Flyers

Morgan Frost, Carter Hart, Joel Farabee, Philippe Myers make ESPN's top-50 NHL prospects list

Morgan Frost, Carter Hart, Joel Farabee, Philippe Myers make ESPN's top-50 NHL prospects list

The Flyers are fighting for their playoff lives with 14 games remaining in 2018-19.

If they can't grab an Eastern Conference wild-card spot and miss the postseason for the third time in the last six seasons, general manager Chuck Fletcher will still like his club's future.

In ESPN's latest NHL prospect rankings by Chris Peters, the Flyers are one of only three teams with four players to make the top-50 list. The Panthers and Senators also feature four prospects on the list, which is compiled of players 24 years old or younger and with fewer than 25 NHL games played this season.

The Flyers' four youngsters on the list are Morgan Frost, Carter Hart, Joel Farabee and Philippe Myers. Hart and Myers are already with the big club and look like they're here to stay, while Frost and Farabee are ascending first-round picks.

Ron Hextall deserves an immense amount of credit for the Flyers earning these distinctions with their prospects. The former general manager tirelessly and strategically restocked the club's farm system.

With that said, let's update you on the four prospects to make ESPN's list, accompanied by their ranking:

13. Morgan Frost

The skinny

The 19-year-old center is tearing up the OHL yet again. After going off for 112 points in 67 regular-season games (and 29 points in 24 playoff contests) last season, the Sault Ste. Marie product is leading the league with 108 points through 57 games in 2018-19 (but was just suspended indefinitely).

Frost dazzles down the middle and plays in all situations. He'll turn pro next season and there's no reason why he won't be shooting for the Flyers.

Quotable

He scored five goals and arguably could have scored seven or eight with the opportunities that he got. But we were also down by two and he really, really maintained the composure of the bench, he continued to play the 200-foot game even when we were up by two or three goals. 

The example he set away from the puck, it's starting to get rewarded with the puck. Pretty special weekend, something we're starting to get used to with Morgan.

- Sault Ste. Marie head coach John Dean in January talking about Frost's five-goal game

23. Carter Hart

The skinny

Since being called up on the same day Dave Hakstol was fired as head coach, the 20-year-old Hart has saved this season from being a completely lost one.

He won NHL Rookie of the Month in January, matched the league record for consecutive victories by a goalie before his 21st birthday at eight and went 11-2-0 with a 2.46 goals-against average and .930 save percentage from Jan. 10 to Feb. 17.

Quotable

I played against him a few times in junior, I obviously knew he was good and highly talked about, but I didn't know he was that good. He's going to be a superstar for a long time, so it's obviously nice to have him on your end.

- Nolan Patrick on Feb. 4

26. Joel Farabee

The skinny

Farabee, the 14th overall pick in last summer's draft, is having a superb freshman season at Boston University with 31 points (13 goals, 18 assists) in 34 games.

The 19-year-old winger has a goal-scoring acumen and could be a quick riser.

Quotable

Joel hides things — we call it deception. So, he's going to shoot the puck, he'll turn his hands real quick and bang and let it go. Or he'll open up for a shot and he'll pass the puck, so he's got a lot of deception. 

A lot of top guys in the league, you wonder why they score or how that pass went through. Well, they're showing hands to the defenseman, to the goalie — the little things that the naked eye doesn't see that they're doing, and Joel is one of those guys. His deception in his game is outstanding.

- Hextall on July 2, 2018

49. Philippe Myers

The skinny

The 22-year-old undrafted defenseman has opened eyes since being called up Feb. 9. Myers is an excellent skater for his 6-foot-5 frame and he has shown great instincts and decision-making through nine games.

Fletcher wanted to see him here and Myers is showing the GM he'll be ready for a full-time gig next season.

Quotable

We stopped so many times and cut back, but he's a unique player, he's a big boy. If you cut back on him or try to burn him wide, you think you have room but he's right there with you.

- Travis Konecny on Sept. 15, 2018, after a drill in training camp

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2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs schedule: Capitals, Hurricanes set for Game 7 clash

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2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs schedule: Capitals, Hurricanes set for Game 7 clash

There were two Game 7 matchups Tuesday night.

On Wednesday night, we've got another one and it should be good as the defending champion Capitals try to put away the Rod Brind'Amour-led Hurricanes, who are in the playoffs for the first time since 2009.

The first-round series hasn't lacked fireworks or physicality. Game 7 should be no different.

Below is the full schedule for Day 15 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. You can watch the entire playoffs on the networks of NBC. 

Carolina Hurricanes at Washington Capitals (tied 3-3)
Game 7, Eastern Conference first round
7:30 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSN | Live stream here

Don't lose perspective with Flyers prospect Jay O'Brien

Don't lose perspective with Flyers prospect Jay O'Brien

Updated: 5:13 p.m.

The Flyers saw both ends of the spectrum with their first-round picks from the 2018 draft.

While Joel Farabee shined at Boston University this season (see story), Jay O'Brien struggled to find his game at Providence College.

After a freshman season comprised of injuries and five points (two goals, three assists) in 25 games, it appears O'Brien's time with the Friars is over.

According to a report Tuesday by Jeff Cox of the New England Hockey Journal, O'Brien has entered the NCAA transfer portal and is expected to play for the Penticton Vees of the BCHL during the 2019-20 season. However, per separate reports, O'Brien's decision for next season is still being decided.

O'Brien, a playmaking center, will have three years of college eligibility remaining.

Now, before anyone starts debating O'Brien's future, let's remember the importance of perspective with teenage prospects. 

O'Brien was perceived as a bit of project when the Flyers' previous regime of Ron Hextall and Chris Pryor selected him 19th overall last summer. Taking O'Brien at No. 19 was viewed by many as a reach, but the Flyers' scouting staff was high on the Thayer Academy product and trusted its evaluation. The Flyers took O'Brien over other centers Joseph Veleno, Rasmus Kupari and Isac Lundestrom.

This season, Veleno put up 104 points in the QMJHL, Kupari had 33 points over 43 games in Liiga (Finnish pro league) and Lundestrom appeared in 15 games with the Ducks.

O'Brien, because of his smaller stature (5-foot-11, 174 pounds) and being drafted out of prep school, had an adjustment period playing Division I hockey (see story). Multiple injuries also didn't help his cause with the transition.

But patience with O'Brien was always going to be imperative. The Flyers drafted him on a lot of upside after taking more of a guarantee in the quick-rising Farabee five picks earlier. The 19-year-old O'Brien isn't lacking in ability or work ethic. Providence head coach Nate Leaman, who led the Friars to a national title in 2015, called O'Brien's skill set "elite."

"It takes time to learn to play at the speed, to play with the lack of space," Leaman said in January during a phone interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia (see story).

"These guys that come right from high school, it takes time and I know Philly has told us that they understand that also."

O'Brien paid little attention to pre-draft rankings last summer.

"I don't even know where I was," he said at development camp. "It doesn't mean much to me. It's not really where you get drafted, it's what you do after you get drafted."

He'll have a new path in 2019-20, another chance to prove himself. There's still plenty to like, with plenty of time.

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