Philadelphia Flyers: Top 8 prospects worth getting excited about

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 19: Morgan Frost #48 of the Philadelphia Flyers looks on prior to the game against the Buffalo Sabres at the Wells Fargo Center on December 19, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 19: Morgan Frost #48 of the Philadelphia Flyers looks on prior to the game against the Buffalo Sabres at the Wells Fargo Center on December 19, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Morgan Frost (48)
Morgan Frost #48 of the Philadelphia Flyers. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

As a team right now, the Philadelphia Flyers are in pretty good shape.

While they have aging veterans in players like Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek, they also have plenty of great young talent, none better than goaltender Carter Hart who is continuing to get better. To put it simply, this isn’t a team who will fall down in the standings any time soon.

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For quite a few years during Giroux’s true prime, the Flyers squad was one that seemed to have plenty of talent but failed to live up to their potential, often missing the Playoffs or being eliminated early on. Thankfully, that appears to no longer be the case. After bringing in Head Coach Alain Vigneault prior to the 2019-20 season, things have really turned around for this team, as they finished just one point behind the Washington Capitals last season for first place in the Metropolitan Division. Things haven’t cooled down for them early on this season either, as they currently have a 7-2-2 record through their first 11 games.

The Philadelphia Flyers over the years have done a tremendous job of drafting and, as a result, they have plenty of very young players in their current lineup that aren’t on this list. Still, their current prospect pool is nothing to scoff at, ranking near the middle of the league in terms of talent. While it isn’t the best prospect list in the league, it is still quite solid with a few very high-end players on it.

As mentioned in every other Top 8 Prospects articles throughout this series, any player who has played in more NHL games than any other league in a season, regardless of the season, will not be included. (Exception has been made for the 2020-21 season, given that many leagues, including the AHL, have yet to play any games).

Here are the Top 8 Prospects in the Philadelphia Flyers Farm System:

Egor Zamula (70)
Egor Zamula #70 of the Philadelphia Flyers. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

8. Egor Zamula

Despite only having an 18-point rookie season in the WHL, the Flyers brass saw something they liked in Egor Zamula. Though they did not draft him, they invited him to their 2018 Training Camp and signed him to an Entry-Level deal right there and then. While many were surprised at the time, it didn’t take long for Zamula to prove they made the right decision, as he returned to the Calgary Hitmen that season and put up 56 points in 61 regular season games. His 46 assists that season led his team by a wide margin, and got the attention of many around the hockey community.

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Zamula was once again back in the WHL for the 2019-20 season and, despite being limited to just 28 games, was able to put up 28 points. Unfortunately, after returning from the 2020 World Juniors, the Hitmen announced Zamula would have to undergo back surgery, which ended his season. The good news now is that he is fully recovered and ready to begin the 2020-21 season, one that Flyers fans will want to keep tabs on him for. This appears to be a very smart signing by the Philadelphia Flyers brass.

Jay O'Brien (16)
Jay O’Brien #16 of the United States. (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images) /

7. Jay O’Brien

Jay O’Brien has had quite a strange career path to this point, especially for a First-Rounder. The now 21-year-old forward was selected 19th overall at the 2018 NHL Entry Draft after a season of high school hockey with Thayer Academy, in which he posted 43 goals and 80 points in 30 games. While the future looked very bright, the following season was an outright disaster as O’Brien played as a freshman for Providence College and posted just five points in 25 games. He was still able to crack the Team USA roster for the World Juniors that year, but his offensive struggles continued at the tournament as he was held off the scoresheet.

Rather than going back to Providence College for his sophomore season, O’Brien made the unique decision to play junior hockey, and chose the Penticton Vees of the BCHL. It turned out to be the right call, as he posted a team leading 25 goals and 66 points in 46 games played on what was a stacked Vees roster. He then made the decision to commit to Boston University, where he has suited up for six games so far this season. Though its early, this time around at the college level has gone much better for him as he has three goals and six points in six games on the year. While his prospect status took a major hit, he is doing a good job of climbing back up the ranks.