Flyers

Hextall's take on Flyers prospects at World Junior Championships

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Zack Hill, Flyers/AP Images

Hextall's take on Flyers prospects at World Junior Championships

Flyers general manager Ron Hextall returned earlier this week from the World Junior Championships in Buffalo, New York, where he watched 14 games over a four-day period.

Here was his assessment Thursday of the four Flyers prospects at the tournament:

Carter Hart, goalie, Team Canada (2016, second round, 48th overall)
"I saw Carter once. He was good. It was the game after the USA game (an 8-0 win over Denmark). He didn’t have a lot of work, but he was good. He had some work in the third period.”

Stats: Four games, 3-0-1, 1.96 GAA, .920 save percentage

Maksim Sushko, winger, Team Belarus (2017, fourth round, 107th overall)
"Sushko was good. He’s big player on that team. They don’t have a ton of ability, so he plays a big role, probably a bigger role than he would play with another country, but 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 was on their power play, their penalty kill. He did a lot of good things and played well. He’s not going to be that type of player at the pro level. He could be more of a two-way guy that’s not expected to score, but you hope he can chip in. He did a good job, made a name for himself. Obviously we knew him taking him in the fourth round, but he made a good impression."

Stats: Six games, two goals, six assists, eight points, minus-1

German Rubtsov, center, Team Russia (2016, first round, 22nd overall)
"Saw him twice. Ruby was good. His game is very simple most nights. Plays a good two-way game. He seems to always be the third man high, which is a coaching thing. It’s not something that we’re going to correct or it’s up to us to correct. He’s got good skill, plays a lot on the power play. He was good. I think he had two points the one game I saw."

Stats: Five games, one goal, three assists, four points, plus-4

Linus Hogberg, defenseman, Team Sweden (2016, fifth round, 139th overall)
"Hogberg didn’t play very much, five to seven minutes, but he’s got great feet. He’s got a really good stick, really understands the game. The negative would be that he played five to seven minutes. The positive would be that he’s a fifth-round pick and he’s on the Swedish world junior team and that’s a pretty good team. So, we’re happy with him. I’d love to see him play a little bit more. He had one unfortunate play where he went in front of the net and it ended up in his net, but other than that, he played well. His skill set, his skating is very good."

Stats: Six games, no goals, no assists, plus-3

2018 NHL draft position preview — Left wingers

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AP Images

2018 NHL draft position preview — Left wingers

We began our 2018 NHL draft position previews with a look at the top draft-eligible centers. This draft is top-heavy at wing and defense. We continue our previews with a look at left wingers.

Filip Zadina, 6-0/195, Halifax (QMJHL)
Zadina, who finished as the third-best North American skater by NHL Central Scouting, led all QMJHL rookies and was tied for seventh among all players in 2017-18 with 82 points. He won the Mike Bossy Trophy as the league’s best professional prospect. Playing for the Czech Republic, Zadina was named to the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship All-Star team, scoring eight points in seven games. Hard-working winger with an elite shot, future top-liner.

Draft projection: Top three

Brady Tkachuk, 6-3/196, Boston University (NCAA)
The son of USA Hockey Hall of Famer Keith Tkachuk and brother of Matthew Tkachuk (Flames), Brady Tkachuk checks in as the second-best North American skater by Central Scouting. Had eight goals and 31 points in 40 games during his freshman season at Boston University and added three goals and nine points in seven games during the world juniors. He plays a physical game much like his dad and brother but has a little more finesse to it.

Draft projection: Top five

Joel Farabee, 6-0/164, USNTDP
Farabee finished as the 12th-rated North American skater by Central Scouting. Possesses excellent speed and a strong shot and plays an effective two-way game. A little undersized but the game has changed, so that shouldn’t be a major issue. He had 15 goals and 40 points in 26 games for Team USA in the USHL in 2017-18, and 33 goals and 76 points in 64 games for the USA U-18 team in the USA Hockey National Team Development Program.

Draft projection: Between Nos. 10-18

Grigori Denisenko, 5-11/176, Yarolsavl Jr (Russia)
Denisenko saw a three-spot drop from the Central Scouting midterm rankings to the final, finishing as the seventh-best European skater. He’s gifted with the puck and makes plays, but he has a bit of a reputation as an inconsistent player. The Russian factor may scare teams away. Had nine goals and 22 points in 31 games in the MHL and played four games in the KHL playoffs. On talent alone, Denisenko is among the best in this year’s class.

Draft projection: Mid-to-late first round

Blake McLaughlin, 6-0/162, Chicago (USHL)
McLaughlin checks in as the 24th-rated North American skater by Central Scouting. Another American prospect among the top draft-eligible left wingers, McLaughlin’s best attribute is his shot, though he’s an excellent skater. He finished the 2017-18 season with the Chicago Steel as nearly a point-per-game player, scoring 23 goals and 52 points in 54 games. He’s headed to the University of Minnesota in the fall. Could squeak into late first round but probably a second-rounder.

Draft projection: Early second round

NBC Sports Philadelphia+ to air Lehigh Valley Phantoms Eastern Conference Finals Games

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JustSports Photography

NBC Sports Philadelphia+ to air Lehigh Valley Phantoms Eastern Conference Finals Games

Philadelphia, PA (May 18, 2018) — NBC Sports Philadelphia announced today the network will air the American Hockey League Eastern Conference Finals games featuring the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and the Toronto Marlies. Games Three through Five will air on NBC Sports Philadelphia+ at 7 p.m.
 
May 23 - Toronto Marlies at Lehigh Valley Phantoms, Game 3 – 7pm on NBC Sports Philadelphia+

May 25** — Toronto Marlies at Lehigh Valley Phantoms, Game 4 – 7pm on NBC Sports Philadelphia+

May 26*** — Toronto Marlies at Lehigh Valley Phantoms, Game 5 – 7pm on NBC Sports Philadelphia+, *if necessary
 
** Philadelphia Soul will air on NBC Sports Philadelphia. 

*** The Philadelphia Phillies game will air on NBC Sports Philadelphia, regardless if there is a Game 5 or not.

Atlantic Division Champions for the 2017-18 season, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, proud American Hockey League affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, have advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals where they will face off against the Toronto Marlies, AHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The winner of the best-of-seven series will then advance to the 2018 Calder Cup Finals. After posting the AHL’s second-most wins (47) and second-most standings points (105), the top-seeded Phantoms eliminated the Providence Bruins in four games (3-1) in the opening round before defeating the Charlotte Checkers in five games (4-1) in the Atlantic Division Finals — a series which included the historic longest game in AHL history.