When you think of the Flyers' top prospects, the names Morgan Frost, Isaac Ratcliffe, Felix Sandstrom and Joel Farabee are often the first to come to mind.
These prospects also happened to have the most buzz around development camp that officially wrapped up June 29.
The Flyers have one of the deepest prospect pools in the league and when looking a little deeper into the system, a few other names stood out during camp and should be on everyone’s radar for the upcoming season.
Here are five prospects that have been flying under the radar.
Since being drafted by the Flyers in 2016, Rubtsov has flown far under the radar on the list of prospects and this most recent development camp was no different.
A season-ending shoulder injury with the Phantoms cut his first year pro short after just 14 games. What we did see in that short stint of games was one of the most consistent performances from any player on the team with 10 points (six goals, four assists).
After months of rehabbing and regaining his strength, Rubtsov was ready to bring his A-game to camp in late June.
It seems like everything is coming together for the center but the biggest takeaway was watching his ability to drive play. He is capable of making those around him succeed, as well, something that shows a lot of intelligence for the 21-year-old.
If Rubtsov can get back to the level of productivity we saw less than one year ago, expect him to make a big impact with the Phantoms — so much so that he would have a solid chance at making the short list of call-ups to the Flyers during the season.
From Day 1 of development camp, Sushko made an impact.
The right winger drafted by the Flyers in 2017 was easily one of the strongest skaters that hit the ice, often leading his group in drills to help demonstrate to the newer prospects.
Fluid motions that lead to clean stops all while having clear control of the puck will certainly make any prospect stand out.
In his most recent season with the OHL's Owen Sound Attack, Sushko registered 51 points (18 goals, 33 assists). He is eligible to play for the Phantoms next season and could be a solid upgrade as a middle-six player.
Laberge has had a difficult track record when it comes to staying healthy. His most recent injury came prior to the start of last season with the Phantoms — a hip injury that required surgery and kept him out for the first five months of the season.
With a significantly short first professional season, he had to make his mark at camp and show everyone just why he was selected 36th overall by the Flyers in 2016.
Selflessness brings success for the 21-year-old center.
While there is little hesitation to his game and he isn’t afraid to simply shoot the puck, he often trusts his gut by setting others up for solid scoring chances. Even if they don’t score, he is great at anticipating where the puck will be next and often gets to it first.
If Laberge can stay healthy for the entirety of the 2019-20 season, expect a huge turnaround in his play and confidence level. It wouldn’t be a surprise if a more active leadership role is taken by him, as well, since that is a position he often held in the past.
It's no secret that the Flyers have struggled in net consistently over the past few seasons, so having depth moving forward is a crucial element for success.
Luckily for the Flyers, Ustimenko has the potential to provide just that.
Ustimenko had a very calm presence between the pipes and his skill set really showed during the 3-on-3 tournament at development camp. The rink was split in half, meaning the turnaround time for the goaltenders was next to none.
Always prepared and confident moving from post to post, Ustimenko may be developing at a faster pace than many anticipated.
After recently signing his entry-level contract on May 1, he is set to join the Phantoms this upcoming season (see story).
Alex Lyon and Sandstrom are also set to be with the Phantoms but odds are the team won't run with three goaltenders and one may find himself with the Royals in the ECHL.
After Brodzinski was just barely eligible for the 2018 draft and went unselected, the Flyers saw something in him and selected him 196th overall one year later in 2019.
While having played only 19 games in the USHL with the Omaha Lancers last season, Brodzinski made sure to bring his strengths that enticed the Flyers to draft him.
One word that would be able to describe him offensively: fearless. During the 5-on-5 scrimmage, he was able to make room for himself every time he entered the offensive zone. Oftentimes he’d find an open route to the net and while he didn’t crack the scoreboard, the chances he had didn’t go unnoticed.
If able to translate his skills to the pro level, he has the chance to be a pure shooter anywhere in the offensive zone.
Brodzinski may be one of the newer prospects in the system but has the potential to do great things once playing for the orange and black. Next up, he is headed to the University of Minnesota in the fall to play for the Gophers.
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