Flyers

Flyers

This week, Sporting News ranked the farm systems of all 31 NHL teams.

The Flyers, impressively, came in at No. 2, as general manager Ron Hextall has tirelessly restocked the franchise's prospect pool.

In light of the rankings, we'll take a look at some of the Flyers' prospects the next few days.

Going End to End today are NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Boruk, Tom Dougherty and Jordan Hall.

The topic: The three prospects with most to prove in 2018-19.

Boruk

1. Nicolas Aube-Kubel 
Phantoms veteran forward Chris Conner was raving to me about how talented Aube-Kubel is and his ability to make plays. Depending on the night, those skills are clearly on display. He possesses a goal scorer’s mentality, strong skating and physically he has matured in two seasons in Lehigh Valley. However, Aube-Kubel struggles with consistency and in the AHL playoffs he was hardly noticeable, failing to register a single point in 10 games. It’s time for the Flyers' 2014 second-round selection to dial up his game this season while giving the coaches a long, hard look during training camp.

2. Tyrell Goulbourne 
Goulbourne still qualifies as a prospect after that nine-game audition in January last season. If you include his brief stint with the Reading Royals in the ECHL, Goulbourne has over 200 games of minor-league experience, so the time to take the next step is now. Goulbourne is one of those spark plug-type players that can infuse some energy when he’s on the ice. We saw that when he took his first shift in his first game against the St. Louis Blues as he leveled defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, which led to the game’s first goal. The Flyers need more of that this season from the 24-year-old forward, who plays a physical yet responsible game. 

 

3. Carter Hart
Hart made it clear when we talked in the PPL Center press box during the AHL playoffs that his goal is to make the Flyers this season — as a 20-year-old rookie. Lofty expectations for the top goaltender selected in the 2016 draft, but he’s set the bar high as he approaches his first year of professional hockey and has cited Carey Price as a career path he’d like to follow. So entering his first training camp with the Flyers, Hart has something to prove even if he doesn’t make the big club to start the season, and after talking to him recently, I think he’d appreciate being on this list.   

Dougherty

1. Pascal Laberge
There have been some speed bumps along the way in his young hockey career and for that, he deserves a pass. But it's safe to say this is an extremely important season for Laberge. He started to put together some consistency last season when he was traded to Quebec. Now he'll be with the Phantoms full-time. He has a chip on his shoulder and he needs to use it.

2. Philippe Myers
For Myers, it's not so much on the ice; it's more about whether he can stay on it. Myers is a top-level prospect with a bright future … as long as he can stay healthy. For me, that's the only thing preventing Myers from receiving serious NHL consideration now.

3. German Rubtsov
It seems as if many outside the Flyers' organization have soured on the former first-round pick, but Hextall appears high on Rubtsov. Rubtsov needs to show more aggressiveness in the offensive zone as he heads to the AHL. He's a smart player but a little too conservative offensively. He needs to prove he has another level in the O-zone.

Hall

1. Felix Sandstrom
The Flyers are loaded with goalie prospects and Sandstrom is coming off a difficult 2017-18 season plagued by an illness. Hextall and the Flyers are still high on the 2015 third-round pick, but this SHL season will be important for the Swede to show his ability again.

2. Mike Vecchione
Vecchione is a hard-working, well-polished forward who had a productive first season with AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley, scoring 40 points (17 goals, 23 assists) in 65 regular-season games. Some seem to overlook Vecchione when it comes to the Flyers' third-line center job. He'll have a chance to change that.

 

3. Isaac Ratcliffe
Ratcliffe is a 6-foot-6 winger with skill and touch, unique for a player his size. He scored 41 goals for the OHL's Guelph Storm in 2017-18. The 19-year-old's name is gaining buzz and Ratcliffe is eager to prove his strength can hold up against NHLers. He's set for another junior season but could be a quick riser to the Flyers.

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