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Philadelphia Flyers 25 Under 25: Philippe Myers primed for big season with Phantoms

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The big undrafted defenseman from the QMJHL has become one of hockey’s best defensive prospects.

Kate Frese / SB Nation

I’m sure many still ask ourselves, “how exactly did Philippe Myers go undrafted?”. It’s not everyday you get a 6’5” defenseman that can skate and play like he can go completely ignored in the NHL Draft. But here we are with one of the best defensive prospects in the game (28th-best in the NHL and 8th-best among defensemen, according to ESPN’s Corey Pronman).

For a respected national pundit to rank him ahead of the likes of fellow Flyers defensive prospects Travis Sanheim, Robert Hagg and Samuel Morin, that bodes pretty well for the kid. If that wasn’t enough to get you excited, Bob McKenzie said “he looks NHL ready, or close to it” earlier this year.

No. 8: Philippe Myers

Position: D
Age: 20 (1/25/1997)
Acquired Via: Signed as an undrafted free agent on September 21, 2015
2016-17 League/Team/Statistics: Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL) - 10 G, 25 A in 34 GP
Nationality: Canadian
Ranking in BSH Winter 2017 25 Under 25: 8

Myers’ 2016-17 season go off to a bit of an uneven start. He missed the beginning of Rouyn-Noranda’s season, due to his getting an extended look from the Flyers in training camp/pre-season following offseason hip surgery. From there, he would re-join his squad and put up 4 points (3 goals, 1 assist) in 6 games before suffering whiplash in a game. The injury would keep Myers out for roughly over a week.

This is particularly scary for a young player, because once you start dealing with the neck/head issues there is always the lingering thought that every next big hit might be the one to knock him out even longer. Luckily, Myers would come back strong, scoring 14 points (5 goals, 9 assists) in his next 13 games.

Myers received news shortly thereafter that he had been selected to Team Canada’s World Junior Championship preliminary roster and then predictably won a roster spot. He put up 3 points in 4 games and then suffered this brutal hit from Team USA’s captain, effectively knocking him out of the tournament and a decent chunk of the QMJHL regular season:

Myers returned in mid-February to Rouyn-Noranda and had a fairly successful season given the circumstances, scoring 17 points (2 goals, 15 assists) in his final 15 games. While he did join the Phantoms for their playoff run last spring, he didn’t get to see any action before they were eliminated in the first round.

Myers’ skill-set isn’t one that has any particularly loud tools, but rather he is extremely well-rounded. His skating is smooth (with top-end spend when he gets going), the defensive zone IQ is above-average and his presence on offense has rapidly improved beginning with his breakout season in 2015-16. Kudos to the Flyers organization for picking him up, as many have speculated that Myers would have been a 1st-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

While it wouldn’t be quite out of bounds for him to open the 2017-18 season with the Flyers, Myers will likely be ticketed for the AHL to start. With Hagg and Morin getting NHL minutes last season, he is still likely 3rd or 4th on the defensive prospect depth chart, depending on how you view Travis Sanheim. However, given his injuries this past season and that he is still only 20 years of age, playing against actual men wouldn’t be the worst thing for him.

I’m not sure it can be understated at this point, but the fact that he is a right-handed shot that can skate and play all three zones well is what makes this kid so special. So when the time comes, look for Myers to make a significant impact in the NHL.

How We Voted For Philippe Myers

Kurt Al Kelly Allison Jay Charlie Bill Steph Kate Travis Joe Community
Kurt Al Kelly Allison Jay Charlie Bill Steph Kate Travis Joe Community
8 9 6 8 8 8 6 12 6 11 11 8

How We Voted At No. 8

Kurt Al Kelly Allison Jay Charlie Bill Steph Kate Travis Joe Community
Kurt Al Kelly Allison Jay Charlie Bill Steph Kate Travis Joe Community
Philippe Myers Samuel Morin Travis Sanheim Philippe Myers Philippe Myers Philippe Myers Felix Sandstrom Oskar Lindblom Travis Sanheim Travis Sanheim Carter Hart Philippe Myers

How The Community Voted For Philippe Myers

Ranking # of Votes
Ranking # of Votes
1 2
2 0
3 16
4 11
5 24
6 65
7 139
8 246
9 129
10 116
11 80
12 48
13 41
14 33
15 12
16 9
17 7
18 6
19 8
20 2
21 2
22 5
23 3
24 2
25 0
NR 28

***

Previously on Philadelphia Flyers Summer 2017 25 Under 25: