Tanner Laczynski

Up next for Flyers prospect Cooper Marody, the NCAA Tournament

Photo: Zack Hill/Flyers

Up next for Flyers prospect Cooper Marody, the NCAA Tournament

Before this week begins, it’s time for our weekly check-in on the Flyers’ prospects.

Cooper Marody, C, 21, 6-1/185, Michigan (NCAA)
Marody did all he could, but it wasn’t enough to send Michigan to the Big Ten title game.

Still, the No. 11-ranked Wolverines are a near lock for the NCAA Tournament.

Saturday, Marody potted two goals against No. 6 Ohio State, but Michigan fell, 3-2, in overtime.

The junior leads Michigan with 32 assists and 46 points in 37 games. His 14 goals are second on the Wolverines. Nationally, Marody’s 32 helpers are second-most and his 46 points are tied for seventh.

Pascal Laberge, C, 19, 6-1/162, Quebec (QMJHL)
Make it eight straight for Laberge.

Laberge extended his point streak to eight games last week, adding two assists Thursday and a goal and an assist Friday.

During his streak, Laberge has collected five goals and 13 points. Following a trade to Quebec, Laberge has started to find the consistency that’s been missing over the past two seasons.

In his last 27 games, Laberge has 11 goals and 15 assists — he was pointless in his first three games with the Remparts. On the season, Laberge has 17 goals and 46 points.

Morgan Frost, C, 18, 5-11/172, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
With the OHL season winding down, time is running out for Frost to regain the scoring lead.

But it’s still possible.

Frost’s point streak reached 11 games last week. During this streak, he has 11 assists and 19 points. In 64 games, Frost has 40 goals (fourth), 67 assists (second) and 107 points (second).

Not only does Frost’s plus-68 rating lead the OHL but it also leads all of the CHL.

The centerman trails Barrie’s Aaron Luchuk (110 points) for the OHL scoring lead.

Quick Hits
• OSU’s Tanner Laczynski picked up the primary assist on Matthew Weis’ OT winner Saturday.

The Buckeyes will face No. 5 Notre Dame Saturday in the Big Ten championship game.

• Isaac Ratcliffe had a goal and an assist in three games for Guelph, and while he did not score on this breakaway Saturday, he did flash some silky hands.

• Matthew Strome had a two-goal game Saturday vs. Niagara. He leads Hamilton with 37 goals.

• German Rubtsov is working with a point streak of his own, as the 2016 first-round pick had a goal and two assists in three games. He has seven points during his five-game point streak.

• Carter Hart’s ridiculous 2017-18 season continued. He stopped 62 of 66 shots in two games. His six-game win streak ended Sunday night with a 2-0 loss.

• Phantoms center Mikhail Vorobyev added a goal and two more assists. He has four assists and seven points in his past six games.

• Owen Sound’s Maksim Sushko tallied his 30th goal. Four of the Flyers’ 2017 draft picks have reached the 30-goal mark this season. Sushko joins Frost, Strome and Ratcliffe in that club.

2 Flyers prospects have grown by 'leaps and bounds'

AP Images

2 Flyers prospects have grown by 'leaps and bounds'

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.

Mikhail Vorobyev, C, 21, 6-2/207, Lehigh Valley (AHL)
Vorobyev returned to action last week after missing more than a month with an undisclosed injury. Vorobyev recorded an assist in his first game back Friday night in Lehigh Valley’s 5-2 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. It was the Russian’s first game since Dec. 12. He was pointless in the Phantoms’ 3-2 OT loss Saturday to Utica.

“He’s another guy that is leaps and bounds from where he was at the start of the year,” Phantoms head coach Scott Gordon told NBC Sports Philadelphia last week. “It was disappointing that he got hurt when he did because he was starting to come into his own, starting to get more confidence in how he needed to play over here in a smaller rink and the spacing of it and not playing a perimeter game and getting more to the net.”

Samuel Morin, D, 22, 6-7/202, Lehigh Valley (AHL)
Morin’s latest injury forced the hulking defenseman to miss the Phantoms’ final three games before the AHL All-Star break. He's appeared in just 15 games this season because of injuries, and his most recent injury came at a time he was “playing more like the Sam that we’ve seen — that was encouraging,” Gordon said.

“It’s going to get taken care of and Sam is going to get himself back into playing shape and play the type of hockey we know that he can play,” Gordon said, “and the type of hockey that’s going to give him success in the NHL.

"The kid's game is about intimidation as far as that presence of 6-foot-7. He's got a mean edge to him when he plays. That part of the game is easy for him. What I was happy about was, his playmaking decisions with the puck in the last three games. That was something you're constantly, as a defenseman, want to get better at."

Oskar Lindblom, LW, 21, 6-1/192, Lehigh Valley (AHL)
Lindblom tallied his 13th goal of the season in the Phantoms’ final game before the break Saturday night. Gordon spoke highly of the Swedish winger’s growth throughout his first full season in North America. Gordon noted that Lindblom’s six-game pointless streak to begin the year was mostly bad luck. Lindblom has 29 points in 45 games.

"The thing that's been really impressive is,' Gordon said, "the puck started going in, but how much stuff he started creating on his own. Being in a battle with two guys and coming out with the puck. A puck that looks like it's going to get poked off his stick, he somehow manages to keep it on his stick and then makes the next play from there.

"I knew Oskar from when he was over here two years ago," Gordon said, "but I didn't know how strong he was in his battle, compete level on loose pucks in one-on-one battles. That to me, out of all of our forwards, he's head and shoulders over everybody and as a result, a lot of his offense comes from stuff like that. He makes plays to his linemates that other players might not get the opportunity because they don't even get to start with the puck because they can't compete and battle the way he does."

Quick hits
Felix Sandstrom remains on loan to IK Oskarshamn of the Allsvenskan. He has a .914 save percentage and 2.65 goals-against average in four games with Oskarshamn.

• Phantoms center Mike Vecchione has a three-game goal streak and a four-game point streak. Here is Vecchione’s goal Saturday night that extended his goal streak.

• After his 20-game point streak ended, Sault Ste. Marie’s Morgan Frost has ignited another. He had a seven-point week in three games and has points in his last four games. He leads the OHL plus/minus (51) and is second in points (79) assists (51).

Isaac Ratcliffe (Guelph) had a monster game Friday against Flint, registering his first career OHL hat trick and picking up an assist. He’s up to 26 goals in 46 games.

Carter Hart’s 13-game winning streak ended in Everett’s 3-2 shootout loss Saturday night to Seattle. Hart leads the WHL in GAA (1.51) and save percentage (.953).

• Acadie-Bathurst forward German Rubtsov missed two games last week but returned Friday with a goal and an assist. Rubtsov has 23 points in 23 games with the Titan and 34 points in 34 games overall this season.

Pascal Laberge stayed hot last week for Quebec, picking up two assists Saturday and extending his point streak to five games. That streak ended Sunday. He has 10 points in his past 11 games.

• Michigan’s Cooper Marody, who was among the initial Hobey Baker nominees, is pointless in his past four games.

Tanner Laczynski extended his point streak to 10 games last week. He has 15 points during his current streak and is tied for third in the country with 36 points this season.

Carter Hart elevates game on biggest stage

AP Images

Carter Hart elevates game on biggest stage

As the Flyers’ bye weeks gets underway today, 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, 19, G, 6-1/177, Canada
Canada is back on top of the junior world, and Hart is one reason why. Hart starred during the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championships, and when you thought the hype machine couldn’t get louder, he elevated his game to another level on the biggest stage.

It’s hard to remember a Flyers goaltending prospect creating this much buzz, both locally and nationally, but Hart is genuinely one of the most intriguing junior goalies of the last decade. What he’s doing for Everett in the WHL is remarkable, and he redeemed himself in the world juniors after a heartbreaking loss in the 2017 games.

Hart saved his best for last, turning aside 35 shots in Canada’s 3-1 win Friday over Sweden to capture gold and was named the player of the game. He allowed just 11 goals on 156 shots in seven games, lost once, posted a .930 save percentage and had a shutout. He said he needed to be better before the gold medal game and he was.

Over the next few weeks, months and years, the excitement will continue to grow until Hart suits up as a Flyer. It’s hard to put a concrete timeline on when we could be seeing Hart occupying the pipes at the Wells Fargo Center, but as he turns pro next season at 20 years old, it’s a safe bet that he’ll reach the NHL level in 2019-20 when he’s 21 (see story).

Maksim Sushko, RW, 18, 6-0/179, Belarus
Perhaps one of the under-the-radar prospects at the world juniors, Sushko proved himself the cream of Belarus’ junior crop. Sushko, the Flyers' 2017 fourth-round pick, led Belarus with six assists and eight points in six games. He accounted for nearly 22 percent of Belarus' scoring, and he caught Flyers GM Ron Hextall's attention.

"He's a big player on that team. They don't have a ton of ability," Hextall said, "so he plays a big role, probably a bigger role than he would play with another country. He was playing 24 to 26 minutes. Too much for a forward but he's a big guy, a thick guy that can skate. He's got good sense. He's not going to be that type of player at the pro level."

Hextall said Sushko projects to be "more of a two-way guy that's not expected to score" in the pros. Still, Sushko made an impact and that's all the Flyers could have asked for.

Morgan Frost, C, 18, 6-0/180, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
The Greyhounds’ 23-game winning streak came to an end last Thursday, but Frost’s point streak stayed alive. Frost extended his streak two games. The 18-year-old accumulated 24 assists and 37 points over his 17-game point streak. He leads the OHL in points (65), assists (41) and plus/minus (plus-46).

College update
Ohio State’s Tanner Laczynski had a four-point weekend against Michigan State and now leads the Buckeyes with 10 goals, 19 assists and 29 points.

Cooper Marody stayed hot for Michigan. The junior registered an assist in the Wolverines’ 2-1 loss to No. 2 Notre Dame on Friday. He was pointless Sunday but now has 29 points. Both Marody and Laczynski are two points shy of the NCAA point lead.

Quick hits
• Good news for Felix Sandstrom. Sandstrom is healthy after missing two months injured. He’s been loaned from Brynäs IF to IK Oskarshamn to ease him back in.

• Phantoms goalie Alex Lyon was strong again last week in his one start. Lyon stopped 35 of 37 shots Friday night in Lehigh Valley’s 3-2 overtime loss to Toronto. He has a .944 save percentage in three games since returning to the Phantoms on Dec. 26.

Oskar Lindblom scored his 12th goal of the year Friday, which brought his goal streak to three games. That ended Saturday, however. He has 12 points in his last 12 games.

Pascal Laberge tallied his first two goals as a Rempart on Friday. He picked up an assist Sunday. He has two goals and three points in six games since his trade to Quebec.

• Hamilton’s Matthew Strome saw his nine-game point streak end Friday night. Strome recorded nine goals and 13 points during his point streak. Strome added a goal Sunday.

Carsen Twarynski had a three-point game Wednesday and a goal Friday. He now has 27 goals and 43 points in 37 games for the Kelowna Rockets.