Isaac Ratcliffe

5 players who can fill right wing position without Flyers tapping into free-agent market

AP Images/Zack Hill, Philadelphia Flyers

5 players who can fill right wing position without Flyers tapping into free-agent market

It's July 1, meaning NHL free agency is underway.

Some of the biggest names of last season opened up on the market — players including Artemi Panarin and Matt Duchene, who look to be instant impact players for the Rangers and Predators, respectively. However, those acquisitions came at a costly price.

The Flyers, on the other hand, signed eight depth players Monday. The team was not expected to do much.

If Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher was able to go into the market having a ton of cap space, things would be a different story. With all of their restricted free agents still unsigned (Ivan Provorov, Travis Konency, Scott Laughton and Nicolas Aube-Kubel), it seems like the way to go about finding depth for next season’s roster is to let the kids play.

Here are five possible players who could fill the third-line spot at right wing without the team having to tap into the free-agent market.

Nicolas Aube-Kubel

The only player on this list who did not attend development camp, Aube-Kubel should be a somewhat familiar name. He played nine games with the Flyers last season and while he didn't register a single point, his average time on ice was a mere 5:35.

What really stands out is his ability to drive play while with the Phantoms. Last season was his third full year playing with the Flyers' AHL affiliate and his game and overall performance continued to improve.

Playing 54 games with the Phantoms, Aube-Kubel tallied 30 points (16 goals, 14 assists). 

It's also important to keep in mind that Aube-Kubel is an RFA but was extended a qualifying offer.

Carsen Twarynski

Twarynski was notably one of the best contenders for this same spot when training camp kicked off last season. His aggressiveness, quick wrist shot and ability to drive to the net are what can make him a contender for this position once again.

He eventually fell to runner-up as Mikhail Vorobyev got the call to start off the season and Twarynski was assigned to the Phantoms. It appears to have affected him in a negative way, since he had a very difficult time getting into a groove with the Phantoms. If he kept improving rather than slumping for the first three months of the season, it would’ve been more than likely that he would’ve gotten the next call up instead of Aube-Kubel.

While his 24 points (10 goals, 14 assists) with the Phantoms weren't nearly what the team was hoping to get from him, the physicality of his game picked up.

Don’t count out Twarynski. While 2018-19 was his first full season as pro and he was still getting adjusted to the speed of the game, he showed a lot of positives that could be a great addition to the bottom six of the roster.

Isaac Ratcliffe

The tallest Flyers prospect at 6-foot-6, Ratcliffe had himself one heck of a final season in the OHL with the Guelph Storm and is ready to turn pro.

Through the past regular season, Ratcliffe played a total of 65 games and had 82 points (50 goals, 32 assists). Ratcliffe had an excellent postseason for the Storm, who won the OHL championship.

Even with Ratcliffe's height, he is able to get down the ice in just a few solid strides. Anticipating where the play is going next is another one of his strengths that should translate well to the NHL level, not to mention his puck-handling is at its best when being tested in front of the net.

Ratcliffe is typically on the left wing, so shifting to the right wing would be an adjustment for him in addition to adapting to the quicker pace of the game. 

Morgan Frost

Frost has certainly lived up to the hype after being deemed as one of the Flyers’ top prospects over the past two seasons. The combination of his speed and how he handles the puck is something that will translate very well once he goes pro.

Completely dominant in his final season of the OHL, Frost led the Soo Greyhounds with a whopping 109 points (37 goals, 73 assists). That landed him fourth overall in points in the OHL. 

He also made a clear mentality shift at the start of last season, taking on as big of a leadership role as possible.

With the addition of Kevin Hayes to supplement Sean Couturier and Nolan Patrick, the center depth for the Flyers looks very solid. While a right wing spot is available, transitioning to the pro game might be easier for Frost at the position he is most comfortable with — although a slight adjustment to the wing seems like something he is capable of doing.

Frost certainly made his mark at the end of development camp this past Saturday as he potted one filthy shootout goal.

Joel Farabee

Following his highly successful development camp, it seems like Farabee could be the top contender on the team’s current list of prospects to get the call up. 

Selected by the Flyers 14th overall in last year’s draft, Farabee has stood out in the best way possible. Transitioning Farabee's game to the NHL could be ideal for the Flyers since they are in a more "win now" mentality than in previous seasons.

After completing his freshman season at Boston University and winning the 2019 Tim Taylor Award as college hockey's Rookie of the Year, Farabee signed his entry-level contract with the Flyers and is ready to turn pro. He led the Terriers with 36 points (17 goals, 19 assists) in 37 games played.

His instincts on the ice in addition to his hockey IQ make for one intimidating player. After playing right winger for most of his teenage years, slotting him into the third line could be the perfect way to jump-start his professional career.

While Farabee's stature (6-foot-1, 175 pounds) was once a concern, the league is changing. The number on the scale may have been too light for Farabee to play in the NHL a decade ago, but his skating ability and speed would be a nice fit in the current look of the NHL. If he can put on some extra weight before training camp in September, his chances at cracking the roster will only grow.

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Flyers development camp: 5 observations from 5-on-5 scrimmage

Zack Hill, Len Redkoles/Philadelphia Flyers

Flyers development camp: 5 observations from 5-on-5 scrimmage

VOORHEES, N.J. — Flyers Skate Zone featured a full house Saturday night as 2019 development camp culminated with a 5-on-5 scrimmage.

Fans packed the practice facility and Gritty even checked out the team's future by making an appearance.

Team Orange notched a 3-2 win over Team White in a fun, up-and-down game.

Let's get into five observations from the night:

1. Center of attention

German Rubtsov looks the part. 

From a physical standpoint, many of the prospects in camp still looked like kids, but Rubtsov did not. He is filled out and stands like an NHL center. He also plays like one with his hockey IQ and how he commands the pace.

The 2016 first-round pick stood out in all aspects, from positioning to using his body to make plays under control in a game that understandably had a frenetic style at times.

"He looks good," Flyers player development coach Kjell Samuelsson said. "He's healthy, he's fit and he can play."

He's on the Flyers' radar (see story).

2. That's some line

Team Orange sported a first line of Isaac Ratcliffe, Morgan Frost and Bobby Brink.

Not bad, right?

This year, Ratcliffe scored 50 goals, Frost had 109 points and Brink became a second-round pick.

The group was impressive Saturday. Ratcliffe scored a goal and Brink netted the game-winner. On Brink's goal, Ratcliffe started the play with a nice reverse pass in transition. Frost had an assist and created a ton of chances, to no surprise.

Ratcliffe and Frost were a part of the same 2017 draft class and have become great friends.

"That's really been a goal since draft day," Ratcliffe said of playing alongside Frost. "That was the first time I met Morgan, too, went up to the box there at the draft after the second round earlier in the day. That was the first time we said hi together. We kind of laughed about playing together one day on a line for the Flyers. To get a first taste of it today was pretty exciting and fun."

After the game, each player on both teams had the opportunity to take a shootout shot.

Frost wowed everyone with this:

He really likes that move.

3. There goes that Cam

Cam York is a smooth and dynamic skater. Just with his size, mobility and puck-handling, he sort of reminds you of Shayne Gostisbehere. York is 5-foot-11, 174 pounds, while Gostisbehere is 5-foot-11, 180 pounds.

Moving the puck means better possession and playing less defense.

At one point during the first of the two periods, York carried the puck into the offensive zone and kept it on his stick as he surveyed his options. If you didn't know, you'd think he was a forward on that play.

"Mobile defensemen," Samuelsson said, "that's today's hockey."

4. Seventh-round sleeper

Keep an eye on Wyatt Kalynuk in 2019-20. He'll be a captain on a talented Wisconsin team that is adding 2019 top-15 draft picks Alex Turcotte and Cole Caufield.

Kalynuk is an excellent skater with good size (6-1/181).

He's come a long way since being taken in the seventh round of the 2017 draft. After 25 points in 37 games as a sophomore, he appears primed for a breakout junior season with the Badgers.

5. King Felix

Felix Sandstrom was impressive all camp, in the 3-on-3 tournament and the 5-on-5 scrimmage.

The 2015 third-round pick is 22 years old and put up a 2.16 goals-against average this past season playing against men in the Swedish Elite League.

He'll be with AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley in 2019-20. You never know, he may be needed sooner rather than later with the Flyers to help Carter Hart and company.

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2019 Flyers development camp: Roster, schedule and more

2019 Flyers development camp: Roster, schedule and more

The future will be prevalent this week at Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, New Jersey, starting Tuesday through Saturday as the team holds its annual development camp.

Some of the organization's brightest and newest prospects will be in attendance, learning the fine details of how to be a pro with various drills and off-ice training.

Let's get you set for the 2019 edition with five things to know.

1. Development, not evaluation

It's time for the annual reminder: Flyers development camp is about providing the team's prospects with proper training habits — on and off the ice — to grow as players. The five-day session is not about Flyers coaches and officials analyzing the prospects for the purpose of evaluation and future roster construction.

The whole premise of camp is for it to be educational.

2. Keep your eyes peeled

While the Flyers won't be evaluating, there will be plenty to watch for fans. With each development camp, there is always a ton of talent on the ice with many future pros and some prospects on the NHL doorstep.

For example, last summer's development camp featured Carter Hart, Philippe Myers, Mikhail Vorobyev and Mark Friedman, all of whom played for the Flyers in 2018-19.

This year's crop of players features some of the organization's top prospects and a trio of forwards who could join the Flyers at some point in 2019-20.

3. Numbers to watch

There are two sheets of ice at Skate Zone that will oftentimes be used simultaneously throughout camp.

With 41 players listed on the camp roster, which includes newcomers to the organization, here are five players to watch:

No. 48, Morgan Frost — A can't-miss playmaking center who was ranked as the 13th-best prospect in hockey by ESPN's Chris Peters during March. Over his final two junior hockey seasons, Frost combined for 221 points (79 goals, 142 assists) and a plus-103 rating in 125 regular-season games with the OHL's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (see story).

He'll be turning pro in 2019-20 and will be pushing for the Flyers during training camp. You'll want to keep an eye on him, especially when he's doing this:

No. 60, Joel Farabee — An advanced, quick-rising winger who needed just one year of college hockey before turning pro. Farabee, a strategic goal-scorer with a lot of skill, put up 17 goals and 36 points in 37 games with Boston University and was named the 2019 Tim Taylor Award winner for national Rookie of the Year.

"If he needs some seasoning in Lehigh, that happens with a lot of really strong prospects, but it also wouldn't surprise me when the Flyers have him in their opening night lineup next October," U.S. under-18 head coach John Wroblewski said to NBC Sports Philadelphia in late March (see story).

No. 76, Isaac Ratcliffe — Another goal-scoring winger, Ratcliffe is hard to miss, not only thanks to his 6-foot-6 frame, but also because of his superb hands and soft touch. The 2017 second-round pick scored 50 goals and 82 points in 65 regular-season games for the OHL's Guelph Storm before tacking on 30 more points (15 goals, 15 assists) in 24 playoff games (see story).

Just like Frost and Farabee, Ratcliffe is turning pro in 2019-20.

No. 45, Cam York — The Flyers' newest first-round pick, York will get his first taste of the organization. The defenseman does not lack skill or scoring ability. The Flyers watched York a lot before drafting him No. 14 overall last weekend.

"He's put up big numbers offensively," Flyers assistant general manager Brent Flahr said (see story). "He's a talented guy and projects to be a very good defenseman for a long time."

No. 54, Yegor Zamula — An under-the-radar defenseman who could have a Myers-like climb. Zamula is 6-foot-3, 176 pounds and had a promising 2018-19 season with 56 points (10 goals, 46 assists) in 61 regular-season games for the WHL's Calgary Hitmen. Here's how the Flyers found the undrafted product and signed him (see story).

Below is the full camp roster.

4. The schedule

The development camp is free and open to the public.

Fans can watch along the boards from certain areas or in the stands.

The 3-on-3 tournament has always been a fan-favorite event. A new wrinkle is the 5-on-5 scrimmage Saturday night, which should be fun.

Here is the full camp schedule (which is subject to change) with times. The sessions for goaltenders are 8:15-9:45 a.m. and 1-2:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, 10:30-11:45 a.m. on Friday and 10-11:15 a.m. on Saturday.

5. The staff

The Flyers' player development coaches run camp, while general manager Chuck Fletcher and head coach Alain Vigneault will sure to be watching some of it.

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