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Philadelphia Flyers prospects: Phantoms falter but a prospect blooms

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The Phantoms dropped both of their contests this past weekend as the younger Flyers prospects battle on.

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Phantoms falter

Lehigh Valley was a three game point streak into this past weekend's two home games. After extra time victories in Wilkes-Barre and Springfield the previous weekend, the Phantoms fell in a back and forth contest to Binghamton to bring them into last weekend.

The Phantoms hosted Providence on Friday, but everything went the Bruins' way. Anthony Stolarz got the start and allowed four goals on 26 shots before being replaced by Martin Ouellette late in the second period. Ouellette stopped five of the six shots he faced in just over 22 minutes of play. The lone goal for the Phantoms was scored late in the third period to thwart Jeremy Smith's shutout attempt, who ended up stopping 26 of the 27 shots he faced. Not a great way to start the weekend for Lehigh Valley.

A winter storm rolled in on Saturday, but that didn't stop the Phantoms and the Hartford Wolf Pack from facing off on Saturday night. Each goal that was scored in this game was answered equally by the other team. Once again both goaltenders for the Phantoms saw ice time, with Stolarz replacing Ouellette this time halfway through the second period. Ouellette let in three goals on seven shots and Terry Murray had decided he'd seen enough and sent in Stolarz.

This was another back and forth affair for the Phantoms, with the Wolf Pack striking first but then trading goals with them every step of the way. Zack Stortini scored twice in just over a minute in the second period, sandwiched around a goal for Hartford. In total, three goals were scored in the span of 1:06. All in all the Phantoms erased four one-goal deficits to tie the game, but could never take the lead. They did force overtime but could not come away with the extra point. Along with Stortini three other Phantoms, Jason Akeson (1 G, 2 A), Brandon Manning (2 A) and Nick Cousins (1 G, 1 A) had multi-point games.

The Phantoms will host Binghamton on Saturday night before traveling to Hershey to play the rival Bears on Sunday. With Ray Emery nursing an injury expect Stolarz and Ouellette to remain the guys between the pipes.

Phantoms point leaders

Player Position Games Goals Assists Points
Nick Cousins
C
Last 5 Games 5 1 7 8
Season 53 17 31 48
Brandon Manning
D
Last 5 Games 5 0 6 6
Season 51 9 30 39
Jason Akeson
RW
Last 5 Games 5 5 3 8
Season 35 17 18 35
Andrew Gordon
RW
Last 5 Games 5 1 0 1
Season 53 15 16 31
Taylor Leier
LW
Last 5 Games 5 2 1 3
Season 50 13 13 26

Cousins remains atop the chart thanks to his splendid January and recent improved play. In fact, Cousins, Manning and Akeson all have been playing well recently. Akeson has almost caught up to Manning in 16 less games. I know Manning is a defenseman, but he has been piling up the assists all year. Andrew Gordon and Taylor Leier round out the top five.

Honorable mention goes out to Zack Stortini who has five goals in his last five games.

Prospect point leaders

Player Position Games Goals Assists Points
Nicolas Aube-Kubel
RW
Last 5 Games 5 2 7 9
Season 51 30 38 68
Radel Fazleev
LW
Last 5 Games 5 1 1 2
Season 60 17 25 42
Tyrell Goulbourne
LW
Last 5 Games 5 0 3 3
Season 53 17 21 38
Samuel Morin
D
Last 5 Games 5 0 3 3
Season 27 4 19 23
Travis Sanheim
D
Last 5 Games 5 0 5 5
Season 56 11 44 55

I keep waiting for Nicolas Aube-Kubel to go on a cold streak, but it isn't happening any time soon. After a respectable 20 points in 23 games through the end of November, Aube-Kubel has had 15 points in 9 games in December, 18 points in 11 games in January and 15 points in 8 games in February thus far. That totals 48 points in his last 28 games, a great pace. He also has a nine-game point streak in which he has tallied six goals and 12 assists for 18 points, a two-point-per-game pace. Granted, the QMJHL is typically higher scoring, but this is still impressive.

Radel Fazleev and Tyrell Goulbourne have slowed down a bit recently, but I'm not expecting great things from them.

Samuel Morin has three points in his last five games, but none in three games since his suspension.  Travis Sanheim is continuing his near point-per-game pace, but is pointless in his last two games.

Oskar Lind-bloom

ESPN insider's Corey Pronman recognized Oskar Lindblom in his biggest risers from 2014 draft article. The article is pay-to-view, but the snippet about the Flyers prospect is below.

Oskar Lindblom, LW, Philadelphia Flyers (Brynas, SHL)
Age: 18 | Drafted: 138th overall
2014-15 stats: 33 GP | 7 G | 5 A

Lindblom was introduced to many at the WJC, as he was one of the tournament's top scorers, but he's also had a solid season in Sweden's top league, at times working his way into middle-six minutes for Brynas. Head Philly scout Chris Pryor points to Lindblom's size, skill and feel for the game as his positive traits. Lindblom's skating has also shown notable improvement, based on discussions with Swedish scouts and from games of his I've seen.

Lindblom had a coming-out party at the World Junior Championships earlier this year but hasn't quite produced professionally yet. He is only 18 so he has some time, and some great potential according to scouts.