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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Sorry NHL trade buzz, sorry Flyers' playoff push — Oskar Lindblom's smile wins the day

Sorry NHL trade buzz, sorry Flyers' playoff push — Oskar Lindblom's smile wins the day

All the trade fodder and debate took a backseat.

Gaining ground in the playoff race and smelling first place felt inconsequential.

Quite frankly, nothing compares to Oskar Lindblom's smile.

Just ask the Flyers.

“Oh, it’s awesome. His smile, you know, he’s just a great guy to have around — he brightens your day," Justin Braun said. "The fact that he’s doing well and he’s able to come to the rink and see the boys is just fantastic.”

Lindblom, the Flyers’ 23-year-old forward who is battling Ewing’s sarcoma, surprised the team Saturday by greeting it after a 4-2 win over the Jets at the Wells Fargo Center.

Lindblom visited the entire team and staff in early-to-mid January, when he had begun his cancer treatment.

Once again Saturday, the Swedish native's vibrant smile uplifted everyone. It always does.

“Really good, really good to see him," Scott Laughton said, trying to put his emotions into words. "Just really good to see him.”

"It’s great to see him, I haven’t seen him in a couple weeks," Carter Hart added. "I'm sure he was happy to come to the rink and see the boys. All of us are happy to see him and he’s looking great."

The Flyers had a lot to be happy about Saturday. They strengthened their playoff chances, crept to within three points of the Penguins and Capitals in the Metropolitan Division race and general manager Chuck Fletcher watched his team further cement its status as a contender ahead of Monday's 3 p.m. NHL trade deadline (see observations).

But head coach Alain Vigneault's first postgame comments were about Lindblom.

“He was smiling," Vigneault said. "Great smile, looked beautiful.

“Makes everybody feel good. There’s no doubt that we’re all behind him, his teammates are obviously checking up on him on a regular basis and so is the whole staff.

"But to see him live, it’s just beautiful.”

For the the Flyers, it doesn't get better than that.

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Ahead of NHL trade deadline, Flyers give general manager Chuck Fletcher another win

Ahead of NHL trade deadline, Flyers give general manager Chuck Fletcher another win

BOX SCORE

The Flyers gave their general manager one more quality show before Monday's 3 p.m. ET NHL trade deadline.

Chuck Fletcher watched his club beat the Jets, 4-2, Saturday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers (35-20-7), who won their third straight, came into the action with a 79.6 percent chance to make the playoffs, according to Hockey-Reference.com. They sit in third place of the Metropolitan Division and are only three points back of the Penguins and Capitals (see standings).

Game 62 is the quickest the Flyers have recorded 35 wins since 2010-11, when the club got there at Game 53. The Flyers finished with 47 wins, 106 points and a playoff series victory that season.

The Jets (32-26-5), who entered holding the Western Conference's first wild-card spot, had their three-game winning streak snapped.

• Saturday marked the Flyers' final outing ahead of the trading period.

Alain Vigneault's club is looking more and more like a contender. The Flyers are 13-5-1 with an NHL-high 68 goals since Jan. 8. Over that stretch, only two teams have more points than their 27 — the Lightning (31) and Bruins (29). Overall, they're a top-seven team in the league.

Does the Flyers' standing give Fletcher more incentive to add to his roster? Or do the Flyers have enough to make a run?

“I like my team," Vigneault said before the game. "And for me, this is no different as any other day during the regular season. I know that Chuck looks at any option that can improve our team, he’s been doing that since the first day that I was hired. Now we’re into the final stretch. If there’s something that he feels can improve our team, he’ll definitely look at it. But I’m very happy moving forward with the players that we have here.”

Does Vigneault have a voice in the matters?

“I’ve got a nice French voice," the head coach said with a laugh. "So I’ll throw my two cents in there, it’ll be fine.”

• The Flyers didn't play their best game, but good teams win when they're not at their best.

They did enough and a solid first period made up for a subpar second period in which the Flyers were outshot 15-4.

• For all the talk about the Flyers needing to add depth at forward, Scott Laughton has given the club plenty of it.

He scored a pair of goals to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead at first intermission. In 40 fewer games this season, Laughton has matched his career of 12 goals set in 2018-19.

If the Flyers get Nolan Patrick (migraine disorder) back or acquire a center at the deadline, Laughton would likely be pegged as the team's fourth-line center. Not bad at all.

Tyler Pitlick, another depth piece, scored a clutch third-period goal to extend the Flyers' lead to 4-2. Sean Couturier was the Flyers' other goal scorer. The team's role guys continued to play well.

• Flyers defensemen Ivan Provorov, Matt Niskanen, Justin Braun and Robert Hagg were very good against a big, skilled offensive team.

Braun finished with three assists.

• Carter Hart gave up a power play blast off the stick of Patrik Laine and a goal to Josh Morrissey.

Outside of that, he was stout again, improving to 16-2-2 with a 1.64 goals-against average at home.

He's a huge reason why the Flyers are 21-5-4 with a plus-45 goal differential in 30 home games.

• Shayne Gostisbehere (left knee) will wrap up his two-game conditioning stint tonight with AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.

Vigneault said pregame that he expects Gostisbehere to return to the big club Sunday. The Flyers will have decisions to make heading into Monday (see story).

• Stick tap to Flyers director of sports medicine Jim McCrossin.

• The team is off from practice Sunday as the Flyers Wives Carnival will be held at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers practice Monday at 11:30 a.m. in Voorhees, New Jersey, before hosting the Sharks Tuesday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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