Wyatt Kalynuk

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

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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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Future Flyers Report: German Rubtsov's season is over

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AP Images

Future Flyers Report: German Rubtsov's season is over

Before this week begins, it’s time for our weekly check-in on the Flyers’ prospects playing in the AHL, overseas and at the junior and college levels.

• Just when German Rubtsov was again making waves down on the farm, it’s all over. Rubtsov will have shoulder surgery and miss the rest of the season, per the Inquirer’s Sam Carchidi.

Rubtsov suffered the injury on this hit during the Phantoms’ 5-4 win Nov. 16 in Providence:

With that, Rubtsov’s first season in the AHL ends after just 14 games, and it was a productive 14 too. He scored six goals and 10 points and finished with a plus-3 rating. It’s a shame because the 20-year-old started to flash the offensive flair to his game that we didn’t really see during his time in major juniors after his 2016 draft year. Now, Rubtsov will rehab and recover and shift his focus to 2019-20. But his brief showing should leave us optimistic about Rubtsov’s future.

• Felix Sandstrom is quietly having a solid rebound season with HV71, though the overall numbers suggest otherwise. But once you peel away at the onion, you can see the progress.

Sandstrom allowed two goals on 25 shots in a 2-1 loss Thursday and his season save percentage is now .897, which is not fantastic by any means. But he does have a respectable 2.53 goals-against average in nine games, and if we break down his numbers by game, we can see why his percentage is as low as it is: two games in which he allowed five goals, on Sept. 20 and Oct. 25.

Take those two performances out and Sandstrom rocks a strong .927 save percentage in seven games. In those seven games, he’s allowed just 13 goals — two goals in six and one in the other.

The overall view paints a better picture for Sandstrom, and while Carter Hart gets the spotlight, we can’t count Sandstrom out as being the savior in the net this Flyers team so desperately needs.

• To cap off the featured section of this report, we’re going to talk a little bit about Morgan Frost because times right now in the NHL have everyone frustrated and disinterested.

Frost again is having a dominant season in the OHL and on Saturday night, the centerman recorded a junior career-best five assists in Sault Ste. Marie’s 7-4 win over Owen Sound. He had more assists than the Attack had goals. Frost was the first Greyhounds forward to have a five-assist game since Dustin Jeffrey did it Oct. 7, 2007.

The 19-year-old has 10 points during his current four-game point streak, 13 in his last seven and 46 points in 26 games. He’s in a three-way tie for the lead in the OHL scoring.

Quick hits
• Wisconsin defenseman Wyatt Kalynuk has now gone four games without a point but still leads the Badgers with 11 points this season. ESPN’s John Buccigross sung high praise of not just Kalynuk’s offensive game but his defensive game too, via the Courier-Post’s Dave Isaac:

He’s been Wisconsin’s best player! Skating is a huge strength. He’s calm on the ice and has a great hockey sense. Offense is what people notice, but he’s sneaky tough. Tough around the net and has a great willingness to block shots. Awesome on the power play. Has great knack for getting pucks thru traffic — not easy to find blueliners that don’t just bury them into the shin pads.

• Some positive news on the Jay O’Brien front as the 2018 first-round pick returned to the ice Friday after his second injury of the season kept him out three weeks. Both injuries are believed to be concussions, which is a scary start to his collegiate career. He’s pointless in seven games.

• Tanner Laczynski’s three-game point streak ended Saturday. Laczynski recorded five points during the streak. The Ohio State forward has 12 points in 11 games in his junior season.

• Isaac Ratcliffe had two goals Friday, another Saturday and Sunday. He has 19 goals and 30 points in 25 games.

• Matthew Strome had a three-point game Saturday eight points in his last four games. The Hamilton winger has 28 points in 25 games this season.

• 2018 fourth-round pick Jack St. Ivany had a two-assist game Saturday for Yale and now has five points in seven collegiate games.

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Future Flyers Report: German Rubtsov 'biggest surprise' with Phantoms

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Christina Daly/NBC Sports Philadelphia

Future Flyers Report: German Rubtsov 'biggest surprise' with Phantoms

If there’s anything we learned last week, it’s this: It’s still important to keep tabs on the Flyers’ farm system because the NHL product isn’t what we believed it to be (see weekly observations).

Before this week begins, it’s time for our weekly check-in on the Flyers’ prospects playing in the AHL, overseas and at the junior and college levels.

• German Rubtsov sometimes slips through the cracks when we talk about Flyers prospects. The 2016 first-round pick didn’t blow the lids off of his junior experience and combine that with the team drafting Nolan Patrick and Morgan Frost in 2017, Rubtsov took a bit of a backseat.

Rubtsov, though, has been a pleasant surprise for the Phantoms as he begins his North American professional career. He has four goals and six points in his first nine games, including a two-point effort last Wednesday against Hartford. Lehigh Valley head coach Scott Gordon recently sung high praise of Rubtsov, telling the Courier-Post’s Dave Isaac:

He’s been probably the biggest surprise. I had only seen him in development camp and training camp. … I didn’t see the things that I’m seeing right now, which is his skill level, his shot, his passing, his vision, his strength. The one thing that I had concerns about coming into the season is his skating as far as his pace of play and in a very short amount of time, he’s elevated that.

• Another Phantom of note is Philippe Myers, who soon may find his way up with the Flyers. Myers had a three-point game in Lehigh Valley’s 5-2 win Saturday night.

Gordon also spoke of Myers to Isaac:

I know that he might’ve tailed off during training camp, but I think with Phil, when I watch him play so far this year, what’s probably gonna change dramatically is once he starts to simplify his game by not having to feel like he has to do everything himself as far as with the puck and starts using the guys that are on the ice, I just think he’s gonna go to the forefront. It will be so dramatic how dominating he is.

• We missed our first Jay O’Brien vs. Joel Farabee matchup this past weekend as O’Brien remains out with an upper-body injury he suffered Oct. 19. No. 6 Providence didn’t need O’Brien, though, as the Friars shut out Boston University, 6-0, Friday.

Farabee has one goal in four games this season. O’Brien is pointless in four.

• Wyatt Kalynuk is quickly becoming a staple of this report, and for good reason. The Wisconsin defenseman continued to produce last week, extending his point streak to five games.

Kalynuk had a two-assist game Friday night against Michigan Tech and then tallied a power-play goal Saturday. He has four goals this season and leads Wisconsin with nine points.

Quick hits
• Frost saw his point streak reach six games with points in all three games last week — two points Thursday, three on Friday and one on Sunday. Frost is second in the OHL with 30 points.

• Isaac Ratcliffe’s goal streak reached three games with a goal Friday and Sunday. He has six points on his current three-game point streak and 11 goals and 19 points in 14 games.

• Matthew Strome’s six-game point streak ended Sunday. Strome compiled four goals and 12 points during the streak. He has 19 points in 15 games this season.

• Alex Lyon made his second start of the season Sunday evening for the Phantoms, allowing three goals on 34 shots. He has a respectable .924 save percentage in two games.

• A strong outing from Carter Hart on Saturday night in the Phantoms' win over Binghamton. Hart allowed just two goals on 31 shots in his fifth pro start.

• Wyatte Wylie picked up a goal and two assists in four games last week. The Everett defenseman has 10 assists and 13 points in 15 games.

• Ohio State’s Tanner Laczynski saw his nine-game point streak end Friday.

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