German Rubtsov

Future Flyers Report: Honors, shutouts and more for Carter Hart

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Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers

Future Flyers Report: Honors, shutouts and more for Carter Hart

Before this week begins, it’s time for our weekly check-in on the Flyers’ prospects playing in the AHL, overseas and at the junior and college levels.

Carter Hart, G, 19, 6-1/177, Everett (WHL)
While nothing is going right for the Flyers at the NHL level, there’s plenty to be optimistic about down on the farm, which many fans don’t want to hear. The hard truth is, the Flyers’ rebuild is bigger than we originally believed and the team can't hide it anymore.

One of the bright spots is Hart, who picked up three honors last week. Hart was named the WHL Goaltender of the Month for November, the WHL Goaltender of the Week and also the CHL Goaltender of the Week. His phenomenal play didn’t go unnoticed.

And Hart continued to be strong in net for the Silvertips last week. Hart stopped 32 of 33 shots Friday in Everett’s 3-1 win over Kamloops, and then pitched his fourth shutout of the season with a 30-save effort in a 3-0 win Saturday over Saskatoon. He’s been so good that even the Saskatoon Twitter account had some fun Saturday night.

All jokes aside, Hart’s numbers are ridiculous. The 19-year-old is tearing up the WHL and words are getting hard to describe it. Hart has won his last five starts and eight of his last nine starts. In his lone loss in his last nine games, he allowed two goals on 50 shots. Hart, in November, had a 1.29 goals-against average and a .960 save percentage. He allowed just 13 goals on the 326 shots he faced in the month.

This season, Hart leads the WHL with a 1.46 GAA, .956 save percentage and four shutouts, and he missed 12 games this season because of mono. Hart already has a CHL Goaltender of the Year award under his belt and probably should have won it again last season. If he keeps this up, it’ll be hard to not give him the award again. If he does get it, he’ll become the first goalie to win the award twice.

Asked about his goaltender prospects last Wednesday, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall told NBC Sports Philadelphia that the Flyers have “a couple kids out in junior and in Europe that we’re very high on but that’s in the distant future.”

You can bet Hart is one of those kids. Hart will be turning 20 in August and he’ll turn pro next season. The safe money is he’ll spend at least one year with the Phantoms, but we could be seeing him in the Flyers’ orange and black in 2019-20, though that is a very early prediction.

College prospects
The Flyers have a trio of collegiate prospects making noise — two in their sophomore campaigns and one in their junior season — and last week was another big week.

Let’s begin with Cooper Marody, who shined with three assists Saturday night for Michigan in an exhibition against the USNTDP U-18 team. The Wolverines won, 7-3.

Tanner Laczynski had a goal and two assists Friday night in No. 11 Ohio State’s 5-5 tie with Penn State. Laczynski was pointless in a 4-0 loss Saturday to the Nittany Lions.

And Wade Allison picked up his 11th goal of the season Friday night in No. 10 Western Michigan’s 4-3 loss to No. 6 North Dakota. Allison has 20 points in 17 games this year.

The three prospects are having huge seasons and rank among the best in the nation. Marody has 21 points, tied with four players for fourth in the country. Marody’s 17 assists are second in the nation. Allison and Laczynski each have 20 points, which are tied with two others for fifth in the country. Allison’s 11 goals are tied for third.

Marody is averaging 1.5 points per game, which is fifth in the country. Laczynski is at 1.25 points per game, while Allison is at 1.18 points per game. All three are in the top 20 in the country in that category. It’s been quite the season for these three players.

Quick hits
• Nothing to see from Sault Ste. Marie’s Morgan Frost last week except for another four-point game. Frost missed Friday because of breaking a team rule, but returned Sunday and recorded a two-point game.

Frost has 14 points in his last six games. He has 29 assists and 42 points in 28 games. He leads the OHL with a plus-29 rating and is sixth in points per game at 1.56.

Danick Martel had one assist in three games last week in Lehigh Valley after the Flyers returned him to the AHL.

• Dynamo St. Petersburg goalie Kirill Ustimenko has started 14 straight games and 23 of the team’s last 24 games. Ustimenko stopped 56 of 60 shots last week.

Ustimenko leads the MHL with five shutouts. In 28 games, Ustimenko has a 1.79 goals-against average and .925 save percentage.

• After a four-game pointless skid, Mike Vecchione has assists in back-to-back games. He’s third among AHL rookies with 14 assists and fifth in points with 20.

German Rubtsov picked up his third goal with Acadie-Bathurst on Friday night against Val-d'Or and had a two-assist game Sunday against Moncton. Rubtsov now has 11 points in 10 games since the Titan acquired him from Chicoutimi.

• Phantoms goalie Alex Lyon had one of his steadiest weeks this season, though it did include a blooper goal last Wednesday in a 3-0 loss to Binghamton.

Lyon then backstopped the Phantoms to a 7-2 win Friday over Hershey in the first game he’s allowed fewer than three goals since Nov. 8. (The Flyers last won a game Nov. 9.)

Oskar Lindblom had an assist in the Phantoms’ win Friday over Hershey. He has 13 points in 23 games but appears to be inching closer and closer to breaking out.

• Both Samuel Morin and Philippe Myers are out with injuries as the Phantoms’ blue line is quite banged up. It could be a while for both Morin and Myers to return.

Connor Bunnaman’s seven-game point streak ended Saturday. Bunnaman had an assist Wednesday. During the streak, he had seven assists and 10 points.

Matthew Strome had another solid week for Hamilton. Strome had a pair of helpers in the Bulldogs’ 4-3 win Thursday over Saginaw and then a goal and two assists Sunday in a 4-3 win over Mississauga. He has eight points in his last four games.

• Kelowna’s Carsen Twarynski had another big week but saw a five-game point streak end Saturday night. Twarynski had a hat trick last Wednesday and then a goal and assist Friday night. He had 10 points during his five-game point streak.

• Owen Sound winger Maksim Sushko had a three-goal, four-point week. He has 14 goals and 23 points in 25 games this season.

Wyatt Kalynuk had two assists Friday in No. 14 Wisconsin’s 5-4 loss to No. 7 Minnesota. Kalynuk, a freshman, leads the Badgers with 12 assists.

Future Flyers Report: Cooper Marody one of nation's best

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Michigan Athletics

Future Flyers Report: Cooper Marody one of nation's best

Before this week begins, it’s time for our weekly check-in on the Flyers’ prospects playing in the AHL, overseas and at the junior and college levels.

In this edition, we’ll take a look at a late-round draft pick blossoming into one of the nation’s best players, the Flyers’ top goalie prospect and plenty more from a busy week.

Cooper Marody, C, 20, 6-1/185, Michigan (NCAA)
After missing parts of his freshman campaign with mono and then sophomore season because he was academically ineligible, Marody is exploding onto the scene this year.

Marody continued his torrid season this past weekend as Michigan stole a 5-4 overtime win Friday night over No. 4 Minnesota and then tied the Golden Gophers, 6-6, Saturday. The Wolverines fought back from a 3-0 deficit Friday and a 4-0 deficit Saturday night.

And Marody was front and center with a pair of two-assist games. Marody has 12 assists and 15 points in his past six games. During this six-game stretch, he has three three-point games and three two-point efforts. He has 10 points in four Big Ten games, which is the most in the conference. He has 16 points in 10 games for 1.60 points per game. His 13 assists are tied for second in the nation with Denver's Troy Terry.

Michigan assistant coach Brian Wiseman in July praised Marody’s growth, from the player he was in the USHL to where he was heading into his junior season in Ann Arbor.

“Cooper is a very smart, highly intelligent hockey player,” Wiseman said. “Has a gift of slowing down the game, reading situations and making high-level, executed plays.”

Carter Hart, G, 19, 6-1/177, Everett (WHL)
For a goalie who missed a month because of mono, Hart didn’t show any signs of needing time to get in shape. It started last Monday, as Hart led Team WHL to a 7-0 shutout against Team Russia with a 20-save effort in the CIBC Canada/Russia Series.

Hart was back in net Friday for Everett against Prince George. He allowed three goals on 23 shots and allowed one in the shootout as the Silvertips fell, 4-3, to the Cougars. Then on Saturday, Hart had a 28-save shutout in Everett’s 4-0 win over Prince George.

His shutout Saturday night was his 20th career WHL shutout, which is one shy of tying Leland Irving’s Everett record of 21. Irving was with the Phantoms earlier this season. Nearly 13 percent of Hart’s WHL games have been shutouts. This season, Hart is 3-2-1 with a 2.11 goals-against average, .933 save percentage and one shutout in six games.

Morgan Frost, C, 18, 5-11/172, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
For Frost, one of the Flyers' two 2017 first-round picks, it was another big week. Frost continued to produce, showcasing both his goal-scoring ability and playmaking skills.

Frost had his second two-goal game of the season in the Greyhounds’ 4-3 overtime win Friday night over Sarnia and then followed that up with a goal and two assists Saturday in Sault Ste. Marie’s 8-2 blowout of Flint. His first goal Friday came on a 2-on-2 rush.

In his last 13 games, Frost has 13 assists and 22 points. On the season, he has 27 points in 20 games and leads the OHL with a plus-21 rating. It’s been quite the campaign for Frost, who has validated the Flyers’ decision to draft him in the first round.

German Rubtsov, C/LW, 19, 6-0/187, Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL)
The Titan’s trade for Rubtsov continued to pay off, as the Flyers’ 2016 first-round pick showed again why Acadie-Bathurst gave up two players and three draft picks for him.

Rubtsov had four points in three games last week, with all four coming this past weekend. Rubtsov, a natural center who’s been playing left wing in Acadie-Bathurst, had a goal and two assists in the Titan’s 5-3 win Friday night over Drummondville. On Saturday night, he had an assist in the Titan’s 4-3 loss to Blainville-Boisbriand.

In five games with Acadie-Bathurst, Rubtsov has five assists and seven points. Between Chicoutimi and Acadie-Bathurst, he has 13 assists and 18 points in 16 games.

Alex Lyon, G, 24, 6-1/200, Lehigh Valley (AHL)
With Anthony Stolarz out long term, Lyon has yet to take advantage of the opportunity he has with the Phantoms to set himself apart on the organizational depth chart. It was an up-and-down week for Lyon, who has been disappointing in his second pro year.

Lyon had a strong effort last Wednesday in Lehigh Valley’s 4-2 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, allowing two goals on 44 shots. But then on Saturday, he surrendered six markers on 33 shots in the Phantoms’ 6-1 loss to Hershey. Is Lyon to blame for all six goals? Of course not, but he has allowed 17 goals in his past four games.

Lyon, in 11 games, is 6-3-1 with a 3.26 goals-against average and .897 save percentage. He’s allowed three or more goals in six games.

Quick hits
• After a solid start, Pascal Laberge is in a rut. Laberge had another scoreless week for Victoriaville. He has two points in his past nine games. He has 12 points in 18 games.

• For the first time this season, Danick Martel did not score a goal Saturday night. That’s OK, though. Martel had a goal and an assist in Lehigh Valley’s 4-2 win Wednesday over Bridgeport. He now has 14 goals and 19 points in 15 games.

Oskar Lindblom registered his third goal of the season last Wednesday, drilling home a pass from Martel in front of the Sound Tigers’ net.

Connor Bunnaman stayed hot for Kitchener, picking up a goal in both Rangers games this past weekend. He now has a four-game goal streak and six-game point streak.

Bunnaman, Kitchener’s captain, has six goals and one assist during his six-game point streak. He has 11 markers and 15 points in 17 games this season.

Isaac Ratcliffe, the Flyers’ 2017 second-round pick, had a nice weekend for the Guelph Storm. Ratcliffe had a two-goal game Friday night in the Storm’s 6-2 win over North Bay. Then on Sunday, Ratcliffe had a goal and two assists against Sudbury.

• Sarnia’s Anthony Salinitri filled the stat sheet this weekend with three goals and an assist. Salinitri had two goals Friday and then a goal and an assist Sunday.

Matthew Strome is heating up for Hamilton. Strome had a goal and two assists in the Bulldogs’ 7-4 win Friday over Erie and then two goals and an assist Sunday against Mississauga. Strome has a four-game point streak in which he has nine points.

Brendan Warren, Marody’s teammate at Michigan, had a goal and an assist Saturday against Minnesota. Warren has three goals and one assist in 10 games this season.

Tanner Laczynski had another productive weekend for Ohio State, and he now leads the Buckeyes with 13 points. He had a two-assist game Friday and a goal Saturday.

• Wisconsin defenseman Wyatt Kalynuk finally picked up his first collegiate goal Friday night in the No. 6 Badgers’ 6-2 win over Michigan State. He also had an assist.

Kalynuk, the Flyers’ final pick in the 2017 draft, has seven points in 13 games. He leads all Wisconsin defensemen in points and is tied for second on the team with six assists.

Future Flyers Report: Rubtsov, Vecchione, Martel and more

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USA Today Images/AP Images

Future Flyers Report: Rubtsov, Vecchione, Martel and more

Before this week begins, it’s time for our weekly check-in on the Flyers’ prospects playing in the AHL, overseas and at the junior and college levels.

In this edition, we’ll take a look at a trade at the junior level with Flyers ties, a former Hobey Baker finalist and plenty more. Let’s get this thing going.

German Rubtsov, C, 19, 6-0/187, Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL)
We had a trade involving one of the Flyers’ top prospects and a team with direct ties to the Flyers. Rubtsov was acquired by Acadie-Bathurst last week from Chicoutimi. Rubtsov joins Antoine Morand as the only two NHL-owned players on the Titan roster. Sean Couturier, the Flyers’ top-line center, is part of an investor group that bought Acadie-Bathurst in 2013, while Couturier’s dad, Sylvain, is the team’s general manager.

It may be obvious, but Rubtsov’s trade has no impact on the Flyers. They still own his rights. It’s strictly a QMJHL transaction. It happens often in junior. In January 2016, Ottawa traded Travis Konecny to Sarnia because it felt Konecny would be in the NHL.

Rubtsov will turn 20 in June and will either be in the AHL or NHL next season, which may have factored into Chicoutimi’s openness to moving him. Another factor could be the Saguenéens’ start, as Chicoutimi is near the bottom of the Q. Either way, Rubtsov has a new home in the Quebec League. Rubtsov adjusted quickly with the Titan.

On Friday, Rubtsov picked up an assist in his first game with Acadie-Bathurst, a primary helper on Morand’s game-winning goal in the Titan’s 6-3 win over Cape Breton. Then, in another 6-3 win Saturday over Cape Breton, Rubtsov recorded a goal and an assist. It took Rubtsov no time to mesh with his new teammates, a testament to his skill set.

Mike Vecchione, C, 24, 5-10/194, Lehigh Valley (AHL)
Vecchione’s seven-game point streak ended last week but he still had a productive weekend. He had a two-assist game Saturday after his point streak snapped and then was pointless Sunday. The 24-year-old was honored last week for his performance in October. Vecchione last Wednesday was named the AHL Rookie of the Month and second star after posting 10 points in 10 games in October. It’s been quite the start for Vecchione.

“I’ve been taught to never put a ceiling on anything,” Vecchione said in September. “The sky’s the limit and I’ve broken a lot of ceilings that people put on me before. … I’ll do whatever it takes to move up and be an impact player for whatever team I play for.”

He’s proving to be just that for the Phantoms thus far: an impact player.

Danick Martel, LW, 22, 5-8/161, Lehigh Valley (AHL)
Get used to seeing Martel in this report. He may not be a high-end prospect, but what he's doing is ridiculous. Martel had a goal Friday, a goal and an assist Saturday, and then a goal Sunday. He has six goals during his five-game goal streak. He leads the AHL in goals (13) and points (17). He's averaging a goal per game. Bonkers.

Wade Allison, RW, 20, 6-2/205, Western Michigan (NCAA)
Allison had himself a weekend for the Broncos, who swept No. 1 Denver with wins Friday and Saturday. Allison played a big part of the victories with a four-point weekend. He scored WMU's first goal and picked up a secondary helper on the game-winning goal Friday in the Broncos' 6-5 win. Then Saturday, he recorded a hat trick in a 7-4 win.

With Denver up 3-0 in the second period, Allison scored two goals in 1 minute and 13 seconds to get the Broncos within one. Denver went up 4-2, but then WMU sprung off five unanswered goals. Allison scored the team's sixth goal, a power-play tally.

A huge night for Allison gave him the first hat trick of his collegiate career. He's second on WMU in goals (six), points (14) and points per game (1.56), and tied for the lead in assists with eight. He has just two pointless games and five multi-point games.

Cooper Marody, C, 20, 6-1/185, Michigan (NCAA)
He was featured last week, and after another big weekend, he's back. Marody continued to stay hot for the Wolverines this past weekend as Michigan split with Ferris State. Marody racked up a goal and two assists in UM's 7-2 win Friday. It was his third straight three-point game. In Michigan's 3-2 overtime loss Saturday, Marody had a goal and an assist. The junior leads Michigan with nine assists and 12 points.

Quick hits
Carter Hart returned to action last week for Everett after sitting out with mono. It was a pretty busy weekend for Hart, too. He stopped 23 of 24 shots in a 3-1 win Friday over Prince George and 39 of 41 shots Saturday in a 3-1 loss to Portland.

Philippe Myers’ groin injury forced him to leave the Phantoms’ 6-5 shootout loss Friday night to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He missed games on Saturday and Sunday.

Morgan Frost had a three-assist game in Sault Ste. Marie's 5-4 win over Sudbury last Wednesday. He then had an assist Sunday. Frost has 15 assists and 22 points in 18 games.

Oskar Lindblom added two more assists Friday night against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. It was his third consecutive two-point game.

• It’s been a rough stretch for Lehigh Valley goalie Alex Lyon, who’s allowed nine goals in his last two games. Lyon allowed four goals Saturday before being pulled. He’s allowed three or more goals in five of his nine games this season.

Tanner Laczynski earned the NCAA's First Star of the Week for the week of Oct. 23 after a breakout performance. This past weekend, he had one assist in two games.

Mikhail Vorobyev scored his first AHL goal in the Phantoms' 6-5 shootout loss Friday night to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

• Kitchener captain Connor Bunnaman has had a big two weeks. Bunnaman had his third two-goal game of the season Friday against Erie and then another goal Saturday against Guelph. Bunnaman has nine goals and 13 points in 15 games this season.

• Clarkson's Terrance Amorosa had a two-assist game Friday against Rensselaer. Amorosa, a senior, now has seven assists and nine points in 10 games.

Felix Sandstrom remains out for Brynäs IF because of an injury.

Noah Cates snapped a seven-game pointless streak with his second goal of the season Saturday night in Omaha's 3-2 overtime loss to Madison.