Philadelphia Flyers' Most Underrated Prospect at Each Position

Garrett BakerSenior Analyst IJanuary 19, 2014

Philadelphia Flyers' Most Underrated Prospect at Each Position

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    The Philadelphia Flyers have a decent prospect pool right now, although a number of guys have remained underrated.

    These players all have some real NHL potential even though they aren't getting their fair share of credit and hype. While their time may not be coming this season, they are prospects to watch out for in the future.

    They may not all have been high draft picks or highly acclaimed junior players, but they're developing well in the Flyers system and could surprise people in the coming years.

    Here are Philly's most underrated prospects at each position.

Goalie: None

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    LAKE PLACID, NY - AUGUST 08: (L-R) Goaltenders Thatcher Demko #30 and Anthony Stolarz #35 of Team USA prepare for their game against Team Finland during the 2013 USA Hockey Junior Evaluation Camp at the Lake Placid Olympic Center on August 8, 2013 in Lake
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Calvin Heeter doesn't ever look like he's going to crack into the NHL lineup, Merrick Madsen is a long-term project at best, and Anthony Stolarz isn't underrated.

Defense: Mark Alt

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    People talk about Samuel Morin and Robert Hagg, who were the Flyers' first two picks in the 2013 draft. And Shayne Gostisbehere has also gotten some praise in the hockey world this year.

    But Hockey's Future ranks all three of them behind Alt in its prospect rankings. The former football and hockey star at Cretin-Derham High School in Minnesota is also the son of former NFL lineman Jon Alt.

    He's a beast at 6'3", 199 pounds who can also skate pretty well. After starring at the University of Minnesota, he is now playing for the Phantoms and could fight for a roster spot next season.

Left Wing: Taylor Leier

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    Everyone knew that Scott Laughton was the captain of Team Canada at this year's World Junior Championships. But he wasn't the only Flyers forward on the roster.

    Leier doesn't have flashy moves on the ice and is reserved off it, which is why he's kept a low profile as a prospect thus far. But he has some legitimate NHL potential as a two-way role player on the wing.

    After scoring 62 points in 64 games last year and helping lead the Portland Winterhawks to their first ever WHL championship victory, he was named their captain for the 2013-14 season. 

Right Wing: Petr Straka

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    He wasn't drafted by the Flyers, so Straka is still virtually unknown. He was a second-round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2010 but failed to sign with them and was then picked up by the Flyers this past spring.

    He had 41 goals and 41 assists in 55 games last season for Baie-Comeau of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He has phenomenal hands and is a shifty skater.

    But his strength and defensive ability are both very weak, which will limit his NHL potential.

Center: Nick Cousins

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    Everyone is on the Scott Laughton hype train, but there's a chance that Cousins can turn into a very productive NHL player in his own right.

    They play relatively similar styles, and while Cousins is slightly smaller than Laughton, he makes up for it with his energy and tenacity. He's also a little more offensively creative than Laughton.

    Although his upside is somewhat limited, Cousins has offensive talent; he was one of the highest scorers in the OHL last season, scoring 27 goals and adding 76 assists in 64 games.