Typically, on the Philadelphia Flyers roster, there are five true right-wingers carried. That was the case this season. The party of five included Jakub Voracek, Kevin Hayes, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, David Kase, and Chris Stewart. The second-round pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft was Bobby Brink. He just wrapped up his first season at the University of Denver. Bobby could be on the brink of getting NHL playing time once he arrives on an entry-level contract.
In 2019-2020, the right-wingers mostly consisted of Jakub Voracek, Kevin Hayes, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, and Chris Stewart. Of those four, Aube-Kubel and Stewart are free agents next season. A restricted free agent, Aube-Kubel would likely receive an offer from the Philadelphia Flyers. “Stewy” is an unrestricted free agent at 32-years-old. David Kase performed better than Stewart in ten fewer games.
David Kase is on a minor-buried contract in his second season with the Philadelphia Flyers. He was on a minor contract with the Flyers for three years, but in year two was demoted to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. In the six games that he played with the Flyers, he recorded a game-winning goal and a +/- of 1. He’ll likely spend time with the Phantoms. That leaves a clear shot at two spots at the right-wing with the Philadelphia Flyers. Next season, I would project Jakub Voracek, Kevin Hayes, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, and Maxsim Sushko.
On the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, there doesn’t seem to be tons of depth at the position for a recall to the Philadelphia Flyers. Kyle Criscuolo was packaged with a 2020 fourth-round pick for Derek Grant. Maxsim Sushko had 21 points in 53 games with a +/- of 7, while David Kase had 19 points in 51 games and a -2. There was Steven Swavely who recorded three points in 14 with a +1. Kurtis Gabriel more than likely won’t be back. If the Flyers sign Wade Allison out of Western Michigan University to an entry-level contract and he performs well with the Phantoms, he presents competition to Kase.
By the time Bobby Brink receives an entry-level contract from the Philadelphia Flyers, he could be in the situation that I anticipate for Wade Allison. He could be one injury at right-wing way from dressing in Orange and Black. In his first season with the University of Denver, Brink had 24 points in 28 games, finishing with a +/- of 1. He’s a relatively balanced scorer when you look at his numbers. That was good for sixth overall on the team in his freshman season and second at his position.
Bobby Brink doesn’t have the height that Jakub Voracek or Kevin Hayes has. He has more of a stature relatable to Nicolas Aube-Kubel, just minus 28lbs. Brink has been knocked for his skating, but he is a gifted competitor. A right-winger with a high hockey IQ, he is just as much a scorer as he is a playmaker. When comparing Brink’s freshman year to Allison’s senior year, they may be competing for playing time against each other in the Philadelphia Flyers system after Brink signs an entry-level contract.
Some of the stronger traits of Bobby Brink highlight his offensive vision. I anticipate that if everything develops with Brink, he may be compared to Scott Hartnell. Not because of his skating, but because he knows how to put himself in a good spot to score. Hartnell had the same vision with his linemates while he was with the Philadelphia Flyers. Brink has that in his freshman year at the University of Denver.
When Bobby Brink is due to receive an entry-level contract, so will Cameron York and fellow right-wing Philadelphia Flyers prospect, Bryce Brodzinski. He didn’t have the freshman year at the University of Minnesota that Brink had, tallying 12 points in 37 games with a +/- of -3. Brodzinski does have the size you want and is bigger than Nicolas Aube-Kubel, but Brink is producing. By the time Brink is offered an entry-level contract by the Flyers, he could be the next man on deck for a recall.
Mandatory Credit – Shannon Valerio, Denver Athletics