Tanner Laczynski

Future Flyers Report: German Rubtsov avoids scare; Philippe Myers ‘getting close’

Future Flyers Report: German Rubtsov avoids scare; Philippe Myers ‘getting close’

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 week’s report, we check in on the health of two of the orange and black’s top prospects, and highlight a pair of Big Ten prospects squaring off. Let’s dig in.

German Rubtsov, C, 6-0/190, Chicoutimi (QMJHL)
Rubtsov escaped a scare last Thursday, when he slid hard into the boards after being brought down on a breakaway by a Rouyn-Noranda defensemen Zachary Lauzon and Bruno-Carl Denis, injuring his left knee. After the game, Rubtsov was on crutches, awaiting further examination. According to Le Quotidien’s Dave Ainsley, there is no fracture and he is considered day to day. He did not play in Chicoutimi’s 4-3 win over Rimouski last Friday. The Saguenéens will have six days off between the Rimouski game and their next game, Thursday against Val-d’Or, so it’s plausible for Rubtsov to not miss any more time.

Before the injury, Rubtsov’s QMJHL career continued its torrid pace. Last Tuesday, Rubtsov deposited a juicy rebound into an empty net during Chicoutimi’s 3-2 win over Drummondville. It was his third goal and ninth point in his sixth game since coming over from Russia, and he’s been held pointless in just two games playing in the Q.

Philippe Myers, D, 6-5/209, Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL)
Myers, who has not played since the world juniors because of a concussion, was spotted in the Wells Fargo Center press box last Thursday night during the Flyers’ 3-1 win over the Canadiens. When asked about Myers’ health last Friday at Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, New Jersey, general manager Ron Hextall said “he’s doing good” and believes “he’s getting close.” According to Hextall, Myers has been skating with the Huskies. Rouyn-Noranda has two games this week, so it’s possible Myers could return Thursday or Friday night.

Cooper Marody, C, 6-0/178, Michigan (NCAA)
It’s been a trying sophomore season for Marody, having been ruled academically ineligible for the first semester. But, the 20-year-old finally cracked through in the goal column last weekend, registering a hat trick in under 10 minutes of Michigan’s 5-4 win over No. 11 Ohio State on Friday night. It was the Wolverines’ first hat trick since Hobey Baker Award runner-up Kyle Connor potted four markers against Penn State last season’s Big Ten Tournament, and Michigan’s first natural hat trick since J.T. Compher’s on March 7, 2015, also against PSU. It was also Marody’s first career multi-goal game and first career hat trick.

Marody compiled his hat trick in nine minutes and 17 seconds in the second period that sent Michigan into the second intermission up, 5-1, on the Buckeyes. His first goal at 6:47 displayed tremendous shiftiness and stick work before ripping off a wrister past OSU goalie Christian Frey. The second goal, at 10:51 on a power play, Marody pounced on a rebound, poking it past Frey to put Michigan up, 4-1. He completed the trick at 16:04 again on a power play, beating Frey from the right with a wrister after setting up Michigan’s umbrella.

"I think adversity just makes you stronger," Marody told mgoblue.com. "It's important to learn from any adversity you have and try to move forward. So, it's good that the team got a good win tonight, and we're hoping we can continue it, and I think we can."

On Saturday night, Marody followed his hat trick up with another goal, another impressive individual effort and wrister, and two assists in Michigan’s 6-5 loss to Ohio State.

Tanner Laczynski, C, 6-1/191, Ohio State (NCAA)
After coming down to earth following the world juniors, Laczynski snapped a four-game goal drought and a three-game pointless skid Friday night in OSU’s 5-4 loss to Michigan. With the Buckeyes trailing, 3-0, in the second period and Ohio State on a power play, Laczynski banked a shot off Michigan goalie Hayden Lavigne into the net for his seventh goal of the season. Lavigne lost track of the puck, believing the puck was in the corner behind him and Laczynski took the opportunity to throw it at net. He moved up to the third line for Saturday’s contest with the Wolverines, and picked up a secondary assist.

Oskar Lindblom, LW, 6-1/192, Brynäs IF (SHL)
It’s been awhile since we’ve highlighted Lindblom, the 20-year-old Swedish sensation tearing apart the SHL, but here we go. Lindblom again turned in another monster week for Brynäs IF, ripping off three more goals and pushing his point total to a team-leading 37. On Tuesday, Lindblom netted his 14th goal of the season in a 6-2 Brynäs loss to Skellefteå, punching in a rebound, and on Thursday, he led a comeback charge in a 5-4 shootout win over Lulea with two goals and the shootout winner. He opened the scoring for Brynäs with a tap-in goal off his own pass, and then scored the game-tying goal in the third with a wicked wrist shot. He’s now at 16 goals and 37 points, fourth in the SHL, in 41 games.

Lindblom is still without an entry-level contract, but it is only a matter of time before Hextall inks the winger to one — most likely after the SHL season comes to an end. As was the case last year, Lindblom could sign another amateur tryout contract and finish out the AHL season with the Phantoms, but with the depth in Lehigh Valley, the team may hold off on that option. But, it’s a safe bet that Lindblom will push hard for a spot on the Flyers next season, and it’s realistic in saying that he has a legitimate shot. Early bet here is he makes it.

Quick hits
• Flyers team president Paul Holmgren told the Courier-Post’s Dave Isaac last Friday at the PSWA dinner the Phantoms have “six or seven guys I promise you’ll see in a year or two.”

• Phantoms defensive partners Sam Morin and Travis Sanheim scooped up an assist each in Lehigh Valley’s 4-3 win over Albany Friday night. They were pointless and a combined minus-5 in the Phantoms’ 7-1 blowout loss Saturday against Wilkes/Barre Scranton.

Anthony Stolarz had a disastrous outing Saturday against the Penguins, yielding seven goals on 32 shots. His goals-against average is now up to 2.75 with a .911 save percentage.

• Western Michigan’s Wade Allison catapulted himself atop the Broncos’ scoring list with a goal and three assists last weekend. Allison recorded three helpers in No. 9 WMU’s 4-2 win over Arizona State on Friday, and then followed it up with a goal on Saturday against ASU. Allison leads the Broncos with 23 points in 26 games, and is currently on a four-game point streak, collecting five points along the way. He also has 14 points in his last 13 games.

Pascal Laberge had a three-goal week for Victoriaville, scoring once in the Tigres’ 6-2 win over Drummondville Thursday and twice in their 7-2 win over Sherbrooke Saturday.

• Saint John’s Samuel Dove-McFalls added a four-point week for the Sea Dogs. On Friday in a 7-4 win over Halifax, Dove-McFalls registered a goal and an assist, and then followed that up with a goal Saturday in a 7-0 rout of Cape Breton. Dove-McFalls is riding a four-game point streak, picking up three goals and two assists during that span.

• A rough week for Everett goalie Carter Hart, who allowed nine goals in four games — three losses and was pulled twice. He did, however, rebound with his seventh shutout on the season on Saturday night, turning away 21 shots in a 1-0 win over Vancouver.

• With two more assists, Carsen Twarynski now has five points — all assists — in nine games with the Rockets since Calgary traded him to Kelowna.

Future Flyers Report: Tomek's 1st collegiate start; Laczynski comes down to earth

Future Flyers Report: Tomek's 1st collegiate start; Laczynski comes down to earth

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 week’s report, we highlight a sophomore goalie prospect’s first collegiate start, another collegiate prospect who’s come down to earth and much more. Let’s dig in.

Matej Tomek, G, 6-3/183, North Dakota (NCAA)
Tomek hoped his World Junior Championships performance “would make a difference a little bit up there in North Dakota.” Still, he needed something to break his way, and last Friday in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the sophomore goaltender received that break.

Fighting Hawks goalie Cam Johnson saw his streak of 55 consecutive starts — tied for a school record — come to an end Friday because of a lower-body injury, and UND head coach Brad Berry decided to reward Tomek his first collegiate start against the Tigers over senior Matt Hryniw.

The 19-year-old, however, did not last long in net. Tomek surrendered two goals on six shots in the first period, as No. 12 North Dakota fell behind Colorado College, 2-0. Both goals Tomek yielded were not of the strongest variety. The first did come after a propitious CC bounce, a bit of more bad luck for Tomek. The second, however, was a long slap shot from the left circle he appeared unprepared for from Alex Berardinelli.

Berry opted to make a goaltender change after the first intermission, going with Hryniw, who turned away all 15 shots he faced, and UND battled back to beat the Tigers, 5-2. Berry explained the decision as “you have to try to do whatever you can to get a win.”

“It was a situation — it wasn’t the sharpest period he’s had, but he hasn’t played a lot of hockey,” Berry told the AP, via the Bismarck Tribune. “Putting thoughts and feelings aside, it’s a team-first game. We put Hrynkiw in and it seemed to give us a bump.”

For Tomek, it is unclear if he will get a chance at redemption this season. North Dakota’s top priority is wins, as it’s attempting to defend its national championship. It will depend on Johnson’s health going forward if Tomek gets a shot at starting again. Friday night was his second collegiate appearance, as the Slovakian netminder came in relief of Johnson on Jan. 13, a game then-No. 7 UND lost, 6-3, to Miami. He allowed two goals on five shots in relief then, and now has surrendered four goals on 13 shots in two career games.

Tanner Laczynski, C, 6-1/191, Ohio State (NCAA)
After missing No. 8 Ohio State’s weekend set with then-No. 1 Penn State two weeks ago because of an illness, Laczynski returned to the Buckeyes’ lineup this past week against Wisconsin and was largely ineffective, as the Badgers swept Ohio State.

Laczynski returned Thursday in Columbus, Ohio, a 3-1 Badgers victory. The freshman, who had been the Buckeyes’ points leader before leaving for the world juniors, centered the fourth line and finished with two shots on goal and a minus-1. As part of Super Saturday at Madison Square Garden, he again was on the fourth line in the OSU’s 3-2 overtime loss to Wisconsin. He had two shots on goal and was a plus-1.

Since returning from the world juniors, Laczynski has just one assist in four games, and is pointless in his last three games. He’s still averaging 1.21 points through the start of his NCAA career, but this is his first multi-game pointless stretch in 19 games.

Mikhail Vorobyov, C, 6-2/207, Salavat Yulaev (KHL)
One KHL prospect, German Rubtsov, has already made his way over to North America, could another one be on his way too? It’s possible, but not until next season.

Vorobyov told Sport Express last week that he will not make a decision on whether to make the jump overseas until this summer after speculation suggested he was could come over when his contract with Salavat Yulaev expires at the end of this season.

Via Sons of Penn, Vorobyov will be a restricted free agent once the KHL ends. Salavat Yulaev general manager Leonid Vaisfeld hinted to TACC that Ufa would extend a qualifying offer to him, but the center “has an agent and his own head on his shoulders.”

It’s nothing concrete and remains speculation forecasting what could happen next season, but Vorobyov had an extremely impressive showing for Russia at the world juniors. As was the case with Rubtsov, bringing him over could be best for the Flyers. Stay tuned.

German Rubtsov, C, 6-0/190, Chicoutimi Saguenéens (QMJHL)
Speaking of Rubtsov, the move to Chicoutimi has paid dividends for the center thus far. He continued to show why the Flyers were so high on him in last June’s draft in both of the Saguenéens games last week. Rubtsov picked up an assist in a modest effort in Chicoutimi’s 3-2 shootout loss to Shawinigan on Friday, but had an impressive multi-point performance a 4-0 win over Gatineau on Sunday. Rubtsov recorded a power-play marker, which was the game-winner, and picked up another assist. He was named the game’s first star, and increased his point total to eight in five games in the Q.

Quick hits
• Phantoms defenseman Travis Sanheim registered three assists in three games last week, scooping up two helpers in Lehigh Valley’s 3-2 loss to Bridgeport on Saturday.

Anthony Stolarz returned last week after missing a couple of games with a lower-body injury. The goalie stopped 41 of 43 shots in the Phantoms’ 7-2 win over Binghamton on Wednesday, and yielded three goals on 21 shots Saturday.

• With Stolarz healthy, Alex Lyon made just one start last week, but he was excellent in a 2-1 win over Binghamton on Friday. Lyon allowed just one goal in 42 shots in the win.

• Brynäs winger Oskar Lindblom had a huge game last Thursday, registering two markers and an assist in a 4-2 win over Frolunda. Lindblom’s 34 points lead Brynäs, and puts him third in the SHL as a 20-year-old.

Felix Sandstrom yielded three goals on 23 shots in Brynäs IF’s 4-2 loss to Malmo Saturday. He’s now 9-5-2 with a 2.22 goals-against average and .907 save percentage.

• Everett goalie Carter Hart lost both of his starts last week, surrendering six goals on 59 shots. He did not start Sunday night, but did come in relief of Mario Petit, stopping 10 of 11 shots in the Silvertips’ 5-1 loss to Kamloops.

Connor Bunnaman had a goal and an assist in Kitchener’s 5-4 shootout win over North Bay on Friday, and added two goals Sunday in a 6-4 loss to Owen Sound. He now has 26 goals in 44 games.

• Sarnia’s Anthony Salinitri added another multi-point game last week — a goal and an assist in the Sting’s 6-1 win over Flint. It was his second straight multi-point game.

• Clarkson defenseman Terrance Amorosa recorded two assists in the Golden Knights’ 6-2 loss to No. 5 Union on Friday night. He was pointless Saturday against Rensselaer.

• Harvard goalie Merrick Madsen backstopped the No. 9-ranked Crimson to wins over No. 14 Cornell and Colgate. Madsen made 43 saves on 45 shots last weekend.

Wade Allison had an assist in both weekend games for No. 10 Western Michigan, which split its weekend series with Miami. The freshman has 19 points in 24 games.

• Bowling Green junior defenseman Mark Friedman added seventh goal of the season in a 3-2 win over Ferris State on Friday. The Falcons split their series with the Bulldogs.

Tanner Laczynski's development not being lost in sweet freshman year at Ohio State

Tanner Laczynski's development not being lost in sweet freshman year at Ohio State

TORONTO — First semester of college can often be a challenge for many students, but for Tanner Laczynski, the experience was a sweet one — literally. 

Part of Laczynski’s course load at Ohio State was “Chocolate Science.” According to the course website, students receive an “introduction to science and business of chocolate. Students develop and market a chocolate product as part of a virtual company. Students taste commercial products.” 

Laczynski, who plans to declare his major in business in his second semester, got a lesson in chocolates from around the world during the course. 

“Chocolate Science wasn't bad,” Laczynski said with a laugh a few weeks ago. “All I did was eat chocolate and write a paper about it. There's lots of different chocolate, and they all taste good.” 

Growing up 43 miles outside of Chicago in Shorewood, Illinois, Laczynski wasn’t a big football fan, saying there wasn’t much to cheer for with respect to the Bears, but since relocating to the Buckeye State, he’s taken up interest in the local team. 

“That's a big part of it,” Laczynski said of attending OSU. “I've been to two games, they haven't been the strongest opponents so kind of blowouts.” 

Laczynski was in the middle of a nap when the Flyers used their sixth-round pick to select him on the second day of the 2016 NHL draft. He was admittedly startled to be woken up by his parents, Ken and Dawn, along with sister Payton and brother Hayden.

“I'd just gotten back home from coaching some kids, it was early in the morning, came back, took a nap and my parents were all excited,” Laczynski said. “I was still tired from my nap, but woke up pretty quick. 

“They just kind of attacked me so I was kind of like, 'What's going on?' at first. That was unbelievable and it's a moment I won't forget."

After a quick phone call from his agent, Flyers amateur scout Nick Pryor and John Riley, in charge of player development in Philly, were on the phone to welcome Laczynski to the club. 

This season, the 19-year-old had six goals and 16 assists in 15 games prior to leaving to join Team USA at the World Junior Hockey Championships.  

The under-20 tournament is the third time Laczynski has represented the U.S. internationally. He also wore Team USA colors for the under-18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament and the under-19 World Junior A Challenge.

Through the first six games at the world juniors, Laczynski tallied one goal and an assist. He missed the semifinals against Russia because of an illness but was in the lineup as the Americans defeated the Canadians 5-4 in a shootout to win gold.

Despite being just three months into his first year at OSU, the Flyers remain in constant communication with their prospect. 

“I talk to John Riley quite a bit, he's always in contact with me sending me game film and sending me clips of NHL highlights and stuff like that,” Laczynski said. “We keep in touch, it's a relationship and it's nice to keep in touch with him.”

During his freshman season, skating has been an area of focus for the 6-foot-1, 190-pound forward.

“I think my big thing is my first couple steps, just my quickness, stopping, getting back on it. I think that's my biggest thing,” he said. “Once I get that down, I feel like I have the speed, but just build an extra step, just improve on that, I think that'll be a tremendous help to my game.” 

Laczynski, who spent three seasons in the USHL prior to committing to the Buckeyes, said he tries to model his game after one-time Flyer Jaromir Jagr. 

“He's kind of the guy that I watched a lot just because of his puck protection and everything,” Laczynski said. “I try to kind of use my body to protect the puck down low and create some chances in the offensive zone. 

“He's got a really good stick — I try to watch that and have an active stick in the defensive zone and offensive zone, as well.” 

In his conversations with Riley and Pryor, the expectations for Laczynski are clear.

“Their goal for me is just to consistently play nine out of 10 nights instead of that seven out of 10 nights and get my game elevated a little bit more, play more consistently,” Laczynski said.

“I think that's the biggest thing.”