3 Prospects the Philadelphia Flyers Cannot Trade

Garrett BakerSenior Analyst IDecember 14, 2012

3 Prospects the Philadelphia Flyers Cannot Trade

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    With the NHL lockout dragging on, fans everywhere have been forced to look ahead to the future of their teams. For the Philadelphia Flyers, there aren't many top prospects left in the system because of the success of some of their top young talent in the NHL.

    Due to their lack of depth right now, there are a few prospects who the Flyers absolutely must hang on to. Besides their potential value as NHL players, these three prospects could increase their worth as time goes on and become big parts of the organization.

    I only considered players who have yet to play in an NHL game for this list. Therefore, that leaves out guys like Erik Gustafsson, Ben Holmstrom, Eric Wellwood and Marc-Andre Bourdon.

    Here are the three top prospects that the Flyers need to hold on to. 

Nick Cousins

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    When the Flyers drafted Sean Couturier with the eighth overall pick in the 2011 draft, it overshadowed their next pick, Nick Cousins, who they took 60 picks later. 

    Cousins, a center, has been one of the best players for the OHL's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds over the past few seasons. Cousins is a tough two-way player who combines physicality with a nice scoring touch.

    His game isn't necessarily pretty, but he works hard and gets the job done. Comparing him to Scott Hartnell wouldn't be a stretch.

    The 19-year-old still has a lot of room to grow, both physically and mentally, as he is a little undersized at 5'11" and was charged with sexual assault this past summer.

    If Cousins continues to develop and mature, he could become a valuable depth player in a few years.  

Shayne Gostisbehere

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    Gostisbehere was taken by the Flyers in the third round of this year's draft as a relative unknown from Union College.

    However, this is a player with a solid pedigree, and while he may be short in stature, he is definitely not lacking in talent or potential. After a solid freshman season at Union, he was named to the ECAC Hockey All-Rookie Team.

    In 41 games, Gostisbehere had 17 assists and was plus-18 en route to the first Frozen Four appearance in school history.

    The Florida native has continued to impress since being drafted, and could help out in the NHL sooner rather than later as the Flyers don't have many able bodies to plug in right now.  

Scott Laughton

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    As the Flyers' first-round pick in June's draft, a lot will be expected of Scott Laughton. Some critics say he was taken too early, but Laughton fits the Flyers' mold perfectly.

    He's a hard worker who gets it done at both ends of the ice. He's average in size, but makes up for it with his grit and intellect.

    The 18-year-old has played the past two seasons with the Oshawa Generals of the OHL. Last year, he tallied 53 points in 61 games for the Generals and was plus-8 on the season.

    While the center position is a bit crowded right now for the Flyers, Danny Briere isn't getting any younger. Laughton should push to make the roster in a couple of years.

    As long as he continues to develop, Laughton could be used as a valuable trade asset down the line, but the Flyers need to hold on to him for a while to let that value increase.