Image courtesy of SportsNet.caIt was another week of intriguing news in regards to the prospects of the Philadelphia Flyers, as one of the biggest prospects Philly has on defense signed an entry-level contract this week. On top of that, another big-name d-man prospect is in the running for the Hobey Baker Award, while several others helped their team in the CHL or NCAA postseason.
The Orange and Black agreed to terms on a deal with Robert Hagg, as it looks as though an entry-level contract with the player will begin in the 2014-2015. The 6’2” 207-pound blue liner was picked 41st overall by the Flyers in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft and was expected to grow as a player quickly. Between MODO HK in the SHL and MODO J20 in the SuperElit this season, Hagg has two goals, 11 assists, and 53 PIMs in 58 games. Since the entry-level deal starts next season, Hagg has come to North America and will play with the Adirondack Phantoms for the remainder of the season.
As for another prospect that many Flyers’ fans are hoping pans out, Shayne Gostisbehere has been named one of the 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, which is given out each year to the NCAA’s best ice hockey player. A well-respected prospect across the NHL, Gostisbehere has eight goals and 21 assists in 38 games with Union College this season. He is also plus-25 this season with just 24 PIMs. Although he may not win the award, it still says something that the d-man has been nominated.
Gostisbehere also took part in the NCAA postseason this week, as he helped Union College beat Reece Willcox and Cornell University on Friday before beating Colgate University the next day. In Friday’s match between the pair of Flyers’ prospects, Gostisbehere came out on the winning side of the ECAC Hockey Semifinal, as Union College won 5-2. Gostisbehere didn’t record a point in the win, while Willcox recorded a primary assist in defeat. In their ECAC Hockey Championship the next day, Gostisbehere and his teammates beat Colgate University by the same score. The blue liner nicknamed “Ghost” had an assist in the win over Colgate.
Union College will take on Nick Luukko and the University of Vermont on Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament East Regional. Luukko and his teammates will conclude a 12-day break when they play Union College on Friday, as the team lost their best-of-three Hockey East Quarterfinals series with UMass Lowell that finished on March 16th.
Another Flyers’ prospect taking part in the NCAA postseason is forward Michael Parks, who will help the University of North Dakota take on Wisconsin on Friday after they beat Western Michigan in the third-place game of the NCHC Frozen Faceoff. After the Fighting Sioux were shut out by the Miami RedHawks 3-0 on Friday, Parks and company proceeded to beat Western Michigan 5-0 on Saturday, as Parks didn’t record a point in the five-goal victory. If the University of North Dakota beats Wisconsin on Friday they will advance to the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship game on Saturday.
In the CHL, both Scott Laughton and Anthony Stolarz are on teams in the OHL that are currently leading their playoff series 2-0.
Laughton and the Oshawa Generals own a 2-0 advantage as the top seed in the Eastern Conference over the eighth-seeded Mississauga Steelheads. After Laughton recorded an assist and plus-2 rating in Oshawa’s 6-0 decision on Friday, the Generals edged out the Steelheads 3-2 in overtime on Sunday. In the team’s Game 2 victory, Laughton was plus-1 with a pair of assists and four PIMs. The series now goes to Mississauga, as Game 3 takes place tonight and Game 4 will be played on Thursday.
As for Stolarz, the London Knights lead the Windsor Spitfires 2-0 in their 4-5 battle in the OHL’s Western Conference. After stopping 26 of 27 in London’s 6-1 win on Friday, Stolarz allowed three goals against on 36 shots in the team’s 6-3 decision on Saturday. The series shifts to Windsor for Games 3 and 4, which will take place tonight and Thursday.
In the WHL, both Tyrell Goulbourne’s team and Taylor Leier’s team have a 2-0 lead in their first-round series.
Goulbourne and the top-seeded Kelowna Rockets are up 2-0 over the Tri-City Americans. The Rockets beat the Americans by the score of 3-1 in both Game 1 and Game 2 of the series. Goulbourne was plus-1 with an assist in the team’s Game 1 win, while he posted a plus-1 rating in the Game 2 victory. The teams will now engage in battle in Tri-City for Game 3 tonight and Game 4 tomorrow.
In the QMJHL, Samuel Morin and Rimouski Oceanic own a 2-0 advantage in their first-round series against the Chicoutimi Sagueneens. Morin had a goal, three hits, and four PIMs in the team’s 5-3 Game 1 win, while he had two goals, two hits, and a plus-1 rating in the team’s 6-1 Game 2 victory. The series will now shift to Chicoutimi, where Game 3 will be played tonight and Game 4 will be played tomorrow.
Aside from the Hagg signing, as well as the CHL and NCAA postseason, Andrew Johnston made his Phantoms’ season debut over the weekend. After taking part in 50 games with the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL this season, Johnston joined Adirondack for all three of their games this past weekend. Johnston failed to record a point and posted an even plus/minus rating overall, as he had three shots on goal in his first stretch of games with Adirondack this season. All three of his shots on goal came in the Phantoms’ 3-0 loss to the Syracuse Crunch on Sunday.