2015 NHL DRAFT
Ivan Provorov (1st round, 7th overall): Provorov, now 23, has yet to miss a game in his four-season NHL career. The two-time Barry Ashbee Trophy winner is the team’s top minutes-eater and the acknowledged No. 1 defenseman on the blueline. He signed a long-term contract extension last September, which still has five seasons to run.
Travis Konecny (1st round, 24th overall): The Flyers traded up in the first round to be able to grab the talented and feisty Ottawa 67s forward before he went off the draft board. Konecny made a direct jump to the NHL after one additional post-Draft year in junior hockey. In 2019-20, he made the NHL All-Star Game for the first time and led the Flyers in both goals and points. Konecny had a disappointing 2020 postseason in the Bubble, but remains an integral part of the team’s immediate and long-term future.
Felix Sandström (3rd round, 70th overall): The naturally gifted Swedish netminder was on a promising development pace his first few post-draft seasons but lost nearly the entire 2017-18 season due to health issues. He signed with the Flyers after that season and spent the 2018-19 season on loan to Swedish team HV71 Jönköping. Last season, he came over to North America, and had a bit of a rough rookie season spent primarily in the ECHL with the Reading Royals apart from one AHL relief appearance for the Phantoms. He will enter the final season of his entry-level contract in 2020-21.
Mikhail Vorobyev (4th round, 104th overall): For practical purposes, the 23-year-old Russian forward has at least temporarily left the Flyers organization after signing a three-year KHL contract this summer with Salavat Yulaev Ufa. Officially, however, Vorobyev is an NHL restricted free agent and the Flyers can retain his NHL rights by giving him a qualifying offer. He settled in and became an effective AHL player but struggled significantly in his NHL trials after a stellar 2018 training camp enabled him to crack the Flyers’ opening night lineup.
David Kase (5th round, 128th overall): The undersized but energetic Czech winger will enter his third North American pro season when the 2020-21 NHL or AHL seasons get underway. Currently, Kase is on loan to Czech Extraliga team HC Karlovy Vary during the NHL offseason.
Ivan Fedotov (7th round, 188th overall): Although he’s never been signed by the Flyers, Philadelphia technically still holds the Russian goalie’s NHL rights five years after his Draft year. This is due to the lack of a transfer agreement between the NHL and the Russian Hockey Federation. As with most goaltenders his size (6-foot-7), it took Fedotov several years to start coming into his own above the junior level. He has evolved into a KHL starting goaltender over the last season-plus, playing for Traktor Chelyabinsk. Fedotov will turn 24 on Nov. 28.
Phil Myers (undrafted free agent): It is almost unfathomable nowadays to recall how a player with Myers’ combination of size and mobility fell through the cracks of the 2015 NHL Draft without being selected by any team. The Flyers invited him as training camp tryout, were impressed enough to sign him to a rookie free agent contract and then allowed him the time he needed to develop.
No longer in the organization: Matej Tomek (SaiPa, Liiga), Samuel Dove-McFalls (University of New Brunswick), Cooper Marody (Edmonton Oilers organization).
2016 NHL DRAFT
German Rubtsov (1st round, 22nd overall): The Flyers traded down four spots in the first round in 2016 to gain both the 22nd (Rubtsov) and 36th (Pascal Laberge) picks. It’s been a roller coaster ride for Rubtsov’s developmental opportunities going all the way back to his Draft year. The Flyers’ 2016 first-round pick has dealt with a slew of injuries in recent years.
In 2018-19, his North American pro debut season, Rubtsov got off to an outstanding all-around start for the Phantoms but then suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in the first period of his 14th game of the season. Early this past season, Rubtsov sustained another significant injury to the same shoulder on a seemingly harmless play along the boards. He missed more than a month.
He earned his first NHL recall early in the 2019-20 season while the Flyers were trying out various centers in the bottom six, and he dressed in his first four NHL games. Rubtsov was also part of the team’s Phase 3 training camp in July but was not offered a roster spot among the Black Aces the team took to the Bubble in Toronto. 2017 first-round pick Morgan Frost beat out Rubtsov for the opportunity.
On August 23, 2020, the Flyers loaned the 22-year-old to KHL team HK Sochi. He can be recalled to the Flyers when NHL training camp is slated to begin. He will be in the final year of his entry-level contract in 2020-21.
Pascal Laberge (2nd round, 36th overall): Laberge was a fast-riser in the QMJHL during his Draft year despite coping with serious health issues involving his parents. From his draft-plus-one year onward, Laberge has variously struggled with injuries (most notably post-concussion syndrome, and shoulder issues) and inconsistency in his play. In 2018-19, he appeared in 24 ECHL games with Reading and 23 AHL games with the Phantoms. He still lack consistency but showed flashes of the ability that made him a well-regarded prospect in his Draft year. The 22-year-old Laberge will enter the final year of his entry-level contract in 2019-20.
Carter Hart (2nd round, 48th overall): A prodigy in junior hockey as a three-time winner of the WHL’s top goaltender award, a two-time CHL best goaltender winner and Canada’s starter at the 2017-18 World Junior Championships. Hart hasn’t skipped a beat since turning pro. At age 22, he is now an established NHL goaltender and widely considered to be a fast-rising star at his position. He has one season remaining on his entry-level contract.
Wade Allison (2nd round, 52nd overall): Allison played four seasons for Western Micihigan before the power forward signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Flyers in the spring of 2020.
A torn right ACL suffered in January 2018 during his sophomore season at Western Michigan — at a time when Allison was excelling in the NCAA with 15 goals and 30 points in his first 22 games — was a major setback. Not only did it end his sophomore season prematurely, it also largely ruined his junior year and bothered him even through the summer of 2019. As a senior, Allison dealt with unrelated injury issues in the first half.
The good news is that, once he finally got healthy, Allison showed signs of regaining his form before the pandemic waylaid the March tournaments and forced the cancellation of the Frozen Four. He had just one goal and three points in his first eight games in 2019-20 but then settled in and posted nine goals and 20 points over his final 18 games.
In the immediate future, Allison needs an uninterrupted stretch of playing hockey. He has only played 48 games since the ACL tear, which was roughly 32 months ago.
Carsen Twarynski (3rd round, 82nd overall): Twarynski has enjoyed strong training camps in each of his two pro seasons to date. He was one of the final roster cuts before the 2018-19 season, going on to have an inconsistent and injury-affected rookie AHL season with the Phantoms. In 2019-20, Twarynski was a training camp dark horse who played his way onto the Flyers’ opening-night roster.
When Twarynski is at the top of his game, he brings an aggressive north-south and physical element to the game as a fourth-line winger. Although not known as a goal-scorer he has an explosive shot. Twarynski was unable to sustain his hot start and spent most of the campaign in Lehigh Valley: 15 NHL games, 31 AHL games.
Entering his third season, Twarynski is a depth winger and call-up option in case of injuries or if the Flyers are looking for potential physicality and forechecking pop for a stretch in the bottom six of the forward lineup. He will turn 23 on Nov. 24.
Connor Bunnaman (4th round, 109th overall): Another 2019 training camp dark horse who unexpectedly earned an opening night roster spot, Bunnaman went on to dress in 21 regular season games and even four postseason games for the Flyers over a couple of recalls to the big club.
In between, during his AHL time with the Phantoms this past season, Bunnaman dealt with a high ankle sprain that kept him out of the lineup for a month and physically affected him for several weeks beyond that. Once he finally got healthy, Bunnaman held his own the rest of the season and played better during his second NHL callup than his stint at the beginning of the year. Able to play center or wing, the 22-year-old forward is a candidate to compete for a 4th line or 13th forward role with the Flyers or be in the mix as a recall possibility if he opens next season back with the Phantoms.
Linus Högberg (5th round, 139th overall): The Swedish defenseman played three full and two partial seasons in the SHL with the Växjö Lakers, with whom he won the league championship in 2017-18. The Flyers signed the lanky defenseman to an entry-level contract on May 30, 2020; just before his NHL rights would have expired. Högberg turned 22 years on Sept. 4.
The plan for Högberg, pending the confirmation of a 2020-21 American Hockey League schedule, is for him to get some North American seasoning with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. He is a mobile defenseman with good puck moving skills.
Tanner Laczynski (6th round, 169th overall): A late-blooming prospect, Laczynski started to make a name for himself when his longshot World Junior Championship roster bid for Team USA in the 2016-17 tournament resulted in him beating out several more highly touted prospects to earn a roster spot. Playing a fourth-line role, he was part of a squad that went on to win the gold medal.
At the collegiate level for Ohio State, Laczynski worked his way up the lineup to the point where he regularly played on the top line for the final two and a half seasons of his collegiate career. He could be relied upon in college to score at close to a point-per-game pace, and sometimes even better.
Laczynski’s best attribute, apart from his physically mature frame, is his versatility. He can play wing or center. He projects as an above-average bottom six forward as a pro, who could also slot higher in the lineup as needed; somewhat in the mold of longtime current Flyer Michael Raffl in terms of deployment. Laczynski isn’t the fastest skater or the most naturally gifted talent, but he’s a good hockey player with the potential to help the team in different ways as he gains pro experience. He turned 23 on June 1.
No longer in the organization: Anthony Salinitri (University of Windsor), David Berhardt (SaiPa, Liiga).
2017 NHL DRAFT
Nolan Patrick (1st round, 2nd overall): Patrick is a restricted free agent this offseason. He turned 22 on Sept. 15. The number one goal right now, apart from his agent and the Flyers working out a new contract, is for Patrick to regain full health after missing the entire 2019-20 season due to chronic migraines. Chuck Fletcher has expressed optimism for a healthy return next season. First, however, Patrick will have to get into contact situations in practices and see how he holds up. He participated in a few practices in the latter part of the 2019-20 season but only on a non-contact basis.
Strictly from a hockey development point of view, his offensive game did not progress as much from year one to year two before he missed the 2019-20 season. His defensive game, which was decent for a 19-year-old rookie NHL center, took some overall forward steps in year two. Was he at future Selke Trophy winner Sean Couturier‘s defensive level as a rookie or a second-year player? No, but Couturier isn’t a fair standard to judge against because he was above-average defensively by veteran standards, even from his very first day in the NHL.
Morgan Frost (1st round, 27th overall): A rare unanimous — not merely consensus — pick among Flyers scouts when the team acquired extra 1st round picks in 2017 and 2018 from the St. Louis Blues in the Brayden Schenn trade, Frost dominated the Ontario Hockey League with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in 2017-18 and 2018-19. His D+1 and D+2 numbers were comparable to those Claude Giroux posted in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League regular season in the two years following the 2016 Draft. Frost also fared well, switching temporarily from center to wing, for Team Canada in the 2018-19 World Junior Championships.
Frost turned pro last season. It was a bit of a roller coaster ride for him, but one with some pretty significant highs. Flyers assistant general manager Brent Flahr recently gave an update on Frost’s progress through the time he spent in the Bubble. He also spoken more broadly of all the prospects in the system.
“Morgan Frost, even in the bubble, he was skating hard and working out every day. That’s great for him. But it’s been as long a time as he’s ever had without playing a hockey game [currently six-and-a-half months], and that’s challenging mentally. These kids need to play, and we’ll deal with that going forward at the same time. We just hope they’re all using this time to better themselves and get stronger, which most of these young guys really need,” Flahr said.
For Frost to earn a full-time NHL job sooner than later, the center faces a few challenges to conquer: 1) He will need to add more physical strength, so that he’s tougher to knock off the puck when he has it and fares better in muscle-on-muscle battles for body/stick positioning against opposing forwards; 2) His defensive play must continue to evolve if he’s to remain at center (added strength will help him in this regard), 3) He made strides as a rookie in playing faster and keeping his feet moving, but it needs to become a routine habit while simultaneously cutting back on the number of low-percentage decisions made when he has the puck. There were stretches as a rookie where both elements seemed to be coming together but there were also backslides in one or both.
Isaac Ratcliffe (2nd round, 35th overall): The Flyers moved very aggressively to move up in the second round when Ratcliffe was still on the board with the 35th overall pick.
Playing his first full pro season in 2019-20, Ratcliffe had an eye-opening experience. As with Frost, Ratcliffe saw — to a greater extent — that things he accomplished with relative ease in junior hockey were much, much harder to do even in the American Hockey League. Ratcliffe struggled mightily for half a season.
As the season progressed, Ratcliffe improved significantly in his defensive play and his work in tight quarters. Playing often in a fourth-line role, he saw penalty killing time, as he did in his latter OHL career, and had some success. The offensive side came around to some degree in the latter part of the season before the AHL pause and eventual cancelation but much of his offensive game as a pro remains untapped potential through one season. Noneless, for his improvements in puck battles and growth as a defensively aware forward, Phantoms head coach Scott Gordon deemed Ratcliffe the team’s most improved player in comparing him at the end of the season to the beginning.
Kirill Ustimenko (3rd round, 80th overall): A standout workhorse goaltender at the Russian junior level (MHL), Ustimenko bypassed the Russian minor league (VHL) and top pro level (KHL) to come to North America last season. He turned 21 on January 29.
Ustimenko spent much of the 2019-20 season at the ECHL level with the Reading Royals. His progress came along at a faster pace than initially expected, and he was moved up to the American Hockey League when a spot was created by the Flyers trading veteran J-F Berube to the New York Rangers.
The Flyers recently re-signed Lyon to a one-year contract. Ustimenko is likely to enter the 2020-21 AHL season as Lyon’s backup, trying to work his way into more frequent playing time as the season progresses.
Ustimenko is a good improviser in net and built a rep for being tough to beat on breakaways and willing to fight for saves in scrambles near the net. He is, however, still rather raw in the consistency of reading the play, tracking the puck, save selections, staying on the best possible angle, and making decisions when he’s handling the puck: all of which are common for the majority of young goalies.
Matthew Strome (4th round, 106th overall): Major skating concerns were the cause of Strome’s precipitous drop in the 2017 NHL and it was fully expected that he’d still be a work in progress upon arrival to the pro level. That was the case as a rookie in 2019-20 and remains the case now. The Flyers can afford to be patient.
Strome’s hands and ice vision have never been of concern. He’s good with the puck. He is still a below-average skater, but players such as Patrick Maroon and Tomas Holmstrom became NHLers despite similarly severe skating concerns when they first turned pro. Strome split the 2019-20 season between Reading (20 points in 25 games) and Lehigh Valley (four points in 19 games). An attainable goal for the 21-year-old over the next year is to earn more AHL ice time and play effectively for the Phantoms. There is need to rush him at this point.
Maksim Sushko (4th round, 107 overall): Sushko was a streaky offensive player at the Ontario Hockey League level but showed potential as a future bottom-six pro forward. The 21-year-old Belarusian winger had a generally promising rookie AHL season for the Phantoms in 2019-20. There is still an ongoing learning curve to negotiate in terms of the consistency of some of the details of his overall game, but Sushko appears to be on the right track. Offensively, he had 11 goals and 21 points this past season for a Phantoms team that scuffled to score.
On July 17, the Flyers loaned Sushko to a team in his native Belarus, KHL club Dinamo Minsk. In eight regular season games to date, he’s scored one goal.
Noah Cates (5th round, 137th overall): A high school hockey star in his native Minnesota, Cates has made steady year-to-year progress through the USHL and then the collegiate ranks in two seasons to date with Minnesota-Duluth. Cates also earned praise for his play for Team USA at the 2018-19 World Junior Championships.
The Flyers like Cates’ 200-foot game and believe he has some offensive upside as well, even on the lower end of a pro lineup. Oddly enough, Cates is the type of Minnesota hockey prospect that Chuck Fletcher and Brent Flahr prided themselves in grabbing in the mid-to-late rounds when they were the GM and AGM of the Minnesota Wild, but the Flyers (under Ron Hextall and Chris Pryor) beat them to the punch in the 2016 Draft. Now, he’s in the same organization as theirs.
Olle Lycksell (6th round,168th overall): The Flyers hold the signing rights to the undersized but skilled Swedish forward until June 1, 2021. Thereafter, he can become a free agent. He showed progress last season, posting nine goals and 21 points in 51 games. After the season, Lycksell switched clubs and joined Färjestad. The team has played three games to date this season.
No longer in the organization: Wyatt Kalynuk (Chicago Blackhawks organization).
2018 NHL DRAFT
Joel Farabee (1st round, 14th overall): It only took one year post-draft for the US National Team Development Program, Boston University and 2018-19 World Junior Championships standout to turn pro. He became the first player born in the 2000s to suit up for the Flyers.
He had his ups and downs offensively as a rookie but the young winger’s advanced two-way game enabled him to start in 52 games (8g-13a). Farabee subsequently dressed in 12 of the Flyers’ 16 postseason games (3g-2a) until sustaining a head injury that forced him out of the lineup late in the Second Round series against the Islanders.
Moving forward, Farabee is expected to be an important part of the Flyers’ roster plan. He is still lacking in physical strength; an area he is looking to improve this offseason. For next season, he should fit comfortably within the top 9 in the forward lineup and could settle in as a top-six forward who is reliable with or without the puck. Farabee turned 20 on Feb. 25.
Jay O’Brien (1st round, 19th overall): The Flyers swung for the fences with O’Brien, who utterly dominated against a modest grade of competition at the high school level for Thayer Academy. He also saw brief stretches with the USNDT and in the USHL in his Draft year. An impressive showing for Team USA at the 2018-19 WJC Summer Showcase went a long way toward being on the Team USA roster at the World Juniors.
Unfortunately for O’Brien the summer was the best part of 2018-19 for him. He struggled mightily at the NCAA level as a freshman at Providence College, both with injuries and overall effectiveness. After entering the season with sky-high offensive confidence and overall self-belief in his abilities, O’Brien’s confidence increasingly sagged as he was unable to get his season on the right track. For Team USA, he was on the World Juniors roster but scarcely saw the ice. In several games, he skated only a single shift.
After his freshman year, O’Brien decided to leave Providence and transfer to Boston University. Under NCAA transfer rules, O’Brien was required to sit out the 2019-20 season. However,the rules permitted him to spend the season playing in an amateur league, without forfeiting a year of athletic eligibility.
O’Brien opted to play Junior A hockey in Canada, joining the Penticton Vees of the BCHL. Dominance against that level of competition (sub major junior or NCAA caliber) was expected, and delivered. Despite missing 12 games due to injury, O’Brien collected a team-high 66 points (25g, 41a) in 46 games in the regular season and 10 points (5g, 5a) in five playoff games before the pandemic caused the cancellation of the remainder of the postseason.
Adam Ginning (2nd round, 50th overall): Ginning progressed very rapidly through the Swedish junior national team system as well as the club team junior ranks, reaching the SHL level a year ahead of his Draft eligible season. He played in the WJC as both an 18-year-old and 20-year-old and saw PK time in addition to regular 5-on-5 duties.
Ginning’s progress the last couple years has been slow, however. During the latter part of last season, he moved down a level as he was loaned to an Allsvenskan club. He’s back in SHL this season with a new club, Färjestad, but is scuffling to gain ice time.
Ginning is primarily a defensive defenseman. He still needs to improve with the puck on his stick. This was his scouting report a couple years ago — including the player’s own self-critique at the 2018 Draft — and remains the same now.
Jack St. Ivany (4th round, 112th overall): The USHL product will enter his junior year at Yale in 2020-21. He enjoyed a promising freshman season in 2018-19, and even made the Team USA roster for the World Junior Championships (playing very sparingly). Sophomore year was not a significant forward step, although he led his team in scoring among defensemen,
St. Ivany is skilled with the puck and has a 6-foot-2 frame. He is still working on various parts of his overall game but has been effective in stretches. The California native turned 21 on July 22.
Wyatte Wylie (5th round, 127th overall): Carter Hart’s former Everett Silvertips teammate made himself from a defensive defenseman into an all-situations player and team leader at the Western Hockey Level. Although he posted 64 points in 60 games in his final WHL season (when he was essentially an overager), the Flyers’ organizational expectation is that he will be more of a defensive D and penalty killer in the pros who keeps things simple and makes a decent first pass than the type of blueliner who posts a lot of points and is a power play candidate.
Samuel Ersson (5th round, 143rd overall): A product of the famed Brynäs system, the Swedish netminder had a dream season in his Draft-plus year after the SHL club loaned him to Västerås IK in order to get more playing time.
All Ersson did in 2018-19 was sweep every major award in Allsvenskan, including league MVP, goalie of the year and rookie of the year honors. He also became the starting goalie for Sweden at the World Junior Championships and enjoyed an excellent season.
In 2019-20, he graduated to the SHL level. Things didn’t go as smoothly in his first year at Sweden’s top level; consistency was the main issue. This season, he’s made one start to date, stopping 22 of 25 shots in a winning effort. The 6-foot-2 Ersson will turn 21 years old on Oct. 21.
Gavin Hain (6th round, 164th overall): Farabee’s former USNTDP teammate was a true freshman at University of North Dakota in 2019-20. The first two seasons of the forward’s collegiate career haven’t been awful, but his play has been inconsistent. The hope is that he develops into a more consistently effective and tenacious north-south player. He missed several games due to injury this past season.
Marcus Westfält (7th round, 205th overall): A physically sturdy fourth-line left winger and center in Swedish hockey, the player split time at the junior, SHL (Brynäs) and Allsvenskan levels in his Draft and D+1 years but spent all of last season in Allsvenskan with Västervik. He remains with that club entering the 2020-21 season. The 20-year-old forward plays more on a North American depth player mold — battles on the wall and down low and plays north-south — than the stereotypical big-rink trained player.
Egor Zamula (undrafted free agent): As with Phil Myers three years earlier, Zamula made the most of a training camp tryout invitation after going unselected in the 2018 NHL Draft. The Flyers signed him to an entry-level contract and got him into a a couple of preseason games before returning him to the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen.
Also similarly to Myers, Zamula’s prospect stock took off in his D+1 and D+2 seasons, as he became one of the better all-around defensemen in the Western Hockey League. This past season, he had a stellar first half for the Hitmen and logged the most ice time for Team Russia at the World Junior Championships. playing in every variety of game situation on the top pairing.
Zamula’s 2019-20 season ended abruptly after the WJC, as it was announced that he needed to undergo back surgery. The player rehabbed very diligently and earned an invite to the Flyers Phase 3 training camp in July. Zamula performed well in drills and scrimmages to earn a roster spot in the Bubble. He dressed in the Flyers’ 3-2 overtime exhibition game win over Pittsburgh in the Bubble.
2019 NHL DRAFT
Cam York (1st round, 14th overall): A fleet-footed, offensively gifted defenseman with a quick defensive stick in his own end of the ice, York was the No. 1 defenseman on the 2018-19 USTNDP roster. The squad produced an NHL Draft record-setting 17 picks in the NHL Draft, including six defensemen who were taken at some point in last year’s Draft. York is a bit undersized but, according to Flyers assistant general manager Brent Flahr, is making tremendous strides in adding muscle to his 5-foot-11 frame.
York enjoyed a strong freshman season, despite some injury issues, for a disappointing University of Michigan team. He was the lone 18-year-old defenseman to make the Team USA roster for the 2019-20 World Junior Championships. However, he played very sparingly in the tournament; perhaps partially due to a lingering injury.
Although primarily known for his offensive game — the Flyers project him as a future NHL power play regular, perhaps even on the first unit — York is a responsible two-way player. He is a virtual shoo-in to play in the WJC again but, this time, should see a lot more playing time than he did last year.
Bobby Brink (2nd round, 34th overall): When the Flyers traded down in the 2019 first round from the 11th to the 14th pick, they also maneuvered to eventually pick up the 34th overall pick to select Brink.
A standout in the USHL who also saw time with the USNTDP, Brink’s combination of high-skill with the puck (especially on the playmaking side but also as a finisher) but also sheer competitiveness and hockey sense led many to rate him in late first round to early second round range. Brink went on to post an encouraging freshman season at Denver in 2019-20 (24 points in 28 games) and played a combination of 4th line ice time at 5-on-5 and power play time on special teams for Team USA at the 2019-20 World Junior Championships.
Ronnie Attard (3rd round, 21st overall): A big-framed, physically aggressive rover of a defenseman with a very heavy shot, the late-blooming Attard ripped apart the USHL in 2018-19 with 30 goals and 65 points in 48 games played. He debuted with Western Michigan (Wade Allison’s club) as a 20-year-old freshman in 2019-20.
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Attard has started to work on playing within a more structured approach and picking his spots a little less indiscriminately on when to challenge defensively or pinch offensively without losing his signature aggressiveness entirely. A right-handed shooter, he bagged a half-dozen goals and 14 points in 30 games as a freshman. He turned 21 on March 20.
Mason Millman (4th round, 103rd overall): A silky skater on a 6-foot-1, 180-plus pound frame, Millman made good progress in 2019-20 on a powerhouse Saginaw Spirit (OHL) team. Early in the season, he had a lot of trouble defensively while focusing on making a fast team even faster by pushing the pace.
As the season went along, however, Millman’s two-way game improved significantly. Offensively, he finished the pandemic-shortened season with 13 goals and 44 points in 55 games. There’s still room for further grown and consistency in his all-around game. Millman turned 19 on July 18.
Egor Serdyuk (6th round, 165th overall): The Russian winger led the QMJJHL in rookie scoring in 2018-19 with 25 goals and 65 points in 63 games for Victoriaville. He had an uneven rookie camp with the Flyers before returning to his junior team. Serdyk blasted out of the gate offensively in the first week of the QMJHL season. Thereafter, he struggled for much of the season with a nagging lower-body injury that had him in and out of the lineup for awhile and then hampered his skating the rest of the season as he tried to play through the injury.
Serdyuk is still something of a one-dimensional talent but the right winger has undeniably good hands. His off-puck play still needs improvement, his skating can use more power and explosiveness and his 5-foot-11 frame as a whole will need added strength. He turned 19 on June 3.
Roddy Ross (6th round, 169th overall): A late-bloomer in Canadian junior hockey, the Flyers drafted the Seattle Thunderbirds netminder as a 19-year-old. He was the team’s undisputed No. 1 starter last season after claiming the job the previous campaign. The 6-foot-3 Ross turned 20 years old on July 4. He is slated to play an over-age WHL season in 2020-21 for the Regina Pats. The Flyers have until June 1, 2021 to sign Ross before relinquishing his NHL rights.
Bryce Brodzinski (7th round, 196th overall): A Minnesota Mr. Hockey winning high school player and a USHL offensive standout with Philadelphia roots in his hockey family (his father, former collegiate and minor league center Mike Brodzinski is a native Philadelphian), Brodzinski joined the University of Minnesota squad as a freshman in 2019-20.
As with most players selected that late in the Draft despite gaudy offensive stats against lower-level competition, there are many facets to Brodzinski’s game that need improvement for him to become a bonafide candidate for pro hockey advancement after college. Perhaps most notably, these include his skating and quickness, Brodzinski managed a dozen points (including seven goals) — as a freshman. He turned 20 on Aug. 9.