Breaking Down Philadelphia Flyers' Prospects at Forward
This first half will focus on their top forwards and what each brings to the table. Their roles now are obviously going to change if they get to the NHL, so I tried to account for and do some prediction for that.
These top five prospects all have unique skill sets, which could make them valuable to Philadelphia at some point in the future.
Here is an in-depth breakdown of the Flyers' top forward prospects.
Taylor Leier, LW
Photo via The Columbian
Taylor Leier is a relative unknown to a lot of Flyers fans, but he is a scrappy forward who excels as a two-way winger and plays with a style that Philly fans love.
He's a solid skater and strong player who does a lot of little things like backchecking well. Leier has decent stick skills and works hard all over the ice, and he ended up being a point-per-game player this past season in the WHL.
Scott Laughton, C
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Scott Laughton is a pretty good-sized center at 6'1" and weighing in around 180 pounds. He is a hard-nosed two-way forward who skates well and has no glaring weakness in his game.
He does not have a great shot and won't dangle around people, but he has good hands and vision and can create offense. While Laughton won't wow anyone with any one attribute, he has a complete enough game already that he could make an impact in the NHL this season.
Petr Straka, RW
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The Philadelphia Flyers beat out a number of teams this April to sign winger Petr Straka, who was originally selected 55th overall by Columbus in 2010.
Straka is a great skater who can push the pace of the game. He is an all-around skilled offensive player who is a threat with the puck. But his physical and defensive effort are lacking, and he will need to develop that before he gets to the NHL.
Jason Akeson, RW
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Jason Akeson has been a major producer in the OHL and AHL because of his incredible offensive instincts and creativity.
He is a smaller winger with quick hands and feet who is able to control the puck and make his own chances while also setting up his teammates. His defensive game is average at best, though, which is his biggest limitation.
Nick Cousins, C
Photo via Philly.com
Nick Cousins is a slightly undersized (5'10", 169 lbs) but feisty center who does a lot of things well and has really done a lot to develop his all-around game.
He will fight for the puck in the corners and work along the boards, and he also forechecks and backchecks hard. His offensive creativity is underrated, and he uses his soft hands and skating ability to make things happen around the net.