Flyers

Flyers training camp: 5 sleepers to watch

We know about Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny.

Everyone has the 19-year-old building blocks circled as the Flyers’ two biggest roster hopefuls entering 2016 training camp.

But could anyone surprise?

Let’s take a look at five sleepers, players whom may not make the roster out of camp but might impress and join the orange and back at some point this season.

Robert Hagg, D, 6-2/210, No. 48
The Swede may not provide the offensive jolt like his defensive counterparts, but Hagg is sound in his own zone and seasoned for 21 years old. He provides quality size, a mature build — which is a big checkmark with general manager Ron Hextall — and penalty-kill experience. With two seasons at AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley under his belt, as well as four Flyers development camps, the 2013 second-round pick feels ready. “Absolutely,” he said in July. “I don’t know the time, but hopefully I can get a shot this year, that’s my goal for the year. We will see.” The Flyers’ blue line is far from sacrosanct and injuries/moves happen. Hagg, knowing his role, may be one of the more NHL-ready prospects in which Hextall would feel comfortable calling up.

Roman Lyubimov, C, 6-2/207, No. 60
Lyubimov is not your average rookie, having played 185 career games in the KHL, where he also competed in 39 postseason contests. The Flyers signed him away from Russia on a one-year, two-way deal in July after the 24-year-old “really popped at the World Championships this past year,” according to Hextall. Lyubimov is a depth forward likely headed to the Phantoms, but he’s here to compete and will certainly have his chances throughout the season to make the Flyers.

Taylor Leier, LW, 5-11/177, No. 58
A 2012 fourth-round pick of the Flyers, Leier had a cup of coffee with the big club last season when he was called up for six games in November. The 22-year-old produced at the junior level and has two AHL seasons on his résumé, the last being a 20-goal, 29-assist campaign in which he led the Phantoms in power-play markers (10) and was second in points (49). His time could be coming soon. “[Hextall's] been saying patience, and Taylor is a perfect example of that,” Flyers assistant GM and director of player personnel Chris Pryor said to CSNPhilly.com in July. “He has to grow as a pro and took a big step last year. He’s on the cusp from the AHL to playing in the NHL. Needs to get a little bigger.”

Tyrell Goulbourne, LW, 6-0/199, No. 56
Goulbourne brings feistiness to the ice and is a pest for opponents because of how hard he plays. Scoring isn’t his forte, but he can impact a penalty kill and brings an edge. The 22-year-old, a prototypical dirty-work player, made his presence felt in Wednesday’s prospect game against the Islanders. He’s likely a year away from the Flyers, but his style of game will have the team’s attention in Lehigh Valley.

Alex Lyon, G, 6-1/198, No. 49
The standout at Yale and the Flyers agreed to a contract for a reason after Lyon decided to forgo his senior year. The Flyers are high on the 23-year-old, who could climb the team’s goaltending depth chart. We’ve seen goalies get hurt and Lyon could be a dark-horse option for the club as a backup if he outcompetes Anthony Stolarz at Lehigh Valley. “He's very polished,” Hextall said in July. “We expect big things from him.” One thing is sure and that’s the Phantoms’ netminders will be fun to watch.