By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor
The Flyers have had many recent draft prospects make the jump to the professional ranks and experience some early success. But it has become a crowded list of future talent that could make it difficult for many to reach the ultimate goal.
One player that has certainly been part of the crowded group between the AHL and NHL is Mikhail Vorobyev. Over the last two seasons, Vorobyev has played in 35 NHL games, scoring two goals and adding three assists for five points. In the AHL, he has played 145 games, scoring 28 goals and adding 55 assists for 83 points.
But for most of his career, it has been an up-and-down trip between the NHL and AHL and with other young players emerging, it was becoming clear that Vorobyev was slipping in the ranks. According to a report, Vorobyev intends to sign with HC Ufa Salavat Yulaev of the KHL in Russia, his home country, on a three-year deal that will cut ties with the Flyers.
Vorobyev, 23, was a fourth-round pick of the Flyers in 2015 and quickly rose through the ranks after signing his entry-level deal and going into the professional ranks. Following a solid first season in the AHL in 2017-18 and a strong training camp the next year, Vorobyev made the Flyers out of training camp in the 2018-19 season and scored his first NHL goal in his second game. That was the only goal he scored in the 2018-19 season, where he played just 15 games.
Vorobyev was again on the radar in camp this season, but started to get lost in the shuffle as the season went on and the team started to pile up more success with other young players who emerged from the Phantoms. At the time all sports were paused in March, Vorobyev had set a new career high in goals (12) and was on pace to set a new career high in points in the AHL.
Vorobyev’s place in the Flyers organization also came into question after the team signed college prospects Wade Allison and Tanner Laczynski to entry-level deals in recent months and signed Swedish forward Linus Sandin to an entry-level contract as well. This brought in three more players who were direct competition to the roles Vorobyev would be playing. It’s no surprise to see him make the transition back to Russia with potentially a lack of opportunity being available in Philadelphia given the number of prospects in the system.