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December 11, 2021

Flyers prospect watch: Phantoms mostly stinking it up, college players lighting it up

The Flyers finally got a win late Friday night in Las Vegas, ending a 10-game winless streak and giving fans a chance to relax, just a bit, as the prospect of the team dismantling everything come the trade deadline (in the shadow of them jettisoning their head coach) remains a pretty real possibility.

The future will in large part, it seems (barring an equally long winning streak soon) rely on the young talent this team has both on the ice now and in the farm system.

So what have the Flyers top prospects been doing this season as the Flyers have been stinking it up? Is there reason to be optimistic?

Here's a quick whip-around through the current top 20 — via The Athletic's rankings — to see how they've all been playing this season. Interestingly (as our headline suggests) most of the prospects in the AHL right now are not playing well. Players further down the farm system are faring a bit better.

Each player profiled will fit into one of the following three categories: who's hot, who's not, and who's hurt. Take a look:

Who's hot

Morgan Frost, C, NHL (No. 2)

Frost has a goal and two assists since being called up to the Flyers, but the simple fact that he's jumped to the NHL puts him on our hot list, despite the team playing, well, anything but.

Egor Zamula, D, AHL (No. 3)

Zamula had an assist in his most recent start with the Phantoms and has three in his last six games. That's good enough to be considered playing well in this climate. The 21-year-old Russian has nine points in 17 games.

Bobby Brink, RW, College (No. 5)

The 5-foot-5 Denver winger has 21 points to start Denver's collegiate season and is making a very good impression at age 20. He could make the jump to the pros next season.

Wade Allison, RW, AHL (No. 6)

Allion is set to make his AHL return Saturday after fighting back from the injured reserve. At 24, the Flyers are ready to see something that deems him worthy of a promotion to the big club.

Emil Andre, D, Sweden (No, 7)

Andre was drafted in 2020 and is very short for a defenseman, just 5-foor-9, but he's been playing well this season over in Sweden with 16 points in 21 games and a plus-6 rating. He is just 19.

Noah Cates, LW, College (No. 13)

Cates' 2021 is off to a good start as he begins his senior season in Minnesota-Duluth. He has 13 points in 17 games.

Ronnie Attard, D, College (No. 16)

The 2019 third rounder has 18 points in 17 games this season for Western Michigan. Not bad for a D-man.

Elliot Desnoyers, C, QMJHL (No. 17)

A 19-year-old, Desnoyers is destroying the competition in Quebec with 36 points in 23 seasons so far. He's someone early in his career to keep an eye on.

Olle Lycksell, LW, Sweden (No. 19)

A former sixth round pick with a really cool name, Lycksell has 18 points in 22 games played in Europe this season. At 22, he might get an invite to come stateside soon.

Who's not

Cam York, D, AHL (No. 1)

The team's 2019 first round pick has played 16 games for the NHL Phantoms this season and has scored six points, which is fine for a defenseman. However his plus/minus leaves some to be desired as he has a -5 rating this season. For some context, the 21-year-old had 36 points in 54 games for Michigan and was +22.

Samu Tuomaala, RW, Finland (No, 9)

Tuomaala played two games for the Phantoms before he returned home to Finland. He has just one goal and no assists there so far this season. He is just 18, and was Philly's second round pick in this past draft.

Jay O'Brien, C, College (No. 12)

The Flyers first round pick from 2018 is still playing Boston University and in a slow start is playing worse than the better than point-per-game rate he scored in in previous seasons.

German Rubstov, C, AHL (No. 14)

It seems like Rubstov has been a top 20 Flyers prospect forever, and at age 23 this could be the last season he finds himself listed among them. In 16 games with the Phantoms the talented but oft-injured forward has just two goals and two assists and a minus-5 rating. He has just one point in his last eight games.

Linus Hogberg, D, AHL (No. 18)

Hogberg is a 6-foot-1 defenseman from Sweden who isn't playing his best hockey in his second AHL season. His assist last week was his first point in nine games. Four of those games saw him end with a negative plus-minus.

Felix Sandstrom, G, AHL (No. 20)

The Flyers' AHL goalie hasn't been great of late, allowing 15 goals in his last four games. In all, the 24 year old has allowed 3.09 goals per game with a .897 goals against average. His poor play is one of the biggest reasons Lehigh Valley is currently in dead last in their division at 3-11-4.

Who's hurt

Tyson Foerster, RW, AHL (No. 4)

The first round pick from 2020 scored two goals in the AHL in nine games before a shoulder injury probably ended his season. He will miss around five months. 

Samuel Errson, G, AHL (No. 8)

Errson was injured after playing just three games in his rookie AHL season.

Zayde Wisdom, RW, AHL (No. 10)

Wisdom is everyone's favorite prospect from last year — he had 18 points in an impressive AHL debut following a 29 goal, 30 assists performance (in 62 games) in the OHL in 2020. He is expected to play at the OHL level sometime soon.

Tanner Laczynski, C, AHL (No. 11)

Laczynski is expected to be out until at least February or March. He played well in limited time with the Phantoms last season.

Mason Millman, D, AHL (No. 15)

The defenseman is working back from a knee injury and hasn't appeared in a game since mid October.

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