The 2021 NHL season was one to forget for Flyers fans as the season did not progress how the team or fans thought it would. So now is a good time to take a look ahead at some of the most important Flyers prospects for the future.
Cam York is arguably the most anticipated prospect for the Flyers headed into the 2021-22 season as he has the potential to be a top-pair defenseman. The most exciting part of York’s game is his intuition and ability to quarterback the powerplay like Quinn Hughes or Cale Makar.
The 2020-21 season has been very good to York as he has had good production for the three teams he’s appeared for this year. He first appeared for team USA at the World Juniors, where he had 6 points (1 G, 5 A) in 7 games as captain of the squad. York also had a lot of production with the University of Michigan, where he got 20 points in 24 games (4 G, 16 A). Finally, York is currently playing with the Phantoms, where he’s gotten off to a good start with 3 points (1 G, 2 A) in 4 games.
Chuck Fletcher made a lot of fans in 2019 when he traded up to select Bobby Brink in the 2nd round of the draft. Bobby Brink is a very high-level goal scorer who can give defenses headaches with his tool bag of offensive skills. If Brink can improve his skating, he will put the hockey world on notice once he gets to the pro level.
Like York, Brink has had a reasonably busy 2020-21 season as he made an appearance with Team USA during the World Juniors and played college hockey. During the World Juniors, Brink recorded a respectable 6 points (2 G, 4 A) in 7 games. In college, Brink recorded 11 points (2 G, 9 A) in 15 games for the University of Denver Pioneers.
As the 2020 first-round selection of the Flyers, Foerster has many expectations as a prospect at the NHL level. In his first season in the organization, he’s done an excellent job meeting those expectations of his development.
In 18 games with the Phantoms this year, Foerster has 14 points (9 G, 5 A) and looks to be improving every game. Heading into the 2021-22 NHL season, Foerster will have a legitimate case for a roster spot with the Flyers. He is often compared to Corey Perry, who’s had a very productive NHL career, so the future looks bright for Foerster.
After a 2018-19 season at Providence scoring 5 points (2 G, 3 A), O’Brien went to play a season for Penticton Vees of the BCHL. In his single season in the BCHL, O’Brien netted 66 points (24 G, 41 A) in 46 games. He then transferred to Boston University for the 2020-21 season, where he’s accumulated 16 points (8 G, 8 A) in 16 games for the Terriers.
The start of O’Brien’s career was a bit rocky, but he looks to be back on the road to proving was he was a first-round selection in 2018. At only 21 years old, he’ll be given some time to develop to his potential and hopefully contribute for the Flyers in a few seasons down the road.
After he was selected with their 3rd round pick in 2015, the Flyers’ top goaltender prospect for the past few years after Carter Hart has been Felix Sandstorm. The goaltender from Sweden had an awe-inspiring junior career as he appeared in the World Juniors twice for Sweden.
Before the 2021 AHL season started, Sandstorm played for Västerviks IK of HockeyAllsvenskan, where he appeared in 5 games, recording a 2.74 GAA and .921 SV%. Once the AHL season got started, Sandstorm went back to the Phantoms and had a little rockier start. In 7 games with the Phantoms, he recorded a 3.89 GAA and .877 SV%.
The 2021-22 season will be a pivotal one for Sandstorm as the Flyers will be looking for Carter Hart’s backup when Brian Elliot presumably leaves this summer.
Featured image – Lehigh Valley Phantoms