full year as the Thunderbirds starting netminder.
In a goalie prospect pool as deep as Philadelphia’s, it will be challenging for Ross to surpass the likes of Sandstrom, Ersson, and Ustimenko in the rankings. However, there is a great deal of untapped upside to his game. It will be interesting to see whether he can build off last season’s success this year.
Wyatte Wylie – Everett Silvertips
Whether Wylie will actually be a member of the Everett Silvertips at the start of this season is still unknown. The opportunity for an entry-level contract still exists. If a contract is signed, he will be moving on to pro hockey, playing in Lehigh Valley. In all seriousness, the AHL is where he should be this season. Playing in the WHL another year will only do so much for his development while playing for the Phantoms will help immensely. However, if he does return to Everett, look for Wylie to be one of the more dominant players on the roster.
Yegor Zamula – Calgary Hitmen
Everyone is hoping that Yegor Zamula is Philippe Myers 2.0. The undrafted free agent had a very strong campaign for Calgary last season with 56 points in 61 games. If he can build off that this year, there is no reason to not get excited about this prospect. The young blueliner is equipped with great size and tons of offensive skill that would translate nicely to the NHL. This will be Zamula’s “swan song” with the Hitmen, a team that may contend of the WHL Championship this year. In 2020-21, he will be making his way to Lehigh Valley.
Jay O’Brien – Penticton Vees
O’Brien will be one of the most-watched Flyers prospects this season. After it didn’t work out with Providence last year, O’Brien transferred to the BCHL and will play for the Penticton Vees. Although it’s far too premature, some are ready to write the former first-rounder off as a bust. He will have to dominate the BCHL this season in order to ease the mind of both the organization and fans. There truly is no reason he cannot average two points a game for Penticton. O’Brien will certainly be an interesting name to keep an eye on this season.
Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
John Gove covers prospects within the Philadelphia Flyers farm system for Philly Sports Network. Follow him on Twitter at @JohnPGove.