Flyers 2017 rookie camp: Outlook, projections for 25 players on roster

Flyers 2017 rookie camp: Outlook, projections for 25 players on roster

Sometimes rookie camp features a few prospects with legitimate shots at cracking the Flyers' roster when big camp breaks.

This year's edition is a bit different.

As the Flyers' youth movement picks up a notch, 2017 rookie camp presents five to six players with a conceivable chance to make the big club on opening night or at some point this season.

Those prospects and many others kick things off Monday at Flyers Skate Zone before main training camp opens Friday.

Let's get you set for rookie camp by breaking down the roster, which is comprised of 25 players:

Forwards (16)

Nicolas Aube-Kubel, RW, 5-11/187, No. 62
Outlook: The 21-year-old's prolific junior scoring didn't translate into his first year of AHL competition, which is common for some prospects in Year 1 of the jump. More acclimated and with a bigger role, the 2014 second-round pick is excited for Year 2 in Lehigh Valley.

Projection: Second season with AHL's Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Connor Bunnaman, C, 6-1/207, No. 82
Outlook: Bunnaman, a physical two-way center, had a breakout 2016-17 junior season, scoring 37 goals after posting 16 the year prior. Selected in the fourth round of the 2016 draft, the 19-year-old signed his entry-level contract with the Flyers in April.

Projection: Fourth season with OHL's Kitchener Rangers

Radel Fazleev, C, 6-1/192, No. 65
Outlook: Fazleev, 21, is coming off his first pro season with the Phantoms in which he put up 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) in 65 games. The 2014 sixth-round pick endured a difficult transition because of a more limited role compared to his days with the WHL's Calgary Hitmen.

Projection: Second season with AHL's Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Morgan Frost, C/LW, 5-11/172, No. 68
Outlook: The Flyers' other first-round pick from this past June, Frost is a smart and skilled facilitator with high offensive upside. The 18-year-old, who wants to prove his well-roundedness in 2017-18, is still growing into his body but may be closer to the NHL than it appears.

Projection: Third season with OHL's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

Ivan Kosorenkov, RW, 6-0/181, No. 89
Outlook: As of right now, the Russian winger is the Flyers' only training camp invite. He impressed at development camp after surprisingly going undrafted this summer. A teammate of Flyers prospect Pascal Laberge, the 19-year-old scored 34 goals in the QMJHL last season and will try to earn a contract with the Flyers.

Projection: Second season with QMJHL's Victoriaville Tigres

Pascal Laberge, C, 6-1/162, No. 75
Outlook: Laberge went through a hellish 2016-17 season. He was the victim of a vicious hit, resulting in a bad concussion and mental hurdles thereafter. The 2016 second-round pick possesses excellent makeup and is anxious to be his old self in his 19-year-old season.

Projection: Fourth season with QMJHL’s Victoriaville Tigres

Oskar Lindblom, LW, 6-1/192, No. 54
Outlook: Once a relatively unknown 2014 fifth-round pick, Lindblom is now on everybody's radar. The 21-year-old Swede has developed into one of the organization's top prospects and will be pushing hard for a roster spot after showing his game in the SHL. Lindblom's size and scoring ability on the wing have many believing he is a building block and soon-to-be difference-maker.

Projection: First season with AHL's Lehigh Valley Phantoms or the Flyers

Nolan Patrick, C, 6-2/198, No. 64
Outlook: A training camp headliner, the 2017 No. 2 overall pick will have all eyes on him as he shoots for the Flyers' roster instead of a return to the WHL. Patrick, who turns 19 next week, is a do-it-all talent up the middle but must prove he's ready for the rigors of the NHL after an injury-plagued draft year and June abdominal surgery. It will be hard, though, to send him back to junior hockey — he can help now.

Projection: Either returns to WHL's Brandon Wheat Kings or makes Flyers' roster

Isaac Ratcliffe, LW, 6-5/205, No. 76
Outlook: A big boy, Ratcliffe is strong on his skates and soft with his hands around the net. Some viewed him as a first-round pick in June. The Flyers traded up to snag him in the second round (35th overall). The 18-year-old comes with a tall ceiling and will try to build off a 28-goal, 26-assist junior campaign.

Projection: Third season with OHL's Guelph Storm

German Rubtsov, C, 6-0/187, No. 63
Outlook: The 2016 first-round pick was super impressive at development camp in July and this marks his first rookie/training camp with the Flyers. The 19-year-old owns an advanced game and can do a lot of things. Once the Russian center played with his age group last season, his potential glowed.

Projection: First full season with QMJHL's Chicoutimi Sagueneens or first season with AHL's Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Anthony Salinitri, C, 5-11/170, No. 86
Outlook: Salinitri, 19, made big strides last season with Sarnia, going from 17 goals and 13 assists in 2015-16 to 28 and 30 in 2016-17 — not bad for a 2016 sixth-round pick. A former junior teammate of Travis Konecny, Salinitri exhibits nice speed at the center position.

Projection: Fourth season with OHL's Sarnia Sting

Matthew Strome, LW, 6-3/201, No. 78
Outlook: A ton to like in his size and skill on the wing but Strome is a flawed skater, a reason he dropped to the fourth round this summer. Still, that's a trait an NHL organization can massage and mold with time. The 18-year-old is a good kid and understands hard work.

Projection: Third season with OHL's Hamilton Bulldogs

Maksim Sushko, RW, 6-0/179, No. 90
Outlook: The Flyers' 2017 fourth-round pick from Belarus is a fast skater and polished with his stick. Only 18 years old, don't be surprised to see a considerable increase in offensive production for his second junior campaign.

Projection: Second season with OHL's Owen Sound Attack

Carsen Twarynski, LW, 6-2/201, No. 81
Outlook: Traded from the Calgary Hitmen during the 2016-17 season, Twarynski was strong with the Kelowna Rockets, totaling 22 points (seven goals, 15 assists) in 28 games with a plus-19 rating. The 2016 third-round pick is a tough-minded forward with good size. Set for his fourth junior season, he turns 20 years old in November.

Projection: First full season with WHL's Kelowna Rockets

Mike Vecchione, RW, 5-10/194, No. 74
Outlook: Far from inexperienced, Vecchione was a four-year standout at Union College, signed with the Flyers at the end of March and made his NHL debut in April. An intelligent and dedicated player, the 24-year-old will be fighting for a job in a forwards group brimming with competition.

Projection: First season with AHL's Lehigh Valley Phantoms or the Flyers

Mikhail Vorobyev, C, 6-2/207, No. 46
Outlook: The 20-year-old Russian played in the KHL last season and opened eyes at the world juniors with a tournament-leading 10 assists in seven games. The 2015 fourth-round pick enjoys creating behind the net and will be a player to watch at Lehigh Valley.

Projection: First season with AHL's Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Defensemen (7)

James de Haas, D, 6-4/209, No. 85
Outlook: Another big blueliner, de Haas, 23, signed with the Phantoms in August after four years with Clarkson University. As a captain last season, de Haas tallied 29 points — most by a Clarkson defenseman in 14 years — on seven goals and 22 assists in 37 games.

Projection: First season with AHL's Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Mark Friedman, D, 5-10/191, No. 59
Outlook: A bit under the radar given the rich amount of defensive prospects in the Flyers' system, Friedman goes all out and has two years of USHL experience along with three years of college (Bowling Green State). Don't forget about the 2014 third-round pick at Lehigh Valley.

Projection: First season with AHL's Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Frank Hora, D, 6-1/203, No. 77
Outlook: The 21-year-old signed with the Phantoms in July after playing four years with the OHL's Kitchener Rangers. More of a stay-at-home defenseman, Hora registered a career-high 33 points in his second junior campaign.

Projection: First season with AHL's Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Sam Morin, D, 6-6/227, No. 50
Outlook: This should be the season the 2013 first-round pick makes the jump to join the Flyers' youthful blue line. Morin, 22, has had plenty of seasoning. Strong along the boards and in his own end, he looked the part in his NHL debut last April.

Projection: Third season with AHL's Lehigh Valley Phantoms or first season with Flyers

Phil Myers, D, 6-5/209, No. 61
Outlook: With a full summer of good health and training, the 20-year-old is stronger and could be a dark horse to make the Flyers out of camp. Myers looks like an absolute steal as an undrafted free agent the Flyers snagged in 2015. A true two-way defenseman, Myers is getting much closer to making an impact in orange and black. 

Projection: First season with AHL's Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Travis Sanheim, D, 6-4/199, No. 57
Outlook: If not out of camp, Sanheim very well could be with the Flyers at some point in 2017-18. The 2014 first-round pick is the Flyers' most talented defensive prospect. Only 21 years old, Sanheim has come a long way physically and in his own end, while his offense is already there. Despite facing a bit of a numbers crunch this season, he's "coming to make the Flyers," he said.

Projection: Second season with AHL's Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Reece Willcox, D, 6-3/183, No. 60
Outlook: The 2012 fifth-round pick played 48 games last season with the Phantoms, his first at the AHL level. The Cornell product is a complementary defenseman and the 23-year-old will want to see more action in 2017-18.

Projection: Second season with AHL's Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Goalies (2)

Carter Hart, G, 6-1/177, No. 79
Outlook: Mature beyond his years, Hart is a mentally sound goalie with a precocious game. The 19-year-old has been superb at the junior level and it'll be intriguing to see how much he dominates that competition in 2017-18. Many view the 2016 second-round pick as the Flyers' goalie of the future.

Projection: Fourth season with WHL's Everett Silvertips

Alex Lyon, G, 6-1/201, No. 49
Outlook: Lyon will be the guy at Lehigh Valley this season after the injury to Anthony Stolarz. Following a stellar career at Yale, Lyon was solid in Year 1 with the Phantoms, posting a 2.74 goals-against average and .912 save percentage. He turns 25 years old in December and may see the Flyers if an injury hits the big club's goalie tandem of Michal Neuvirth and Brian Elliott.

Projection: Second season with AHL's Lehigh Valley Phantoms

Best of NHL: Anthony Duclair scores hat trick, Coyotes beat Senators in OT

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Best of NHL: Anthony Duclair scores hat trick, Coyotes beat Senators in OT

OTTAWA, Ontario — Anthony Duclair gave the lowly Arizona Coyotes another two points.

Duclair scored in overtime to complete a hat trick and the Coyotes beat the Ottawa Senators 3-2 on Saturday for their second straight victory.

Antti Raanta made 30 saves to help the Coyotes improve to 4-15-3. On Thursday night in Montreal, they rallied to beat the Canadiens 5-4 for their first regulation victory of the season.

"I think it was a well-earned win to be honest," Duclair said. "We carried that momentum from the Montreal game and all four lines were rolling and we just played a solid 60 minutes."

Duclair scored at 1:23 of overtime, his shot trickling through Condon's pads and over the goal line (see full recap). 

Anisimov's third-period goal leads Blackhawks past Pens
PITTSBURGH — Artem Anisimov scored a power-play goal in the third period, and the Chicago Blackhawks continued their winning streak against the Pittsburgh Penguins with a 2-1 victory on Saturday night.

Anisimov scored his 10th goal of the season just 21 seconds after Pittsburgh tied the game. Gustav Forsling scored his second for the Blackhawks, who won their eighth straight against the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins.

The Blackhawks have won three of their last four games after taking two of their previous seven.

Corey Crawford made 35 saves for Chicago, including a right-pad stop on Phil Kessel in the final 20 seconds (see full recap). 

Lee scores 2 goals, Islanders beat Lightning
TAMPA, Fla. — New York Islanders coach Doug Weight had a simple message after a big lead was slipping away: Stay calm.

Anders Lee scored twice and the Islanders held on after nearly blowing a four-goal lead, beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3 Saturday night.

"He was just telling us what we needed to hear," New York right wing Josh Bailey said of Weight's message on the bench midway through the third. "He was just getting his point across. We just needed to calm down a little bit, realize we're in a good position. We've still got the lead in the third period on the road against the top team in the league." (see full recap). 

Ovechkin returns after puck to face, Caps snap Wild's streak
WASHINGTON — Alex Ovechkin returned from taking a puck to the face, T.J. Oshie had a goal and an assist and the Washington Capitals snapped the Minnesota Wild's winning streak at four with a 3-1 victory Saturday night.

Behind goals from Oshie, Dmitry Orlov and Evgeny Kuznetsov and 30 saves by goaltender Braden Holtby, the Capitals stopped their skid at two and won their fifth consecutive game at home.

Ovechkin was bloodied in the second period when a puck ramped off his stick and into his face, but Washington's captain got some repairs and was back on the ice for the start of the third. He set up Kuznetsov's goal late in the period.

Nino Niederreiter scored for Minnesota, which lost for the first time since Nov. 8. Backup Alex Stalock stopped 40 of 43 shots in his first career start against the Capitals (see full recap.) 

Selfish, undisciplined play dooms Flyers in OT loss to Flames

Selfish, undisciplined play dooms Flyers in OT loss to Flames


The Flyers' emotions got the best of them Saturday afternoon, and in turn, they got the best from Sean Monahan.

Monahan's second-period power-play hat trick was the result of the Flyers' selfish, undisciplined penalties, which allowed the Calgary Flames to erase a two-goal deficit and take down the Flyers, 5-4, at the Wells Fargo Center (see observations).

Michael Frolik capped the Flames' comeback, converting on a 2-on-1 chance just 1:18 into overtime.

"It's not deflating — it pisses you off," Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol said, "when things are a little bit within our control at that point in time. They're penalties that could have been within our control. That obviously turned and changed the hockey game drastically."

Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere was the primary culprit behind the Flyers' lack of discipline.

After a fracas in front of the Flyers' bench that saw Michael Raffl take a stick up high, Gostisbehere was the recipient of an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for yelling at referee Tim Peel. The Flyers successfully killed that two-minute minor and then Gostisbehere was sent back to the box 65 seconds later for elbowing Flames forward Micheal Ferland against the boards.

"I think I was upset overall," Gostisbehere said. "I took it out on the wrong guy. Just wasn't a good team player in that sense on that play — heat of the moment. Obviously, there are no excuses for something like that to happen. I wasn't thinking about my team there. I really let my team down."

"It varies from ref to ref," Brandon Manning said. "In Ghost's case, it was a point to where he was fed up. It wasn't what Ghost said directly. I think it was just a matter of things building up and the time and situation of it."

Monahan didn't score on Gostisbehere's unsportsmanlike penalty, but he did convert on the elbowing call, which completed his first career hat trick. He scored his first goal with Dale Weise in the box for high-sticking and then scored his second goal just three minutes and 44 seconds later, with Manning in the box for slashing and snapping Matt Stajan's stick.

"It's something I've been bad for lately and (what) I've tried to work on is keeping my stick down instead of going after the stick," Manning said. "I was a little surprised he pulled up and kind of backed off and I was just trying to get around him. That's the way it is. They're calling that a penalty now."

While the Flyers' top line has been a three-man show recently, it was the Flyers' No. 1 line that took center stage, as Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau and Ferland combined for four goals on 22 attempted shots, many of which were high-quality scoring chances.

The Flyers, now 8-8-4 and losers of four straight, jumped all over the Flyers with three first-period goals and taking a 3-1 lead after the opening 20 minutes. It also marked the second straight game the Flyers wasted a two-goal lead. Thursday, the Flyers scored two early goals, led for nearly 57 minutes and then watched it vanish in the final minute of regulation in Winnipeg.

"We were outshooting them pretty badly at one point and then the penalties gave them a chance to get back in the game," Sean Couturier said. "We got to be better on the PK, but at the same time, we've got to be more disciplined."

"We kind of just lost our heads there," Wayne Simmonds said. "I think groaning and moaning at the refs, but some of those penalties are penalties. We got to get better. We got to keep our heads and we just got to focus on the play because we had the game and then we let it go."

Radko a no-go
Radko Gudas was unavailable for Saturday's game against Calgary after he elected to have a phone hearing with the NHL's Department of Player Safety following his slashing penalty to the back of Mathieu Perreault's head Thursday in Winnipeg.

Gudas was ruled ineligible and sitting out Saturday's game will be applied to his suspension. According to the league’s collective bargaining agreement, “no decision to issue supplemental discipline is made before the player has the opportunity to explain his actions.”

With Andrew MacDonald still not ready for game action, Mark Alt replaced Gudas in the lineup and played 13 minutes and five seconds.

Another Johnny Hockey homecoming
South Jersey's Gaudreau had a successful trip back home establishing a new career-high nine-game point streak. Gaudreau scored Calgary's first goal on a breakaway, which was his fourth straight game with a goal.

Gaudreau also assisted on a pair of Monahan's power-play goals, giving him a three-point night.

"Yeah, this is a big win for us," Gaudreau said, "especially after the last game we had (an 8-2 loss to Detroit last Wednesday). Some big performers tonight, power play looked good, had a huge kill at the end there in the third and a big goal Frolik, so it was a good team win there."