Wade Allison

Future Flyers Report: Bad news for Carter Hart; German Rubtsov makes immediate impact

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Zack Hill/Flyers

Future Flyers Report: Bad news for Carter Hart; German Rubtsov makes immediate impact

This week sees the Flyers conclude their season-opening four-game road trip Tuesday in Nashville for the Predators’ home opener and their own home opener Saturday against Washington.

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 check in on three members of the 2016 draft class and a goalie prospect who’s one injury away from reaching the NHL.

Carter Hart, G, 19, 6-1/177, Everett (WHL)
Let’s begin with the undesirable news first. Hart, the consensus top goaltending prospect in the Flyers’ organization, will be out of action for some time because of mononucleosis, according to The Herald’s Jesse Geleynse. The Silvertips last Wednesday signed goalie Kyle Dumba to back up Dorrin Luding while Hart recuperates.

It might be a while before we see Hart back in net. Mono can take serious time to recover from — just ask Sean Couturier, who battled it during the 2010-11 offseason and it potentially cost him from being drafted in the top three. While missing significant time would stunt his development, mono probably shouldn’t raise any major red flags long term.

Hart has appeared in just two games this season. He stopped 35 of 38 shots in his first start in picking up a win against Kelowna on Sept. 29. Then, Hart allowed three goals on 25 shots in relief in a loss to Tri-City on Sept. 30. What will be worth watching when he returns is how quickly will he get back to looking like his normal self.

German Rubtsov, C, 19, 6-0/187, Chicoutimi (QMJHL)
After missing the Saguenéens’ first four games because of paperwork issues, Rubtsov made his 2017-18 campaign debut last week and made an immediate impact for Chicoutimi. Rubtsov picked up third-star honors and a dandy of an assist in his season debut last Wednesday, a 4-0 win over Victoriaville. On Sunday, Rubtsov added two more assists, both secondary, in the Saguenéens’ 5-0 shutout of Shawinigan.

Rubtsov faces his first full season in North America. He finally came over from Russia near the end of last season once he was able to negotiate a release from the KHL, where he couldn't cement a significant role. Once with Chicoutimi, Rubtsov flashed the hockey sense and ability that caught the Flyers' eye in the 2016 draft. An injury cut his QMJHL season short, though. Now in North America full time and after a summer and preseason with the Flyers, Rubtsov will become more comfortable as he goes along. The skills are there, and if you caught him during development camp or even rookie camp, you saw the speed and playmaking. He's still a prospect fans should be excited about.

Wade Allison, RW, 19, 6-2/205, Western Michigan (NCAA)
Allison, who turns 20 on Saturday, had quite the start to his sophomore season with the Broncos this past Friday. Allison, one of three 2016 second-round picks, netted two goals and an assist in No. 20 Western Michigan’s 6-1 win over Ferris State. On the first goal, Allison beat Ferris State goalie Justin Kapelmaster, tapping home a 2-on-1 pass. The second goal was more impressive. With a 3-0 lead late in the second period, Allison showcased his howitzer with a long slap shot goal on the power play. After a decent freshman campaign, Allison could be in line for a big jump in his second year.

Alex Lyon, G, 24, 6-1/200, Lehigh Valley (AHL)
With Anthony Stolarz out for the foreseeable future, Lyon will carry the brunt of the workload for the Phantoms in his second professional season, which has gotten off of to a busy start. Lyon started both games this past weekend, turning away 61 shots in two games. He allowed two goals on 31 shots in the Phantoms’ 7-2 season-opening win in Allentown Saturday night against Hershey and then stopped 35 of 36 shots in a 2-1 shootout loss Sunday at Hartford. That’s 125 minutes on back-to-back nights with travel.

Lyon looked sharp in the preseason with the Flyers, which should comfort the front office should an injury hit either Brian Elliott or Michal Neuvirth. It’s a big season for Lyon, who’s on his second one-year contract. A strong second season and Lyon could position himself for an NHL backup role next year, whether it’s in Philly or elsewhere.

Quick hits
Carsen Twarynski, who returned to Kelowna from Phantoms training camp last week, registered a goal, three assists, and points in each of his first three games this season. Dating back to last season, Twarynski now has an eight-point, six-game streak going.

• This is worth noting: Isaac Ratcliffe appears to be a volume shooter, which the Flyers certainly could use in the future. Ratcliffe had an assist in each of his two games this past weekend for Guelph, and on Friday night, he fired eight shots on goal. He had just one shot Saturday but on the season, he has 28 in six games — 4.6 shots per game.

• Not exactly the best week for Morgan Frost, who went pointless in two games. The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds centerman also struggled in the faceoff circle. Frost was 10 for 34 (29.4 percent) in the dot, with a 3 for 16 game Thursday and 7 for 18 Friday. On the season, he’s won just 44.4 percent (56 for 126) of his faceoffs.

Phil Myers recorded his first pro point in his first game Saturday night, a primary assist on Danick Martel’s hat trick goal in the Phantoms’ 7-2 opening win over Hershey.

Mike Vecchione also recorded his first pro point Saturday night and followed up with another assist Sunday. In two games, Vecchione has centered Martel and Nicolas Aube-Kubel. Both of Vecchione’s assists have come on Martel goals.

• And let’s talk about Mikhail Vorobyev picking up his first career North American point. Vorobyev had the lone assist on Greg Carey’s third-period marker Saturday. He’s the pivot on a line with Carey and Corban Knight.

• Owen Sound winger Maksim Sushko had his first multipoint game of the season last Wednesday against Sarnia, registering a goal on his only shot and a primary assist on the Attack’s game-tying goal in the third period. Owen Sound lost, 6-5, in a shootout. Sushko, a 2017 fourth-round pick, has points in three straight games. However, he did not play Saturday. He has points in three consecutive games and a goal in two straight.

• Pascal Laberge missed a game last week because of a lower-body injury that wasn’t serious enough for him to sit out Sunday’s game against Sherbrooke in which he picked up a goal — his third of the season — and an assist in Victoriaville’s 5-4 win.

Noah Cates recorded a secondary assist with two shots in the Omaha Lancers’ 2-1 loss to the Tri-City Storm in their season opener Friday night.

• Remember Matej Tomek? Sure you do. The Slovak goalie prospect recruited to North Dakota who then failed to earn playing time before leaving for the USHL this season. Tomek is now with the Waterloo Black Hawks and stopped 22 of 24 shots in his first game. Playing time is important for Tomek and he’ll get it with the Black Hawks.

• Brynäs IF goalie Felix Sandstrom stopped 14 of 15 shots in his only game last week, picking up a win Thursday against Karlskrona.

• Two more assists for David Kase, whose SHL career is off to a solid start. Kase has four assists and seven points in his first seven games with Mora IK.

Future Flyers Report: Merrick Madsen steals the show at NCAA Tournament

Future Flyers Report: Merrick Madsen steals the show at NCAA Tournament

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 Flyers goaltender prospect continuing to make waves in the NCAA Tournament over the weekend and much more as the season winds down.

Merrick Madsen, G, 21, 6-5/190, Harvard (NCAA)
Former Flyers general manager and current team president Paul Holmgren deserves a ton of credit for Madsen because the 21-year-old goaltender was a 2013 sixth-round pick and has developed into a legitimate goalie prospect. Last Friday night, Madsen proved again he has a future in professional hockey with a show-stealing 41-save shutout of Providence in Harvard's 3-0 win. He followed that up with another solid performance in net -- 27 saves, including several big ones in the final minutes to preserve a 3-2 win over Air Force on Saturday night to send Harvard to the Frozen Four. Madsen has now won 16 straight games -- a Harvard school record. He surpassed Grant Blair last weekend for the Crimson's single-season win record -- now at 28 victories. He earned the ECAC Tournament's Most Outstanding Player last weekend and also earned all-tournament honors; he's on the all-Ivy League first team, a finalist for the Ken Dryden ECAC Hockey Goaltender of the Year award and a semifinalist for the Mike Richter Award -- NCAA Division I's best goaltender. With the Flyers' goalie situation next season, it's likely Madsen will come back to Harvard for his senior season, but his growth has been exciting to track. He's been excellent all season.

Philippe Myers, D, 20, 6-5/209, Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL)
After finishing the regular season on a seven-point, five-game point streak, Myers exploded for three points in Rouyn-Noranda's 5-4 loss to Halifax in Game 1 on Friday night. The right-handed blueliner registered his first goal of the postseason in the third period with a power-play tally with the Huskies down, 5-2. Myers began the play with the puck before handing it off to Jean-Christophe Beaudin and setting himself up for a one-timer in the circle. He added two assists in in the loss and finished as a plus-one. In Game 2, Myers was held pointless and finished as a minus-1, as Rouyn-Noranda won, 3-2, in overtime. The Huskies and the Mooseheads are now tied 1-1 with Game 3 scheduled for Tuesday night.

Wade Allison, RW, 19, 6-2/205, Western Michigan (NCAA)
Allison's freshman campaign is now over after Western Michigan was bounced from the NCAA Tournament Friday night in a 5-4 loss to Air Force. It was a rough return to the lineup for Allison, too, who finished the game as a minus-4 and received a five-minute major for charging with 1:13 left in the game shortly after WMU made it 5-4. He finished the season tied for fourth on WMU with 29 points -- 12 goals and 17 assists -- in 36 games.

Quick hits
Tanner Laczynski assisted on Ohio State's game-tying goal in the third period Friday night in its 3-2 overtime loss to Minnesota-Duluth. Laczynski finished the season with 32 points in 34 games and never regained his form he had before the world juniors.

• Phantoms defenseman Robert Hagg returned to the lineup Saturday for the first time since March 3. Hagg was a minus-1 with two penalty minutes in his first game back, a 4-0 loss to Wilkes/Barre-Scranton. He sat out Sunday as a healthy scratch as scheduled.

Matej Tomek's sophomore season came to an end, too, over the weekend, as North Dakota was eliminated with a 4-3 double-overtime loss to Boston University. Tomek was a healthy scratch and has played just two games in his collegiate career thus far.

• After missing a lengthy period of time because of a concussion, Taylor Leier added a goal and two assists in four games last week with the Phantoms.

Connor Bunnaman finished as a minus-3 and received a five-minute major for slew footing in Kitchener's 9-1 loss to Owen Sound in Game 1 of their playoff series Friday night. Bunnaman was suspended two games for the incident and missed Game 2 on Saturday. He'll serve the second game Monday night in Game 3 of the best-of-seven game series.

Anthony Salinitri picked up an assist in Sarnia's 9-3 loss to Erie Saturday night in Game 2 of its best-of-seven series. The Sting and Otters are knotted up 1-1. Game 3 is on Monday.

German Rubtsov (upper body) missed Games 1 and 2 of Chicoutimi's series with Victoriaville last weekend. Game 3 is scheduled for Tuesday. Chicoutimi is up 2-0.

Pascal Laberge scored Victoriaville's lone goal in the Tigres' 2-1 loss to the Saguenéens in Game 2 on Saturday night. He had two penalty minutes in a 4-3 loss last Friday.

Samuel Dove-McFalls didn't factor in any of the scoring for Saint John's in its wins vs. Rimouski in Games 1 and 2 over the weekend but did win 63.3 percent of his faceoffs.

• Kelowna's Carsen Twarynski potted two goals and was named the first star in the Rockets' 4-0 win over Kamloops in Game 1 on Friday. He was pointless in Game 2 Saturday.

Carter Hart has Everett tied, 1-1, in its best-of-seven series with Victoria. In Game 1, Hart turned away 30 of 32 shots in a 4-2 win but yielded four goals in a 4-3 loss Saturday night.

Oskar Lindblom picked up an assist on Brynäs IF's game-winning goal over Linkoping in a 1-0 overtime win in Game 4 on Friday. He had just one point in four playoff games last week. Brynäs leads the best-of-seven series, 3-2.

Future Flyers Report: What German Rubtsov's entry-level contract means

Future Flyers Report: What German Rubtsov's entry-level contract means

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 examine the Flyers' 2016 first-round pick's entry-level contract and what it means as well as check in on another Russian who could be coming over soon.

German Rubtsov, C, 6-0/190, Chicoutimi (QMJHL)
It was only a matter of time before Rubtsov inked his entry-level contract after coming over to North America from Russia in January. Last Thursday, that agreement came to fruition. Rubtsov signed a standard 18-year-old ELC -- three years with a maximum $925,000 annual average value. Let's dig in to explain what this means for his AHL eligibility.

There was some confusion last week when Rubtsov signed his contract about his AHL eligibility. Let's clear that up. Teenage players who play in the CHL when they are drafted are ineligible for the AHL until they are 20 years old, or have completed four years in a major junior league, according to the collective bargaining agreement. Because Rubtsov was drafted out of Russia, he is eligible to play in the AHL … even as an 18-year-old.

What does this mean for Rubtsov? Could we see him playing for the Phantoms at some point this season, or could we see him playing in Lehigh Valley in 2017-18? Yes and yes -- both are possibilities but do not appear to be likely. Remember, Rubtsov did not earn a significant role in the KHL this season and played sparingly there. While he's enjoying a torrid start to his QMJHL career with the Saguenéens, the Flyers will likely want him to have more than 23 games in the Q before joining the AHL or NHL. The safe bet here is the Flyers will keep Rubtsov at Chicoutimi until the 2018-19 season, but that's not set in stone.

As for what Rubtsov did on the ice last week for the Saguenéens, the 18-year-old continued to turn heads with his quick adjustment to the North American game. Rubtsov added two more goals and an assist in three games, bringing his goal total up to nine, five of which have come on the power play, and point total to 22 in 16 games thus far. He's been held pointless in just three games so far in the QMJHL. If he began the year in the Q, it'd be more realistic to believe he'd at least start next season with the Phantoms instead of another year in junior.

Mikhail Vorobyov, C, 6-2/207, Salavat Yulaev (KHL)
Another Russian prospect could be making the jump overseas, as Vorobyov's season came to an end last week when Salavat Yulaev lost in the KHL playoffs. Shortly after Salavat's exit, reports started circulating that Vorobyov began negotiations with the Flyers.

There are a couple possibilities here. He could come over on an amateur tryout contract -- much like Oskar Lindblom did last season -- and play the rest of the season with the Phantoms, and then return to the KHL next season should he decide to return to Russia for another season. He is a restricted free agent in the KHL, so he would have to sign another contract. There was speculation in late January he was interested in coming overseas next season, so the Flyers could be discussing an entry-level contract with Vorobyov as well.

Vorobyov, a 2015 fourth-round pick, finished the 2016-17 season with three goals and 11 points in 44 games with Salavat Yulaev. Not eye-popping numbers on the surface, but considering as a 20-year-old in the KHL -- a league that is not kind to young players as evidenced with Rubtsov -- he averaged nearly 10 minutes, his numbers do impress.

As a largely unknown prospect playing in Russia, Vorobyov may fall under the radar by some people, but the Flyers appear to be high on the center. Factor in his impressive showing at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championships and you can understand why. It would not surprise anyone to see Vorobyov finish out the season at Lehigh Valley on either an amateur tryout or signing his entry-level contract by the end of the week.

Mark Friedman, D, 5-11/191, Bowling Green (NCAA)
Friedman's junior season lives to see another weekend, as the Falcons advanced to the semifinals of the WCHA Tournament after disposing of Ferris State in the four-five matchup last weekend with wins Friday and Saturday night to win the best-of-three series, 2-0.

The 21-year-old picked up two assists during the quarterfinals round, picking up an apple on the game-winning goal in Bowling Green's 6-1 win on Friday and a helper on an empty-netter in Saturday's 5-3 win. Friedman's junior campaign should have him in the running for the WCHA's Defensive Player of the Year honor with Minnesota State's Daniel Brickley and Bowling Green teammate Sean Walker. Friedman has eight goals, 17 assists, and 25 points in 37 games. His 25 points are second in the WCHA behind Brickley's 30.

There has been some chatter Friedman will consider forgoing his senior season to sign his entry-level contract and turn pro. Unlike prospects playing in major juniors, collegiate prospects cannot sign a contract and remain in college -- once they sign, they have to leave. Bowling Green's season could come to an end as early as this weekend, which means we could get an answer on Friedman as early as next week. If Friedman decides to depart Bowling Green once its season ends, he could join Lehigh Valley for its playoff push.

Friedman could also decide to forgo his senior season and sign his ELC this summer, which may make more sense for the Toronto, Ontario, native because of playing time. There is a general consensus at least one of the prospects playing at Lehigh Valley will make the jump to the Flyers next season, which would open up more playing time at the AHL level.

Wade Allison, RW, 6-2/205, Western Michigan (NCAA)
Allison wrapped up the regular season portion of his freshman campaign at Western Michigan last weekend with an assist in each of No. 8 WMU's games against No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth as the Broncos split the weekend series with the Bulldogs. WMU will be the 3-seed in the NCHC Tournament beginning this weekend, with a best-of-three series with 6-seed Omaha. Allison, one of the Flyers' three 2016 second-round picks, is enjoying a productive first season in college, scoring 11 goals and getting 26 points in 32 games.

Quick hits
• With Harvard, the No. 2 team in the country, being the 1-seed in the ECAC Tournament, the Crimson had the weekend off last weekend. Merrick Madsen (2.16 GAA, .919 save percentage) will lead Harvard against No. 8 Yale this weekend in the quarterfinals.

• Everett goalie Carter Hart was 1-1-1 last week, allowing seven goals on 74 shots faced. He's 28-9-8 with a 1.99 goals-against average, .927 save percentage and eight shutouts in 48 games this season. Hart leads the WHL in GAA, save percentage and shutouts.

Philippe Myers had a four-assist week for Rouyn-Noranda, picking up a pair of assists last Tuesday and Friday nights. He has eight goals and 18 assists in 28 games this season.

• Kitchener's Connor Bunnaman registered his 30th and 31st goals last week, while also picking up two assists in four games for the Rangers. You can see his 31st goal here.

Anthony Salinitri of the Sarnia Sting added a goal and two assists in four games last week, with a goal and an assist on Saturday night in a 5-3 win over the Erie Otters.

• Phantoms defenseman Robert Hagg an injury late in the second period of Lehigh Valley's 5-4 win over Springfield on Friday night and missed Saturday and Sunday nights. Lehigh Valley has yet to announce how long Hagg is out, but according to Highland Park Hockey, the outlook does not appear to be too promising for the 22-year-old blueliner.

Anthony Stolarz allowed four goals last Friday against Springfield on 48 shots. It was his third straight game allowing four goals. In his last seven games, Stolarz has allowed four goals three times, two goals twice, five goals once and seven goals once. He's been in a funk.

• On the other hand, Alex Lyon had an excellent game Saturday as Lehigh Valley beat Hartford, 3-1. His 32-save performance earned him the start Sunday. Lyon, however, was pulled after allowing four goals on 24 shots in the Phantoms' 7-3 loss to Providence. In relief, Stolarz allowed two goals on 12 shots.