Five Flyers prospects to keep an eye on in 2022-2023

Flyers' Cutter Gauthier
MADISON, WI – DECEMBER 02: U-18 forward Cutter Gauthier (19) during a college hockey match between the University of Wisconsin Badgers and the U.S. National Under-18 Team on December 2, 2021 at the Kohl Center in Madison, WI. (Photo by Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire)

The Flyers’ “aggressive re-tool” hasn’t gone the way many expected this off-season. While hope remains dim for much of the fan base heading into next season, there is still exciting talent in the Flyers’ prospect pool to watch out for. Here are five players to keep an eye on in 2022-2023:

Flyers 2022 First Rounder- Cutter Gauthier

The fifth overall selection by the Philadelphia Flyers during the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, Cutter Gauthier will be playing at Boston College for the 2022-2023 season. Gauthier is a versatile forward as he plays both left wing and center. Expect to see most of his playing time at center next year.

Gauthier is a key part of the future for the franchise and is someone that the Flyers can eventually build around. He checks all the boxes as a player as he brings size, speed, strength, goal scoring, playmaking, as well as penalty kill and power play abilities.

Gauthier skyrocketed up the draft rankings this year. At times he was viewed as a mid to late first-round pick but then saw himself ranked in the top five. He models his game after Mark Scheifele and Auston Matthews. Gauthier can develop into a strong top-six forward in Philadelphia.

Devin Kaplan

Devin Kaplan was selected 69th overall during this year’s draft by the Flyers. Kaplan is a Bridgewater, NJ, native and will be playing at Boston University next season. Kaplan is a 6’3”, 205lbs power forward.

Kaplan likes to play a hard-nosed game along the boards to make the game challenging for his opponents. Along with that, he does have playmaking abilities. He scored 38 points in 53 games with the US National U18 team last year, and 18 points in scoring 2 games with the USNTDP junior team. He also has a strong transitioning game from offense to defense.

While he’s currently not the fastest skater or smoothest, he’ll have time to sharpen up those skills in the NCAA. Kaplan has the potential to develop into a middle-six to even a top-six forward in Philadelphia.

The BC versus BU matchups will certainly be entertaining with Gauthier and Kaplan on opposing teams.

Samu Tuomaala

Drafted 46th overall in 2021, Samu Tuomaala will be looking to improve after a rough 2021-2022 campaign. Tuomaala struggled to adapt to hockey in North America last year. Physically, he found himself overmatched against his opponents and just didn’t look comfortable. He only played two games regular season games with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Tuomaala is a speedy forward with smooth puck handling and an eye for the back of the net. He showed glimpses of his abilities during preseason games with the Phantoms before the 2021-2022 season, but the start of the regular season appeared challenging for the Finnish forward.

This coming season can be different. He had a strong development camp this summer and with Sami Kapanen now working as a European-based development coach and scout for the Flyers, Tuomaala can feel more comfortable within the organization.

Samu Tuomaala will be playing for Jukurit in the Liiga during 2022-2023.

Tyson Foerster

The Flyers’ 2020 first-round pick will be looking to make a strong comeback with the Phantoms during 2022-2023.

Tyson Foerster made his Phantom’s debut during the 2020-2021 season and scored 17 points in 21 games. Foerster missed five months during the 2021-2022 season due to a shoulder injury. He recorded three points in the nine games before that.  After he recovered, Foerster played in 13 games with the Barrie Colts in the OHL and scored 11 points.

Foerster is one of the top prospects in the entire Flyers’ prospect pool. His strong AHL debut in 2020 proved that he is not far away from being an NHL player. He had a strong development camp this summer and we’ll be looking to play a major role on the Phantoms going into the next season.

Owen McLaughlin

Owen McLaughlin was selected by the Flyers in the seventh round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. He is a Spring City, PA, native and is committed to the University of North Dakota for 2022-2023.

McLaughlin played in 62 games with the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL last season and scored 72 points in 62 games. McLaughlin is a center who models his game after Mathew Barzal. McLaughlin isn’t the biggest player on the ice at 6’0” and 165lbs, but he’s shifty and quick.

It could take McLaughlin a while before he sees time in the AHL or NHL, but he can stand out at North Dakota. The Flyers could have found a special player with their 2021 seventh-round selection.

Photo by Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire