A- / 1st overall
When Chuck Fletcher replaced Ron Hextall as the Flyers GM, he inherted a team with several problems that have kept the team out of contention in recent seasons. But help is on the way, as Fletcher also inherited an A-grade prospect system that ranked second overall in Future Watch 2018. Keeping that high rank will take some work, but Fletcher and his assistant GM, Brent Flahr, hit the ground running. “We have a lot of different types of players, which is great,’’ Flahr said. “The volume of prospects is important. It’s just our job now to develop them properly.’’ Youth is already making an NHL impact, with three players younger than 22 on the roster.
1. Joel Farabee (24th overall)
LW, 19, 6-1, 170 – Boston University (HE)
2018 draft, 14th overall
Farabee got off to a slow start in his freshman year, struggling against the older, more-developed competition. But a strong performance at the WJC, featuring a hat trick against Kazakhstan, provided a boost to his confidence. “Since late December, he’s really started to go,” Flahr said. “He’s a smart offensive player, complements good centers. Any time you have success on the big stage (WJC), it’s exciting – tough environment, full buildings, lots of pressure.”
FW18| n/a - NHL | 2021-22
2. Morgan Frost (26th overall)
C, 19, 6-0, 185 – Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
2017 draft, 27th overall
When the Flyers traded Brayden Schenn to St. Louis at the 2017 draft, they insisted on receiving a first-round pick with Frost in mind. “For a smaller guy, he has all the attributes to make it,” Flahr said. “It’s just a matter of rounding out his game, but he has the ability to play with good players and produce at any level. He has a chance to be a quality top-six forward at center or wing.” He has good hands, vision and offensive instincts. “He has a lot of offensive tools you just can’t teach,” Flahr said.
FW18| No. 3 - NHL | 2019-20
3. Philippe Myers (65th overall)
D, 22, 6-5, 210 – Lehigh Valley (AHL)
Free agent, Sept. 21, 2015
The fact Myers went undrafted continues to perplex talent evaluators. “He’s the type of kid where everyone would like to do a do-over,’’ Flahr said. “He’s made the most of it since his draft year – worked at his game, got stronger and his game dramatically improved.” Myers has good mobility for his size but needs to simplify his game. “The one thing he’s learned in the AHL is when to go, when not to go,” Flahr said. “He’s learned to manage the game, figure out little things.”
FW18| No. 2 - NHL | 2020-21
4. Isaac Ratcliffe
LW, 20, 6-6, 204 – Guelph (OHL)
2017 draft, 35th overall
Ratcliffe has been impressive at the Flyers’ development camps, skating well for a player his size. He has good hands and a great shot, and that’s translated into averaging better than a point per game for Guelph the past two seasons. “He still has a lot of room to fill out, get stronger, but you can’t teach 6-foot-6,” Flahr said. “His skating is coming. His top-end speed has always been fine. The quickness, the agility, that’s just about growing into his body.” The Flyers would like to see him play at a higher pace.
FW18| nr - NHL | 2021-22
5. Wade Allison
RW, 21, 6-2, 205 – Western Michigan (NCHC)
2016 draft, 52nd overall
Allison is a bit of a Flyers throwback: a power forward with a visible edge to his game. “He’s a big, strong kid who plays straight lines, and he can really shoot the puck, drive hard to the net,” Flahr said. “He’s got power forward potential.” To become an NHL regular, Allison will have to refine his defensive tools to become a complete player who can take care of things in both ends. “He has the physical tools,” Flahr said. “It’s just a matter of rounding out his game.” Along the way, he has overcome an ACL injury.
FW18| No. 8 - NHL | 2021-22
6. German Rubtsov
C, 20, 6-0, 187 – Lehigh Valley (AHL)
2016 draft, 22nd overall
Out for season with shoulder surgery. Good defense sometimes hinders offense.
7. Jay O’Brien
C, 19, 6-0, 174 – Providence (HE)
2018 draft, 19th overall
Flyers like his skill set. Freshman hampered by injuries. Patience required.
8. Wyatt Kalynuk
D, 21, 6-1, 190 – Wisconsin (Big Ten)
2017 draft, 196th overall
Late bloomer needs to add weight. Sophomore has flourished in the Badgers system.
9. Tanner Laczynski
C, 21, 6-1, 193 – Ohio State (Big Ten)
2016 draft, 169th overall
Flahr likes what he sees out of junior: “Big heart, gamer, comes to play. Coachable.”
10. Noah Cates
LW, 20, 6-2, 185 – Minnesota-Duluth (NCHC)
2017 draft, 137th overall
Smart, energetic, character freshman. Made impression at WJC. Rapid improvement.