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February 01, 2023

Flyers Prospect Check: Cutter Gauthier is flying high at Boston College

And the fifth overall pick should be in orange and black soon

The Flyers are on their bye week and 51 games into the season and things at the NHL level are just okay. 

There are good things going on, there are not so good things going on, and right now, they're pretty much balancing out at hockey .500 with a 21-21-9 record.

The Flyers do sit just six points out from the second wild card spot in the East, but closing that gap – needing to get past Ottawa, Florida, the Islanders, Buffalo, and then Pittsburgh to do it – then actually holding on to it is a tall order for a team with a -20 goal differential. Plus, you would have a strong argument that chasing after the playoffs now would be the worst thing for the organization long-term. 

Speaking of long-term, what do the Flyers have going on down on the farm?

Cutter Gauthier

We'll start with the 2022 draft's No. 5 overall pick because it's a waiting game for the college season to end so he can make the jump over. 

Gauthier's been killing it at Boston College, leading the Eagles in goals and points as a full-time center. 

Team GP PTS +/- 
Boston College 2013 22-5 

And with that wrister he can unleash, yeah that adds up.  

The plan has always been to have the 19-year old as a Flyer by season's end, and so far, that plan is well on schedule. 

There are no guarantees of NHL stardom for high draft picks – and the Flyers have been burned before on that front – but Gauthier has the tools and the best chances of getting there out of anyone in the system.

The Phantoms

Up (down?) in Lehigh Valley, here's a rundown of the notable AHL prospects along with some extra items on a few:

Player GP PTS +/- 
Olle Lycksell, LW/C 31 24 32 -6 
Tyson Foerster, RW 42 16 13 29 +3 
Elliot Desnoyers, LW42 14 11 25 +4 
Jackson Cates, C 37 17 +6 
Ronnie Attard, D 41 10 17 +3 
Egor Zamula, D 22 -4 
Zayde Wisdom, RW 28 +4 
Bobby Brink, RW 11 -6 

Olle Lycksell came over from Sweden for a big year in the AHL, showing off some serious playmaking and passing to lead the Phantoms in points and assists. The 23-year old had a short and limited call-up with the Flyers earlier this season, but the likelihood is another, more flexible opportunity will arrive soon. 

Tyson Foerster has been trending upward since his return from a season-ending shoulder injury last year. His 16 goals lead the Phantoms, and while his overall game still needs fine-tuning, he's been exhibiting some smoother skating and will probably get a look with the Flyers in the late stages of the season too. 

• A fifth-round pick in 2020, Elliot Desnoyers is shaping up to be a real diamond in the rough. After wrapping up his junior career with an 88-point campaign, the 21-year old winger has made a highly respectable jump up to the AHL with 14 goals and 25 points through 42 games. 

Bobby Brink had a great run with the University of Denver then capped off last season with flashes of promise for the Flyers, but his path forward hit a roadblock with offseason hip surgery that took months to recover from. He's skating again with the Phantoms, and so far, looks to be getting things back together quick with five goals through 11 games. 

• The Flyers have spoken with a lot of optimism toward defenseman Egor Zamula, but have exhibited a lot of patience too. The actual "defense" part of his game needs a lot of developing and they seem content to give him time to do it down in the AHL.

Zayde Wisdom was a 2020 fourth-round pick, but a skater that carried promise of a high ceiling and had the endorsement of fan-favorite Wayne Simmonds. However, the 20-year old has hit a wall in his development, one that he's now trying to sort out in Reading following a demotion to the ECHL. There's a lot of time still, and the ECHL isn't necessarily a career death sentence, but it isn't exactly a good sign either.

• Goaltender Samuel Ersson caught the hot hand backing up Carter Hart through late December up to mid-January, and head coach John Tortorella has been especially impressed with him ever since training camp, but the decision was ultimately made to send him down to Lehigh Valley. There are more minutes for him to play there and the Flyers need to see exactly what they have in Felix Sandström at the pro level. 

Emil Andrae

One more check over in Sweden to cap things off. Andrae has caught eyes within the Flyers' system for a while now as an undersized though smooth-skating blueliner, and in his jump up to the Swedish Elite League, the latter has won out so far. 

He's putting up numbers and has been doing well in controlling play from the point, which was on full display when he captained Team Sweden at the COVID-delayed World Juniors back in August.

Team GP  APTS +/- 
HV71 (SHL) 38  5 15 20-6 

It might be a while longer before we see the soon to be 21-year old in orange and black, but he looks to be getting there. 

MORE: The Flyers are stuck in the middle

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