For so many years, we’ve watched the Flyers buy their way to be a competitive team. After the 2005-’06 NHL lockout, the introduction of the salary cap changed the game. Then, the Flyers would use the trade deadline on an annual basis to pry talent away from teams in hopes of making long playoff runs. Then, teams started asking for tons of young talent in return, seemingly being ahead of the curve moreso than the Flyers were.
Eventually, the Flyers had no prospects of any value, the prospect pool ranked dead last many times, their roster was old, and they weren’t competing on the ice like we’ve been used to seeing anymore.
Well, ever since Ron Hextall was brought in as the team’s general manager, he has changed the entire way
Ed Snider this franchise operates, and it is paying off in a big way.
Bleacher Report just released it’s updated NHL prospect pool rankings after the trade deadline this past Monday, and the Flyers came in second. Let that sink in… second. SECOND.
Here is what they had to say:
Top prospect: Ivan Provorov. The No. 7 overall pick in last year’s draft hangs onto the top spot on this list despite a lot of pressure from other prospects in the system. Provorov is a two-way defenceman with no significant weaknesses who thinks the game at an advanced level. He’s a good skater with decent size, better-than-decent offensive instincts and a competitive nature.
System overview: Even with Shayne Gostisbehere treating the NHL like a chew toy and is thus ineligible for this list, the strength of the Philadelphia Flyers’ prospect corps is on the blue line. Travis Sanheim, a 2014 first-round pick, is having a great year in the WHL. Samuel Morin is finding his way as an AHL rookie. Robert Hagg and Mark Alt are both legitimate prospects who risk getting lost in the shuffle.
Up front, Travis Konecny is having a glorious campaign, jumping from 68 points in 60 games a year ago in the OHL to 89 in just 54 outings this season. Nick Cousins, 22 years old, is scoring a point-per-game pace in the AHL. Goaltender Anthony Stolarz is up to a .918 save percentage for that same team, and given his 6’6″ frame, he is very much in the mix in net going forward.
Hextall has only been here a short while, and he already is making massive moves to put this team in contention for a long long time. Remember, the Flyers were more thought of as a contender for the number one overall pick in the 2016 draft than they were for playoff contention heading into this season. Take this roster and add our young prospects to it, and it will be electric for years to come.
Here is the rest of the list for those curious.