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Flyers Prospects To Watch For During The 2016 World Juniors

ivan-provorov

We’re now less than 2 weeks away from the start of the 2016 World Junior Championships in Helsinki. Last week we talked about Auston Matthews and Team USA gearing up for the tournament. And today we’ll look at a copule other teams and the Flyers prospects that will be representing those teams in just 12 more days. It’s been said time and time again that the future is bright for the Philadelphia Flyers. The kids they have in the system are going to be a bunch of studs. And you’ll be able to get a good glimpse of them at this tournament. So let’s get into it.

Ivan Provorov, Team Russia, 7th Overall Draft Pick in 2015, Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL)

Over the summer, some people said that out of all the prospects on the blueline the Flyers have stock piled, Provorov’s game would translate the best to the NHL. Through 30 games so far in the WHL, Provorov has 28 points on 7 goals and 21 assists. He’s a +28 on the year and only has 6 penalty minutes so far. The thing I love most about Provorov is that he’s playing in the WHL instead of back home in Russia. He’s been playing in North America for the past few years and is pretty much the furthest thing from a Russian that any Russian could possibly be. Look for him to log plenty of minutes on the blue line for Team Russia during the WJC and just prepare your eyes to watch him skate up the ice with the puck on his stick. It’s a thing of beauty.

Radel Fazleev, Team Russia, 6th Round Pick in 2014, Calgary Hitmen (WHL)

fazleev-teddytoss

Whenever Flyers prospects get brought up, everyone immediately starts to talk about the defense. And admittedly, the prospect pool offensively for the Flyers isn’t quite as deep as on the blue line. With that being said, however, 2014 6th round draft pick Radel Fazleev has elevated his game this past year and will almost certainly earn himself a spot on Russia’s roster. Fazleev is a top 10 scorer in the WHL so far this year with 42 points (14 G, 28 A) in 33 games. He’s listed at 6’1″ and 192 lbs, so if he just gets a little more weight on that frame then I think he could end up being a nice big body kind of guy for the Flyers to work with. But that’s enough of the Russians for now. Let’s make our way on over to Canada and talk about Fazleev’s teammate in Calgary.

Travis Sanheim, Team Canada, 17th Overall Draft Pick in 2014, Calgary Hitmen (WHL)

At the moment, it looks like Sanheim will be on the top pairing for Team Canada this tournament. And I doubt that will change at all over the next 12 days. Travis Sanheim is the real deal. He is 2nd among all WHL defensemen in scoring despite playing 6 less games than the current leader. Sanheim has 31 points (8G, 23 A) in 24 games played this season and is a huge reason why Calgary is one of the top teams in the WHL this season. Honestly, it’s kind of a blessing that the Flyers’ blue line is such a mess this year because I love Sanheim getting more development in Juniors this season. But make no mistake about it, he’s extremely close to being ready to make the jump. I think a lot of fans will fall in love if they haven’t already during this tournament.

Travis Konecny, Team Canada, 24th Overall Draft Pick in 2015, Ottawa 67s (OHL)

Travis Konecny was leading the OHL in scoring for a while this season. Now it’s not so much that he’s dropped off as the fact that the kids playing for the London Knights have just taken off, but he’s still top 10 in the league with 45 points (7 G, 38 A) in 29 games. Now when you look at that stat line, obviously you see the kid needs to start putting the puck in the back of the net himself a little more often. But Konecny’s talent goes far beyond just scoring goals. He was the captain of the Ottawa 67s last season as a 17-year-old. The kid is a natural leader, he’s tough, and he makes his teammates better. All things that you desperately need out of a guy who is going to be in your top 6. When you think about what the Flyers could look like in just a couple short years, you’ve got Schenn-Giroux-Voracek and Simmonds-Couturier-Konecny. Those are 2 lines that could do some serious damage and expect Konecny to be doing a little bit of everything this tournament.

Felix Sandstrom, Team Sweden, 3rd Round Draft Pick in 2014, Byrnas IF (SHL)

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The Flyers are pretty set in net right now with Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth. However, they have a couple of homegrown products in the pipeline that could very ably take over for the two net minders in the coming years. Anthony Stolarz has been lighting it up in the AHL with Lehigh Valley so far this season and looks to be the Flyers next #1 guy. Sandstrom also challenge Stolarz for that spot but a tandem between the two of them seems like a dream right now. Expect Sandstrom to be Sweden’s #1 goalie this tournament and fellow Swede and Flyers prospect Oskar Lindblom will most likely be joining him as well. Lindblom is another one of those guys like Fazleev who have surprisingly elevated their game lately and make the Flyers offensive prospect pool just a little deeper.

We can get a full WJC preview blog if people are actually interested in one next week.

@BarstoolJordie

*** We’re now just 3 days away from Barstool @ The Rink. December 17th, Flyers vs Canucks, $98 for a ticket plus all you can eat/drink starting an hour before the game. Sounds like the perfect early Christmas present to me.

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