Thursday, April 17, 2014

Flyers Prospects in the Postseason

The players in the Flyers pipeline have garnered a lot of attention this postseason, both positive and negative. Here are a few write-ups to get everyone up to speed.

Shayne Gostisbehere (D, Union College, NCAA)

Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere absolutely set the Frozen Four on fire. Playing in his future home rink, the Wells Fargo Center, Ghost gave Flyers fans a preview of what he can bring to a hockey club. He posted 2 assists in Union's 5-4 win over Boston College in the semifinals, but he waited until the championship to steal the show. In the 1st period, Gostisbehere used his slick skating ability to create space and got Union on the board with a beautiful wrist shot to tie the game at 1. Ghost added two assists later on as Union skated to a 7-4 win over Minnesota to capture their first ever national title. He finished +11 in the Frozen Four and was named the most outstanding player. Three days after winning it all, he was signed to an entry-level contract by the Flyers. Gostisbehere will skate with the Phantoms for their remaining games, but unfortunately will not suit up for the Flyers this postseason.

Here is a nice little reel of Ghost's championship game.

Scott Laughton (C, Oshawa Generals, OHL)

The Flyers top prospect has scored at a decent pace so far in the playoffs. He's recorded 3 goals and 4 assists in 7 games. Oshawa made quick work of their first two opponents, sweeping both Mississauga and Peterborough. However, Laughton received a three game suspension for a butt-end he gave to a Peterborough player during game 2 of the series. The Gens will face the North Bay Battalion in the Eastern Conference finals. Laughton will have to sit out game 1 on April 18th before he can return to action. Oshawa is favored over North Bay, so it is unlikely we will see Laughton playing with the Flyers anytime soon.

Taylor Leier (LW, Portland Winterhawks, WHL)

Taylor Leier has surprised a lot of people in the hockey world this year. Leier made the Canadian World Junior team and was one of the WHL's top scorers, both accomplishments were unexpected. His production slowed toward the end of the season but he still finished 21st in points. Leier's solid play has continued thus far in the postseason. He has recorded 4 goals and 11 assists in 9 games, enough to put him in the top 10 playoff scorers. The Winterhawks have yet to really be tested in the first two series. They've blown past Vancouver and Victoria, with most of their wins coming in blowout fashion. The Hawks are set to face Kelowna in the next round. Taylor Leier will go head to head will fellow Flyer draft pick, Tyrell Goulbourne.

Anthony Stolarz (G, London Knights, OHL)

The OHL playoffs were not very kind to Anthony Stolarz and the London Knights. Stolarz was off to a pretty good start, he posted a .933 save percentage in the Knights' first three games vs Windsor. However during that third game, Stolarz lost his cool and did a very, very dumb thing. He was lightly slashed after covering a puck by Windsor forward Josh Ho-Sang. Stolarz retaliated by hitting Ho-Sang in the back of the head with his goalie stick. (Video) The OHL suspended Stolarz for 8 games. The Knights were eliminated by Guelph in the next round. Being the host for the Memorial Cup, Stolarz and his team will have a chance to redeem themselves. It has already been announced that the final two games of his suspension have been waived, so look for him to return as the starter.

Samuel Morin (D, Rimouski Oceanic, QMJHL)
Sam Morin and Rimouski were very up and down during the QMJHL playoffs. Rimouski blew past Chicoutimi in 4 games but were halted by Blainville-Boisbriand in the next round. Morin had a pretty good playoff in terms of offense, scoring 4 goals and adding 4 assists in 11 games. But his defensive play was suspect at times. The worst for both Morin and his team came in game 7 of the series vs the Armada. Rimouski blew a 4-0 lead and ended up losing 8-7 in overtime. Morin did not have one of his best games. He finished at -1 and took a 10 minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the 1st period. To top it all of Morin suffered a strained achilles in the 3rd and only played a few shifts afterwards. A time table for his recovery has not been announced.

Other Notes

Jason Akeson will be in the Flyers lineup for game 1 against the Rangers.

Tyrell Goulbourne and Kelowna are set to face Portland in the WHL conference finals. Goulbourne has notched 2 goals and 2 assists in the Rockets' 9 playoff games.

Goalie Merrick Madsen appeared in 3 games for Minot in the NAHL playoffs. He posted a 2.46 GAA and a .932 SV%.

D-man Terrance Amorosa and Sioux City are underway in their opening round series vs Omaha. Amorosa is a +2 in 2 games thus far.

Forward Michael Parks recorded a goal and an assist in North Dakota's NCAA tournament run. UND defeated Wisconsin and Ferris State before being knocked out by Minnesota in the Frozen Four.

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