When could we see Carter Hart with Flyers?

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When could we see Carter Hart with Flyers?

This story accompanies this week's Future Flyers Report, which you can find here.

We're going to look at six of the NHL's top goaltenders and their timelines before reaching the NHL. Flyers GM Ron Hextall appears to be more conservative with his prospects than we thought, but in the attempt of an honest breakdown, we'll attempt to draw up a potential timeline for when Carter Hart could be minding the net for the Flyers. 

The six goalies are Carey Price, Matt Murray, Jonathan Quick, Andrei Vasilevskiy, Cory Schneider and Tuukka Rask. All were drafted and only Rask made his NHL debut with another team. This isn't 100 percent scientific but a glimpse at other goalies' timelines.

Hart is 19 years old and in his final season of junior. He'll turn pro next year at 20. How long he stays in Lehigh Valley is the question. Some goalies take longer than others, and we won't know with Hart until he hits the pro ranks.

There’s the long-term development route such as Schneider. Schneider spent three full seasons in the AHL before becoming a full-time NHLer, though Vancouver had a bona fide No. 1 in Roberto Luongo blocking him.

Then there’s the almost immediate jump from junior to the NHL. For example, Price. Price began the 2007-08 season with Hamilton but found his way to the Canadiens after 10 games in the AHL.

We can look at Quick and Murray, both Stanley Cup-winning goalies who spent at least one season in the AHL before making the jump. With Quick, he spent a year between the ECHL and AHL before leaping to the NHL full-time in December 2008. Murray spent one year in the AHL before joining the Pens in 2015-16 and helping Pittsburgh win its first of back-to-back Cups as a 21-year-old.

Price made the NHL full-time at 20, while Murray, Vasilevskiy and Quick made the jump when they were 21 — Quick was called up one month before turning 22. Rask became a full-timer as a 22-year-old, and Schneider was 24. The average age comes out to 21.5 years.

If we use Price as an outlier, then we can aim for 2019-20 as a starting point for when we could see Hart with the Flyers full-time. It also aligns with the Flyers’ current goalie situation, as both Brian Elliott’s and Michal Neuvirth’s contracts expire after 2018-19.

Hart will be 21 when the 2019-20 campaign begins with one year of AHL experience, and the fact the Flyers currently have no goalies signed for that season, it’s a safe bet that could be the year Hextall is targeting for one of his goalie prospects to make the jump.

An educated guess? We’ll see Hart full-time as a Flyer at some point during the 2019-20 season. Whether that’s at the start or sometime midseason remains to be seen.

2018 NHL draft position preview — Left wingers

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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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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.