Latest Updates on the Top Prospects for the Philadelphia Flyers

Garrett BakerSenior Analyst IDecember 23, 2014

Latest Updates on the Top Prospects for the Philadelphia Flyers

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    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    The Philadelphia Flyers are looking like a long shot to make the playoffs next spring, but there is reason to be optimistic for the future of the Orange and Black.

    These five prospects all have legitimate potential and could grow into productive or even All-Star-caliber NHL players down the line.

    One thing that's obvious when looking at this list is the positions: There are no forwards on this list. Scott Laughton is now a full-fledged NHL player, and he was the only forward good enough to be considered a "top prospect" in Philadelphia's system.

    Here are updates on the five best Flyers prospects. 

Robert Hagg, D, Lehigh Valley (AHL)

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    In his first professional season, Robert Hagg has been a stalwart on Lehigh Valley's defense, playing tough minutes and excelling in a two-way role.

    Hagg has tallied 13 points in 28 games on a Lehigh Valley team that has struggled to score all season.

    I recently attended a Phantoms game, and Hagg looked strong on the puck all night. He makes good passes, skates well and generally looked like one of the Phantoms' best players on each shift.

    The 19-year-old has been loaned by the Flyers to play for Team Sweden in the World Junior Championships. Their first game is on Friday, December 26th. Make sure to watch for Hagg, who will be one of the best players on one of the best teams in the tournament. 

Shayne Gostisbehere, D, Lehigh Valley (AHL)

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    Shayne Gostisbehere excelled with the Phantoms early on in the year, registering five assists in five games.

    He got a call-up to the Flyers and played a couple of NHL games before being sent back to Lehigh Valley. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL and subsequently had surgery in November.

    There have been no reports on any setbacks in the past month, so we can only wait and see how Gostisbehere recovers from the injury. 

Anthony Stolarz, G, Lehigh Valley (AHL)

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    Frankly speaking, Anthony Stolarz might be the best prospect in the system right now, although many Flyers fans are probably less familiar with him.

    He got the start at the Phantoms game I was able to attend, and he posted a shutout against the Hershey Bears, who were all over him from start to finish. The 20-year-old made 32 saves on the night, using his 6'6" frame to cut down shooting lanes and make some difficult stops.

    Although a 5-5-0 record is only average, he's got an impressive .933 save percentage and a 2.29 goals-against average.

    With Rob Zepp replacing Steve Mason for the time being, Stolarz should get some more chances in the coming weeks. 

Sam Morin, D, Rimouski (QMJHL)

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    Sam Morin was one of the last cuts in training camp this past offseason, and the 19-year-old was eventually sent back to juniors.

    He played well at the start of the year but unfortunately broke his jaw in October, so there is not a whole lot to report from an on-ice standpoint.

    The 6'7" Morin did, however, make Team Canada's roster for the World Junior Championships, which is an impressive feat considering the wealth of young Canadian talent vying for spots.

    Canada's first game is on Friday, December 26th, so make sure to check them out if you want to get a glimpse of Morin in action.

Travis Sanheim, D, Calgary (WHL)

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    The youngest player on this list, Travis Sanheim was a bit of a surprise selection when GM Ron Hextall took him with the 17th overall pick this past June.

    But the Manitoba native been sensational in the WHL, posting 10 goals and 21 assists in 31 games. Scoring at a point-per-game clip is impressive for any juniors player, but it's especially incredible for an 18-year-old defenseman.

    Sanheim was one of the final cuts for the Team Canada World Juniors roster, which is also encouraging. He's not going to play in Philadelphia for another couple years, but his future certainly looks bright. 

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