The Philadelphia Flyers are coming into this season with arguably the best prospect pool of any team in the NHL.
They’ve done a terrific job of drafting and signing young talent over the last couple of years, and this preseason has just confirmed that.
There are a number of rookies vying for spots on their opening night roster, but how many of them will the Flyers actually keep?
It sounds like as many as six rookies could break camp with the team, which is remarkable.
Defensemen Travis Sanheim, Samuel Morin, Robert Hagg, and forwards Nolan Patrick, Oskar Lindblom, and Taylor Leier all have an opportunity to stick with the big club in 2017-18.
Sanheim, Morin and Patrick were all selected in the first round of their respective drafts, while Robert Hagg (second round), Lindblom (fifth round), Leier (fourth round) were all selected with later picks.
Of the six players mentioned above, only Leier would have to clear waivers if he was sent to the minors.
After he scored a pair of goals during one of last week’s split-squad games, Leier received praise from head coach Dave Hakstol.
“That’s what you love about Taylor. You know what you’re going to get from him,” Hakstol said, per CSN Philly. “He’s the guy who knows and understands the detail of the game. He’s a pretty consistent performer in the role that you give him.”
As for Lindblom, he’s found a way to impress some of his teammates.
“He’s a smart player who knows where he has to be to put the puck in the net,” Voracek said earlier this month, per the Philadelphia Inquirer. “He was one of the best forwards in the Swedish League last year. I would say that’s pretty impressive at his age.”
It’ll be interesting to see how many youngsters they end up keeping around when it’s all said and done. Of course, most of these players can easily be sent to the minors even if they do break camp with the team.
Dressing three rookie defensemen probably isn’t a recipe for success in 2017-18, but the long-term benefits could be gigantic for the organization.