The Philadelphia Flyers' Best Prospect at Each Position Entering 2013-14 Season
The Philadelphia Flyers' prospect pool was severely lacking after a few years of weak draft classes, but the Flyers have really revamped things in the past two years.
Their prospect pool still is not one of the better ones in the league, but they have good young players on their NHL roster, which contributes to the depleted farm system.
Their top few prospects are still very promising, however, and I have provided a profile of each of them here. There are a couple players who will make appearances in the NHL this season, while the rest are likely a few years away from having an NHL impact.
Here are the Flyers' top prospects at each position entering the 2013-14 season.
Center: Scott Laughton
Scott Laughton was the Flyers' first-round pick in 2012 (20th overall). He played in five games for Philadelphia before being sent back to the OHL's Oshawa Generals.
Laughton went on to dominate for Oshawa, scoring 56 points in 49 games. He is a scrappy, average-sized two-way center with underrated offensive talent in the mold of former Flyers captain Mike Richards.
Laughton has a pretty good shot at making the club this year, although he would probably be a winger on the third or fourth line.
Left Wing: Taylor Leier
Taylor Leier is a name that not many Flyers fans know, but he is a guy who could make an impact in the NHL some day as a reliable third-line left wing.
He entered the WHL late but had a solid 2011-12 season with the Portland Winterhawks before being taken 117th overall in the fourth round of the 2012 draft. He then went and nearly doubled his point total in 2012-13 to 62, which has built some excitement around the promising Winterhawks winger.
Right Wing: Jason Akeson
Jason Akeson has played just one game in the NHL (in which he scored a goal), but that could change this season. The shifty right winger is undersized but has a ton of offensive talent.
He led the entire OHL in points (108) in 2010-11 as a member of the Kitchener Rangers and followed that up with a 55-point season in '11-12 and a 53-point campaign in the AHL '12-13 for the Adirondack Phantoms. Look for him to get some time as an injury call-up this year.
Defense: Samuel Morin
Samuel Morin was just drafted a couple months ago, but he's already one of the Flyers' top prospects. The 11th overall pick in 2013 has a lot of pressure on his shoulders in Philadelphia.
Coming in at 6'6", 203 pounds, Morin is a big kid who uses his size to his advantage and plays a physical defensive game. He just turned 18 years old and has to do a lot of development with his puck control and decision-making, but he could become a top-pairing defenseman in the next five years.
Goalie: Anthony Stolarz
After Laughton and Morin, goalie Anthony Stolarz is the most exciting prospect in the Flyers system. The 2012 second-round pick has been climbing steadily up the ranks in the past 18 months.
He started in the NAHL, and he's now a successful OHL goalie. He's in a good position to make USA's 2014 World Junior Team, per Travis Hughes of Broad Street Hockey.