NHL.com is providing in-depth prospect analysis for each of its 31 teams throughout August. Today, the top five prospects for the Philadelphia Flyers, according to NHL.com.
[Flyers 31 IN 31: Season preview | 3 Questions | Fantasy breakdown | Behind the Numbers]
How acquired: Selected with No. 48 pick in 2016 NHL Draft
Last season: Everett (WHL): 41 GP, 31-6-3, 1.60 GAA, .947 SV%
Hart, 20, was named the best goaltender in the Western Hockey League and the Canadian Hockey League last season, and helped Canada win the gold medal at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship. Hart (6-foot-1, 180 pounds) likely will start the season with Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League, but the Flyers did not rule out Hart being in the NHL sooner rather than later.
"I think there's no expectations on him other than to go out and develop as all our young guys do and see how it goes," assistant general manager Chris Pryor said. "We're in no hurry. He's in a good spot right now. He's ready to play pro hockey, and we'll see where it goes."
Projected NHL arrival: Next season
2. Oskar Lindblom, F
How acquired: Selected with No. 138 pick in 2014 NHL Draft
Last season: Philadelphia: 23 GP, 2-4-6; Lehigh Valley (AHL): 54 GP, 16-18-34
Lindblom, 22, started last season, his first in North America, with Lehigh Valley and played well enough to earn a regular spot in the lineup with the Flyers after he made his NHL debut Feb. 20.
He clicked at left wing with center Nolan Patrick, but with forward James van Riemsdyk added as a free agent and expected to play alongside Patrick this season, it's likely Lindblom (6-1, 191) will skate on the third line.
"I think it was a development year, a growing year," Pryor said. "He had some ups and downs like all young kids do, (but) I thought he handled it well. … It's going to be up to Oskar, but with the way the young man has developed so far, I think he's got a good future ahead of him."
Projected NHL arrival: This season
Video: NYR@PHI: Lindblom scores eight seconds into the 3rd
How acquired: Signed as free agent Sept. 21, 2015
Last season: Lehigh Valley (AHL): 50 GP, 5-16-21
Injuries have been an issue for Myers (6-5, 210) during his development. Last season, he was out between Thanksgiving and Christmas because of a groin injury, and a broken foot sidelined him for the final eight games. But the 21-year-old, who was not drafted, was healthy and productive during the AHL playoffs with seven points (three goals, four assists) in 13 games.
"Phil Myers is a guy I'm really looking forward to at training camp," coach Dave Hakstol said. "Had an opportunity to see him play down the stretch, a few of the games in the [AHL] playoffs. The young man grew an awful lot as a player [as a] first-year pro. … [What] I'm really looking forward to seeing in training camp is Phil's game after a good summer of training."
Projected NHL arrival: Next season
How acquired: Selected with No. 27 pick in 2017 NHL Draft
Last season: Sault Ste. Marie (OHL): 67 GP, 42-70-112
The Flyers want Frost (5-11, 170) to get stronger to handle the rigors of professional hockey. Pryor said they also are looking to see how Frost, 19, approaches another season of junior hockey.
"Everybody can get better," Pryor said. "We've had kids … (defenseman) Ivan Provorov went back to junior (after being drafted) and was the best player he could be. Carter Hart went back to junior and became the best player he could be. Morgan, you're going to have to go back to the Sault and be the best player he can be, represent that team best you can, try to make the (Canada) World Junior team. There's some challenges and he's got to prove himself. We're all happy with his year last year, but that's last year. This is this year."
Projected NHL arrival: 2020-21 season
Video: Flyers draft F Morgan Frost No. 27
How acquired: Selected with No. 35 pick in 2017 NHL Draft
Last season: Guelph (OHL): 67 GP, 41-27-68; Lehigh Valley (AHL): 2 GP, 1-0-1
Although his goal scoring has been impressive, Ratcliffe, 19, has stood out to the Flyers because of how skilled he is for his size (6-6, 200).
"He's a big guy with really good hands," general manager Ron Hextall said. "We're [watching development camp], going, 'A guy that big shouldn't have that good hands.' He's got good hands, he moves really well for his size and his age. You look at a 19-year-old kid who's as tall as he is and as coordinated as he is, it's not the norm. We're excited about the prospects for him."
Projected NHL arrival: 2020-21