Future Flyers Report: Bobby on the Brink of a breakout and a check-in on the rest of the Flyers' 2019 draft class

Future Flyers Report: Bobby on the Brink of a breakout and a check-in on the rest of the Flyers' 2019 draft class

Another week of hockey has come and gone, so it must be time for another Future Flyers Report. This week, we will be taking a look at the team’s most recent draft class to see how it has been performing so far this season. 

Did Fletcher make the right decision at the draft? 

There has been a lot up for debate when it comes to evaluating how the Flyers did in the most recent NHL draft. The biggest controversy being Chuck Fletcher not drafting the highly-anticipated Cole Caufield with the 11th overall pick — but traded the pick instead. With that, the Flyers selected Cam York with the No. 14 pick and gained an extra pick in the second round.

That pick came into play quickly when the Flyers traded their 45th and 65th selections for the 34th overall pick. There, they drafted Bobby Brink.

So, while Caufield would have been a great addition to the talented prospect pool the Flyers currently have, adding both a skilled defenseman and a talented winger with a snipe-shot of his own is a prime example of a win-win scenario.

Early last week, both York and Brink were named to the U.S. national junior team preliminary roster.

Cam York 

York and Michigan were off this past week and won’t play again until Dec. 30, but through 14 games, York has tallied eight points (four goals, four assists) in his rookie year. The 18-year-old has become a huge asset for his team and is setting himself up to have a long, solid career in the pros if he keeps performing at this rate. 

Bobby Brink

Now, let’s take a look at that 34th overall pick with the great hockey name. 

While Brink went without a point last week against Arizona State, he got things rolling again when Denver swept Colorado College with a two-point (one goal, one assist) weekend. The highlight of the weekend had to go to this beauty of a backhanded shot that he had Saturday night. 

Mason Millman

Millman did not play this weekend, as he was serving the rest of his suspension from this hit on Dec. 6 when he and the Saginaw Spirit faced the Sarina Sting. He will be able to return Dec. 19.

Through the 28 games he has played so far this season, he has 15 points (six goals, nine assists), which gives him the second-most points by a defenseman on the team — trailing only Ilya Solovyov, who has 27 points (three goals, 24 assists).

Ronnie Attard

It’s an unfortunate situation for Attard, who hasn’t played with his team, the Western Michigan Broncos, in over a month because of an injury. Though he hasn't played since Nov. 9, Attard does have five points through the 10 games he was a part of. His most highlight-worthy game of the season so far came against Colorado College, when he had a three-point game (two goals, one assist). 

Egor Serdyuk

Serdyuk had a solid showing this weekend with the Victoriaville Tigres in the QMJHL, having an assist in both games. After having a fiery start to the season, registering seven points (six goals, one assist) in the first four games, things have slowed down significantly for the 18-year-old. Aside from that first stretch of games, this past weekend was only the second time he had points in consecutive games.

Roddy Ross

Ross has had an average season so far, having a 9-12-2-1 record through 24 games played. His best performance of the week came on Dec. 13, when the sixth-round pick allowed only a single goal on 22 shots and had a .955 save percentage.

Bryce Brodzinski

Making the transition from league to league is a big jump for many and most times than not it’s difficult to instantly become impactful for their new team. This seems to be the case with Minnesota’s Brodzinski. While in his senior year of high school he received numerous accolades for his work, it’s taking some time to get used to the pace of the game at a college level. Through the 18 games he has played this season, he’s managed only five points (one goal, four assists).

There’s no need to panic, though, as Brodzinski was the perfect move in the seventh round of the draft. 

Overall?

As time continues to move forward after the draft, it seems as though these picks are growing on many. While there will always be a few who question the "what if" in Caufield, it’s important to focus on knowing what the organization walked away with instead. The past cannot be changed — and looking ahead, there are too many promising names in the pipeline to be caught up in such things.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers

Future Flyers Report: Could prospect Connor Bunnaman be headed back to NHL soon?

Future Flyers Report: Could prospect Connor Bunnaman be headed back to NHL soon?

It’s time for our weekly check-in on the Flyers’ prospects playing in the AHL, overseas and at the junior and college levels.

• The Flyers' depth at forward is being seriously tested.

The team is without Travis Konecny (concussion, out indefinitely), Michael Raffl (broken right pinkie finger, out approximately four weeks) and Nolan Patrick (migraine disorder, out indefinitely).

Going into their three-game road trip, the Flyers have only 12 healthy forwards. In his fifth stint with the big club since the beginning of 2018-19, Mikhail Vorobyev is centering the Flyers' fourth line. The 22-year-old is in audition mode yet again with the Flyers and will have to be noticeable in limited minutes to stick.

How Vorobyev performs moving forward and the Flyers' depth concerns could open the door for Connor Bunnaman. The 21-year-old forward made the Flyers' season-opening roster. He's healthy again with AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley after missing nearly a full month because of a lower-body injury.

Bunnaman brings size and positional versatility as the 6-foot-3, 214-pounder can player either center or winger. This past week, Bunnaman scored a goal and had eight shots in three games.

The Flyers may want to have him play more games with the Phantoms before calling him up. However, they may need him soon. Bunnaman has Raffl-like potential and ability.

On Sept. 26, Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher spoke highly of the 2016 fourth-round pick who scored 19 goals in 62 games with Lehigh Valley last season and two goals this preseason.

He’s been the best player in training camp. He was outstanding in the practices. ... By best player, I mean in terms of expectations. He’s come in and blown them away.

He honestly seems twice as fast this year to last year. I know we make a habit of saying players are quicker and faster but this guy is legitimately much faster than last year and he scored 19 goals last year, had a heck of a year in the American League.

There’s no reason to doubt that he can play some games for us this year.

The Phantoms play Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Flyers play Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Keep an eye on Bunnaman and the big club's bottom-six depth.

Quick hits

• Noah Cates is continuing to turn heads.

As a sophomore, the 2017 fifth-round pick leads defending national champion Minnesota Duluth with nine goals and is a point-per-game player (16 points in 16 contests).

The 20-year-old winger is coming off a four-point weekend (three goals, one assist) in the Bulldogs' two-game sweep of Omaha.

The Flyers couldn't stop bragging about Cates this summer and are probably bragging some more to each other this week.

"I just need to play the way I can play, especially these next couple years with my development," Cates said in June. "They're on board with that, they're happy with where I'm at, but I've got to keep making strides."

He's doing just that.

• Cam York, the Flyers' 2019 first-round pick, recorded a goal and an assist in Michigan's 4-1 win over Penn State last Friday.

The mobile and skilled puck-moving defenseman owns nine points (four goals, five assists) in 14 games as a freshman.

• Egor Zamula enjoyed a three-point weekend for the Calgary Hitmen.

The 19-year-old is third among WHL defensemen with 28 points (seven goals, 21 assists) in 28 games and has a plus-19 rating.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers

Future Flyers Report: A closer look at the current Phantoms, NCAA and beyond

Future Flyers Report: A closer look at the current Phantoms, NCAA and beyond

It's that time again — our weekly Future Flyers Report has arrived checking in on the Phantoms, NCAA and beyond!

A look into the Valley

• It took 17 games since making the transition from the Hamilton Bulldogs to Lehigh Valley Phantoms, but Matthew Strome finally scored his first professional goal with the Phantoms on Nov. 29.

• That same night, Carsen Twarynski — after going three games without a point since being sent back down from the Flyers — had himself a three-point night (two goals, one assist), all coming in the second period within a 12-minute span.

Isaac Ratcliffe had his second two-point week of the season, registering a goal and an assist. Before his assist on Nov. 27, he went seven games without a point. He now has five points on the year.

• Mikhail Vorobyev is like a switch — he's on when he's with the Phantoms and off when he's up with the Flyers. It's possible he used up his last chance with the big club after underperforming time and time again, but he still finds success in Lehigh. Who knows, anything's possible. Vorobyev had two assists this past week, which brings him to nine on the season.

• I figured it’d also be fun to note that even though Morgan Frost has been up with the Flyers since Nov. 18, he’s still tied for fourth in points with the Phantoms on the season.

• There were a lot of expectations for Nicolas Aube-Kubel heading into the season. With new faces in the organization, he had the opportunity to come out hot and prove himself ... but he's fallen short early on. While he did tack on an assist Nov. 29, he finds himself with only seven points in 22 games.

• And while this isn’t a note on a prospect, Saturday’s win brought head coach Scott Gordon to 375 career wins, moving into eighth place for wins by a coach in AHL history!

The college kids are kicking it up a notch

• Still trying to decide what was better this weekend — Cam York’s power play goal or his celly afterwards. Even though he did score, Michigan wound up falling short on Nov. 30 in a loss to Wisconsin.

• Now, switching gears from York and Michigan’s loss, prospect Wyatt Kalynuk wound up scoring the tying goal late in the second period. He now has three goals on the season.

• Ohio State had a successful two-game sweep against Michigan State this weekend. On the back end of the weekend, Tanner Laczynski scored in the first period to give his team the lead. Zero hesitation and puck placement make this one heck of a goal.

• Bobby Brink and the Denver Pioneers had the weekend off but hopefully that won’t hinder the fact that he’s starting to heat up. After going five games without a point, he registered four last weekend (two goals, two assists) in two games. Let’s hope he can keep that rolling when he and the Pioneers face Arizona State in a few days.

A little deeper into the pipeline

• Egor Zamula cooled off a bit this weekend after having five points in the previous. Still, he tallied two points, both assists in Calgary’s 4-1 win on Nov. 29. Not only are the Hitmen dominating their division, Zamula ranks second among all defensemen in assists with 19 and fifth overall in plus-minus.

• Week after week Jay O’Brien continues to impress in the BCHL. With a two-assist night Nov. 30, O’Brien ranks second in the league in points with 45. He and the Penticton Vees going 2-1 on the week, they now have 47 points on the season and are sitting comfortably at the top of the Interior division by five points.

• Everett’s Wyatte Wylie had a rare weekend in which he didn’t register a single point. This is only the second time this season in which he has gone two games in a row without getting on the board.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers