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Prospect report: Danick Martel on the road to relevancy

The Phantoms and NCAA kick off their respective seasons

Philadelphia Flyers v New York Islanders Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Phantoms off to strong start behind Alex Lyon, Danick Martel

10/7 - 7-2 WIN
10/8 - 2-1 SOL (Highlights)

Phantoms hockey is back! Things got off to an explosive start on Saturday with Danick Martel finding the back of the net 3 times. Also delivering were Greg Carey (1), Nicolas Aube-Kubel (1), Phil Varone (1) and Reece Willcox (1). Alex Lyon stopped 29 saves en route to the victory against the hated rival Hershey Bears.

Danick Martel wasn’t finished as on Sunday he deposited his 4th goal to open the season. Sadly, that was all the offense LHV could muster up. Lyon made 35 saves and another 2 in the shootout before allowing the winning SO goal to Adam Tambellini.

Philippe Myers (D): 2 GP, 1 assist, 3 shots, 2 PIM
Undrafted Free Agent

I know some were disappointed that Myers didn’t battle for a spot with the Flyers, but sadly the numbers (and his play) dictated that. Even on Saturday, he demonstrated he still has some ways to go in improving his defensive play. The potential is tantalizing and any way he can work out the kinks before joining the big club should be looked at as a positive.

Mark Friedman (D): 2 GP, 3 shots
2014 3rd Round Pick, 86th overall

Friedman excited a lot of folks in preseason with his aggressive play and with a strong 1st year in LHV it could go a long way in helping prove he belongs at the professional level.

Reece Willcox (D): 2 GP, 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 shots, 2 PIM
2012 5th Round Pick, 141st overall

Sort of the forgotten man of defensive prospects, though he has continued to get ice time at the AHL level. The pride of Cornell University will need to remain steady.

Mike Vecchione (C): 2 GP, 2 assists, 4 shots
Undrafted Free Agent

Through attrition at the NHL level and his own improved play, Vecchione will be back in the NHL at some point this season.

Nicolas Aubé-Kubel (RW): 2 GP, 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 shots, 2 PIM
2014 2nd Round Pick, 48th overall

NAK needs to kick it into gear if he has any hopes of making the Flyers or the NHL. While he was strongly encouraged to work on his defensive game last season, his creativity offensively waned (18 points in 71 games) in the process. With linemates like Vecchione and Martel, there will be no excuses this year.

Danick Martel (RW): 2 GP, 4 goals, 9 shots, 5 PIM
Undrafted Free Agent

Martel can score goals folks. Yes, he is tiny (5’8), but he has proved at every level that he can produce offensively. If he keeps a strong PPG pace this season, Martel has an excellent shot as an injury replacement.

Oskar Lindblom (LW): 2 GP, 5 shots
2014 5th Round Pick, 138th overall

Not the kind of start Lindblom was hoping for, but as he becomes more familiar with the North American rink and style he should start producing.

Mikhail Vorobyov (C): 2 GP, 1 assist, 5 shots
2015 4th Round Pick, 104th overall

Fresh out of the KHL, the 20 year old faces an exceptional challenge to see how he measures up against North American competition.

Alex Lyon (G): 2 GP, 3 GA, 64 saves
Undrafted Free Agent

Without the ever-looming shadow of Anthony Stolarz, Lyon should settle in as the #1 back-up to the back-up role in the Flyers organization. His .955 SV% is the 2nd highest among AHL goaltender who have played at least 2 games.

Notable Canadian junior performers this week:

Connor Bunnaman (C/LW), Kitchener Rangers (OHL)
2016 4th Round Pick, 109th overall

  • 10/6 - 1 assist, 4 shots, 10 for 13 FOW
  • 10/7 - 1 shot, 5 for 10 FOW

It’s been a slow start for Bunnaman entering his 4th OHL season. He has yet to score a goal in his first 5 games after scoring 37 in 64 last year.

Anthony Salinitri (C), Sarnia Sting (OHL)
2016 6th Round Pick, 172nd overall

  • 10/4 - 0 shots, 2 for 4 FOW
  • 10/6 - 1 assist, 2 shots, 2 PIM, 2 for 6 FOW

A quiet week for Salinitri, though he has compiled 7 points (1 G, 6 A) in his first 6 games.

Morgan Frost (C), Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
2017 1st Round Pick, 27th overall

  • 10/5 - 0 shots, 3 for 16 FOW
  • 10/6 - 2 shots, 7 for 18 FOW

Feeling the pressure of being a first round draft pick? The 18 year old has been held pointless in 4 of his 7 games this season.

Isaac Ratcliffe (LW), Guelph Storm (OHL)
2017 2nd Round Pick, 35th overall

  • 10/6 - 1 assist, 8 shots, 2 PIM, 0 for 2 FOW
  • 10/7 - 1 assist, 1 shot, 1 for 1 FOW

The expectations for Ratcliffe this season are almost as big as the kid himself (6’6). So far though, he has collected 5 points (2 G, 3 A) in his first 6 games.

Maksim Sushko (RW), Owen Sound Attack (OHL)
2017 4th Round Pick, 107th overall

  • 10/4 - 1 goal, 1 assist, 1 shot, 4 PIM
  • 10/7 - DNP

Make that back-to-back games with goals for Sushko, who also scored his first of the season back on 9/30. Sadly, he sat out of Saturday’s match with an injury.

Carsen Twarynski (LW), Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
2016 3rd Round Pick, 82nd overall

  • 10/4 - 1 assist, 4 shots, 1 for 1 FOW
  • 10/6 - 2 assists, 3 shots, 2 PIM
  • 10/7 - 1 goal, 2 assists, 2 shots, 3 for 9 FOW

Not a terrible start to the season for Twarynski? He spent some extra time in Phantoms camp prior to joining Kelowna. Twarynski was actually eligible for both juniors and AHL because of his late November birthday. His 3 games last week were his first official action of the season.

Pascal Laberge (C), Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL)
2016 2nd Round Pick, 36th overall

  • 10/6 - DNP
  • 10/8 - 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 shots, 6 for 18 FOW

Laberge missed Friday’s game with a lower-body injury. Thankfully, he was able to come back Sunday and score his 3rd goal of the season on this breakaway. The talented center has 5 points (3 G, 2 A) in 5 games this season.

German Rubtsov (C), Chicoutimi Saguenéens (QMJHL)
2016 1st Round Pick, 22nd overall

  • 10/6 - 1 assist, 1 shot, 1 for 6 FOW
  • 10/8 - 2 assists, 3 shots, 8 for 18 FOW

Finally, Rubtsov makes his 2017-18 season debut after missing Chicoutimi’s first 4 games because of paperwork issues. The Flyers organization made the decision to send Rubtsov back to juniors even though he was still eligible to play for the Phantoms. This was probably a smart choice given his limited time spent in juniors last season. Look for Rubtsov to dominate this season.

CHL Notes: Carter Hart (G) and fans received the news that he has been diagnosed with mono. The Everett Silvertips (WHL) will be without the top goalie prospect for the foreseeable future.

Notable European performers this week

Linus Högberg (D), Växjö Lakers HC (SHL)
2016 5th Round Pick, 139th overall

  • 10/5 - 1 shot, 15:21 TOI
  • 10/8 - DNP

While it’s unclear why he wasn’t in the lineup on Sunday, I think we can all be happy to see Högberg getting extended minutes that he wasn’t getting last season. Cross your fingers he is back in the lineup for their next game on Friday.

David Bernhardt (D), Djurgårdens IF (SHL)
2016 7th Round Pick, 199th overall

  • 10/5 - DNP
  • 10/8 - no shots, 8:41 TOI

Bernhardt was out of the lineup with an illness for Thursday’s match. He re-joined Djurgårdens on Sunday, but was only able to get 3rd pairing minutes.

David Kaše (C/W), Mora IK (SHL)
2015 5th Round Pick, 128th overall

  • 10/5 - 1 assist, 16:30 TOI
  • 10/7 - 1 assist, 2 shots, 14:59 TOI

Kaše has adjusted well to the SHL so far with 6 points (2 G, 4 A) in 7 games.

Olle Lycksell (RW/C), Linköping HC J20 (SuperElit)
2017 6th Round Pick, 168th overall

  • 10/4 - no shots, 47% FOW
  • 10/7 - 1 goal, 5 shots, 9 for 12 FOW

Kudos to Flyers Prospects for the Lycksell updates. He scored this pretty goal on Saturday, his 2nd of the season.

Felix Sandström (G), Brynäs IF (SHL)
2015 3rd Round Pick, 70th overall

  • 10/5 - 1 GA, 14 saves
  • 10/7 - DNP

Sandström’s .927 SV% is tied for 9th best in the SHL. This kid has all the makings for a breakout season.

Ivan Fedotov (G), Salavat Yulaev Ufa (KHL)
2015 7th Round Pick, 188th overall

  • 10/2 - DND
  • 10/4 - 2 GA, 22 saves
  • 10/6 - DNP
  • 10/8 - DND

Ivan Fedotov got the call-up to the big club in the KHL this past week and saw a bit of game action. It’s likely he’ll get sent back down to the VHL shortly. In the two games he dressed, he shared the spotlight with former NHL goalie Ben Scrivens.

Kirill Ustimenko (G), MHK Dynamo St. Petersburg (MHL)
2017 3rd Round Pick, 80th overall

  • 10/5 - 0 GA, 18 shots
  • 10/6 - 2 GA, 22 shots

Once again, thanks to Alex Appleyard for these more obscure league updates (give him a follow on Twitter please). Ustimenko’s season-line now stands at .910 SV% with a 1.91 GAA in 9 games.

Notable NCAA and USHL performers this week:

Wade Allison (RW), Western Michigan University
2016 2nd Round Pick, 52nd overall

  • 10/6 - 2 goals, 1 assist, 4 shots
  • 10/7 - 2 shots, 7 PIM, 1 for 2 FOW

2nd year Wade Allison getting 2nd line minutes for WMU. Check out this easy PP goal he scored on Friday. Wade Allison is that sniper that fans have been clamoring for years for.

Cooper Marody (C), University of Michigan
2015 6th Round Pick, 158th overall

  • 10/6 - 1 assist, 0 shots, 6 for 16 FOW
  • 10/7 - 2 shots, 8 for 15 FOW

Cooper Marody’s last season was a bit of a mixed bag, as he missed a great portion of it sitting out the first half of the season due to academic ineligibility. This is Marody’s third year with U of Michigan.

Brendan Warren (LW), University of Michigan
2015 3rd Round Pick, 81st overall

  • 10/6 - 3 shots, 2 PIM
  • 10/7 - 1 shot

Brendan Warren might not look familiar, but he came over in the Nick Cousins trade along with a 2018 5th round pick. Flyers may very well have liked Warren after seeing him play alongside Marody. Warren’s numbers have been less than stellar his previous two season’s with Michigan.

Tanner Laczynski (RW/C), Ohio State University
2016 6th Round Pick, 169th overall

  • 10/6 - 3 shots
  • 10/7 - 1 shot

A quiet season-debut for one of my favorite under-the-radar prospects. Laczynski performed well for Team USA in the World Juniors last season and compiled 32 points (10 G, 22 A) in 34 games in his first season with OSU.

David Drake (D), University of Connecticut
2013 7th Round Pick, 192nd overall

  • 10/6 - 2 shots, 2 PIM
  • 10/7 - 0 shots

Is he a prospect at this point? The lanky stay-at-home defenseman is entering his 4th year with UConn and has just 17 points in 88 games in his NCAA career.

Wyatt Kalynuk (D), University of Wisconsin
2017 7th Round Pick, 196th overall

  • 10/6 - 1 shot, 4 PIM
  • 10/7 - 1 shot

Kalynuk squared off against OSU and Tanner Laczynski in both games this weekend, splitting the series with a pair of 3-2 finals. This is Kalynuk’s first season with Wisconsin after a 31 point season (60 GP) with Bloomington Thunder of the USHL last year.

Terrance Amorosa (D), Clarkson University
2013 5th Round Pick, 132nd overall

  • 10/6 - 2 assists, 2 shots, 2 PIM
  • 10/7 - 1 goal, 1 assist, 1 shot, 6 PIM

Is this the year that Amorosa breaks out? Amorosa finished with 16 points (3 G, 13 A) in 30 games with Clarkson last season.

Noah Cates (LW), Omaha Lancers (USHL)
2017 5th Round Pick, 137th overall

  • 10/6 - 1 assist, 2 shots

Noah Cates has gained some buzz post-draft and has quite a bit of offensive upside. He’ll play out the year with Omaha, but is committed to playing for University of Minnesota-Duluth for the 2018-19 season.

Matej Tomek (G), Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)
2015 3rd Round Pick, 90th overall

  • 10/7 - 2 GA, 22 saves

Matej Tomek is finally playing hockey folks! A brief history on Tomek, he received no playing time at University of North Dakota in 2015-16, played only two games in 2016-17 and had only 2 official games in the World Juniors last year. He officially left UND and signed in the USHL in hopes of landing in the CHL next season.