Bryce Brodzinski

5 prospects that flew under the radar during Flyers development camp

5 prospects that flew under the radar during Flyers development camp

When you think of the Flyers' top prospects, the names Morgan Frost, Isaac Ratcliffe, Felix Sandstrom and Joel Farabee are often the first to come to mind.

These prospects also happened to have the most buzz around development camp that officially wrapped up June 29.

The Flyers have one of the deepest prospect pools in the league and when looking a little deeper into the system, a few other names stood out during camp and should be on everyone’s radar for the upcoming season.

Here are five prospects that have been flying under the radar. 

German Rubtsov

Since being drafted by the Flyers in 2016, Rubtsov has flown far under the radar on the list of prospects and this most recent development camp was no different.

A season-ending shoulder injury with the Phantoms cut his first year pro short after just 14 games. What we did see in that short stint of games was one of the most consistent performances from any player on the team with 10 points (six goals, four assists).

After months of rehabbing and regaining his strength, Rubtsov was ready to bring his A-game to camp in late June.

It seems like everything is coming together for the center but the biggest takeaway was watching his ability to drive play. He is capable of making those around him succeed, as well, something that shows a lot of intelligence for the 21-year-old.

If Rubtsov can get back to the level of productivity we saw less than one year ago, expect him to make a big impact with the Phantoms — so much so that he would have a solid chance at making the short list of call-ups to the Flyers during the season.

Maxim Sushko

From Day 1 of development camp, Sushko made an impact.

The right winger drafted by the Flyers in 2017 was easily one of the strongest skaters that hit the ice, often leading his group in drills to help demonstrate to the newer prospects.

Fluid motions that lead to clean stops all while having clear control of the puck will certainly make any prospect stand out.

In his most recent season with the OHL's Owen Sound Attack, Sushko registered 51 points (18 goals, 33 assists). He is eligible to play for the Phantoms next season and could be a solid upgrade as a middle-six player.

Pascal Laberge

Laberge has had a difficult track record when it comes to staying healthy. His most recent injury came prior to the start of last season with the Phantoms — a hip injury that required surgery and kept him out for the first five months of the season.

With a significantly short first professional season, he had to make his mark at camp and show everyone just why he was selected 36th overall by the Flyers in 2016. 

Selflessness brings success for the 21-year-old center.  

While there is little hesitation to his game and he isn’t afraid to simply shoot the puck, he often trusts his gut by setting others up for solid scoring chances. Even if they don’t score, he is great at anticipating where the puck will be next and often gets to it first.

If Laberge can stay healthy for the entirety of the 2019-20 season, expect a huge turnaround in his play and confidence level. It wouldn’t be a surprise if a more active leadership role is taken by him, as well, since that is a position he often held in the past. 

Kirill Ustimenko

It's no secret that the Flyers have struggled in net consistently over the past few seasons, so having depth moving forward is a crucial element for success.

Luckily for the Flyers, Ustimenko has the potential to provide just that.

Ustimenko had a very calm presence between the pipes and his skill set really showed during the 3-on-3 tournament at development camp. The rink was split in half, meaning the turnaround time for the goaltenders was next to none.

Always prepared and confident moving from post to post, Ustimenko may be developing at a faster pace than many anticipated.

After recently signing his entry-level contract on May 1, he is set to join the Phantoms this upcoming season (see story)

Alex Lyon and Sandstrom are also set to be with the Phantoms but odds are the team won't run with three goaltenders and one may find himself with the Royals in the ECHL.

Bryce Brodzinski

After Brodzinski was just barely eligible for the 2018 draft and went unselected, the Flyers saw something in him and selected him 196th overall one year later in 2019.

While having played only 19 games in the USHL with the Omaha Lancers last season, Brodzinski made sure to bring his strengths that enticed the Flyers to draft him.

One word that would be able to describe him offensively: fearless. During the 5-on-5 scrimmage, he was able to make room for himself every time he entered the offensive zone. Oftentimes he’d find an open route to the net and while he didn’t crack the scoreboard, the chances he had didn’t go unnoticed. 

If able to translate his skills to the pro level, he has the chance to be a pure shooter anywhere in the offensive zone. 

Brodzinski may be one of the newer prospects in the system but has the potential to do great things once playing for the orange and black. Next up, he is headed to the University of Minnesota in the fall to play for the Gophers. 

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Recapping the Flyers' 2019 NHL draft class

Recapping the Flyers' 2019 NHL draft class

The Flyers' 2019 NHL draft is in the books.

General manager Chuck Fletcher, assistant general manager Brent Flahr and the Flyers entered the draft with eight picks and finished with seven. In a trade Friday night, the Flyers gained a second-round selection. In a trade Saturday afternoon, they lost one of their two third-round spots. Then, in the seventh round, the Flyers dealt their final pick to the Canadiens in exchange for a 2020 seventh-rounder.

So how did Fletcher and Flahr do in their first draft with the Flyers? Let's recap the team's work in Vancouver, British Columbia.

First round, No. 14: Cam York, 5-11/172, D

Analysis: York is a threat whenever the puck is on his stick, which is often given his skill set. He set a USNTDP single-season record with 65 points in 63 games.

Quotable: "He's put up big numbers offensively. He's a talented guy and projects to be a very good defenseman for a long time." - Flahr

Second round, No. 34: Bobby Brink, 5-8/165, RW

Analysis: Not the fastest or biggest, but can flat-out score. Considered a first-round talent by many draft experts, Brink was the 2018-19 USHL Forward of the Year. 

Quotable: "He's extremely smart, highly skilled, very competitive. He picked apart the USHL league, which is hard to score in; coming right out of high school and dominated." - Flahr

Third round, No. 72: Ronald Attard, 6-4/205, D

Analysis: Took a crazy jump in 2018-19, earning USHL Player of the Year. Attard scored 30 goals — yes, as a defenseman — after totaling just 15 points in 2017-18.

Quotable: "It stands out no matter what level you're at when you're a defenseman. You score 30 goals, that's certainly an asset. We don't even necessarily project him as an offensive defenseman. He's a big body, he's physical, he has a mean streak." - Flahr

Fourth round, No. 103: Mason Millman, 6-1/175, D

Analysis: Smart, only 17 years old and was a plus-22 in his first OHL season.

Quotable: "Millman in the fourth, a defenseman two of our Ontario guys felt strongly about, that he has upside." - Flahr

Sixth round, No. 165: Egor Serdyuk, 5-11/165, RW

Analysis: Led all QMJHL rookies with 65 points (25 goals, 40 assists) in 63 games.

Quotable: "He has a good skill set, he has a nose for the net, he can score and his skating is fine. He needs to get stronger, he's going to have to learn to play away from the puck, but you can't teach his offensive tools." - Flahr

Sixth round, No. 169: Roddy Ross, 6-2/180, G

Analysis: Amateur scout Mark Greig and goaltender development coach Brady Robinson pushed hard for Ross, who was the 17th goalie taken in the draft.

Quotable: "He's a guy that came on the scene late. He's a big kid, he's got to grow into his body. He played very well down the stretch on an average team where he faced a lot of shots. He battled and Brady thinks he has pretty good fundamentals." - Flahr

Seventh round, No. 196: Bryce Brodzinski, 6-0/197, RW

Analysis: A high schooler with rich hockey bloodlines headed to the University of Minnesota.

Quotable: "When my brothers told me that they were better than me at something, I would work super hard at it when they weren’t looking." - Brodzinski, via David La Vaque of the Star Tribune

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2019 NHL draft: Flyers take Bryce Brodzinski with 196th overall pick

zack_hill_flyers_general_manager_chuck_fletcher.jpg
Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers

2019 NHL draft: Flyers take Bryce Brodzinski with 196th overall pick

Bryce Brodzinski has plenty of hockey footsteps to follow in his family.

A 6-foot, 197-pound right winger, Brodzinski was drafted 196th overall Saturday by the Flyers. His brother Jonny is on the Los Angeles Kings. Easton Brodzinski is a sophomore at St. Cloud State University, while Michael Brodzinski played last season for the ECHL's Orlando Solar Bears. 

The youngest brother, Bryce was named USA Today's All-USA Boys Hockey Player of the Year after posting 36 goals and 55 assists in just 29 games for Blaine High School in Minnesota. Brodzinski also played in 17 games for the Omaha Lancers of the USHL last season and had seven goals and 10 assists.

Brodzinski is committed to the University of Minnesota.

After taking Brodzinski, general manager Chuck Fletcher traded the 201st overall pick to the Canadiens in exchange for a 2020 seventh-round selection from Montreal.

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