Ranking The Top 10 Flyers Prospects: 10 Through 6

The 2014-2015 hockey season is in the rear view mirror for members of the Philadelphia Flyers organization. Flyers prospects have finished their season and are preparing for the summer.

In less than a month, the outlook of the Flyers’ farm system will look very different. The Flyers currently hold the seventh overall pick, and it is quite possible that the player whom they select could immediately become their top prospect. They also have six other picks in the first four rounds.

Therefore, now is a good time to take inventory of the system. For the first time in years, the Flyers have enough prospects to actually make a list like this, and there are sure to be some decent prospects left off of my list.

Scott Laughton (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
Scott Laughton (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Because he played over 30 games with the Flyers last year, and will not be considered an NHL rookie next season, Scott Laughton will not be on this list. However, he remains a quality young player in the organization.

I will present my top-five Flyers prospects later this coming week. The list below comprises the prospects that I feel are the 10th through sixth best in the Flyers system. This is subjectively based upon where I believe about each player’s long term potential/ceiling, where they are now, and what tools they hold for the future.

10. Danick Martel

Position: Center/Left Wing
Size: 5’8″ – 162 lbs
Age: 20
2014-2015 League: QMJHL
2014-2015 Team: Blainville-Boisbriand Armada
Points: 64 GP – 48G, 54A – 102P
NHL Projection: Middle-six center with high-end skills. He has the potential to be a Tyler Johnson type player, but could just as easily become an NHL/AHL tweener.

The Flyers signed Danick Martel as a free agent in March. Despite being undrafted twice because of his small stature, Martel finished second in scoring in the QMJHL last season. Martel did not look out of place as he played in five AHL games (1G, 2A) at the end of the season.

It is too early to say anything definitive about Martel. He will likely start next season in Lehigh Valley to round out his game. How he adjusts to the pro game and incorporates his skills will go a long way in deciding whether or not he will be a viable NHL option in the future. At 20 years old, his best years should still be well ahead of him.

9. Mark Friedman

Position: Defense (right)
Size: 5’11” – 185 lbs
Age: 19
2014-2015 League: NCAA
2014-2015 Team: Bowling Green
Points: 39GP – 2G, 17A – 19P
NHL Projection: Friedman has the potential to be a top-four puck moving defenseman. However, it is far too early to make any long-term conclusions about Friedman’s game.

The Flyers’ third round pick from the 2014 NHL draft had a solid first season in the NCAA. He stepped right into a full time role playing in all 39 games for Bowling Green.

Friedman started the season with only one goal and two assists through his first 13 games. However, as he adjusted to NCAA play, his point totals jumped. He accumulated another goal and 15 assists (16pts) through the final 26 games of the season. He is definitely a few years away from being NHL-ready, but the early returns are good for Mark Friedman.

8. Nick Cousins

Agitating Nick Cousins (Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
Agitating Nick Cousins (Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

Position: Center
Size: 5’11” – 177 lbs
Age: 21
2014-2015 League: AHL (brief NHL stint)
2014-2015 Team: Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Points: 64GP – 22G, 34A – 56P
NHL Projection: His small stature and average skating may hold Cousins back from ever attaining a top-six NHL role. But his skill set could make him a power play specialist even if he plays bottom-six minutes at even strength.

After a sub-par rookie season in the pro ranks, Cousins turned his game around in 2014-2015. This turnaround was not unpredictable to those who were paying attention, and he ended the season as the Phantoms leading scorer.

At the end of the season, Cousins earned an 11-game NHL call-up. He did not register any points, but he was also skating with a borderline AHLer (Rinaldo) and a small grinder in Ryan White. It was not exactly the best environment for him to show off his skills.

Over the years Cousins has shown an amazing skill set, but his size and skating are working against him. However, that skill set could be a valuable addition to a second power play unit, even if he never earns a top-six even strength role.

7. Anthony Stolarz

Anthony Stolarz Philadelphia Flyers
Evan Smith’s height conjures up not too distant memories of Anthony Stolarz being highly coveted by NHL teams before the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. [photo: Amy Irvin]
Position: Goalie
Size: 6’6″ – 220 lbs
Age: 21
2014-2015 League: AHL
2014-2015 Team: Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Statistics: 9-13-4, 3.28 GAA, .905 SV%
NHL Projection: Stolarz has the potential to be a top-notch goaltender. It is also just as possible that he never puts it all together. At 21, he is still a relative unknown.

After two solid season with the London Knights, Stolarz turned pro for the 2014-2015 season. He spent most of the season as the backup to Rob Zepp. His stats were not eye-popping and he surely had his ups and downs throughout the season.

Stolarz is still young by goalie standards. He has the size and athleticism to be a similar goalie to Steve Mason or Ben Bishop. However, it may take Stolarz one or two more years at the AHL level to polish his game. He is by far the best goalie prospect in the Flyers organization.

6. Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Position: Right Wing
Size: 5’11” – 187 lbs
Age: 19
2014-2015 League: QMJHL
2014-2015 Team: Val D’Or Foreurs
Points: 61GP – 38G, 42A – 80P
NHL Projection: Aube-Kubel has all of the tools to become a top-six NHL winger some day. Even though the upside is there, he still has a little ways to go before he would crack an NHL roster.

With the departure of Anthony Mantha from Val D’Or, the 2014-2015 season was Aube-Kubel’s time to shine. And shine he did. He missed a couple of games in the middle of the season due to a knee-on-knee hit and took a little while to recover. However, over the course of the final 36 games of the season, Aube-Kubel accumulated 59 points (28G, 31A).

He will likely be sent to the Q for one more season, but Aube-Kubel looks to be on the right track to the NHL. He is not a big player, but he also is not tiny. He should be able to challenge for a spot on Canada’s World Junior team next year and build upon his solid 2014-2015 campaign.

Honorable Mentions: Mark Alt, Taylor Leier, Reece Willcox, and Radel Fazleev.