The Canadian junior and European professional leagues began their 2017-18 seasons this month and that of course means weekly Flyers prospect reports! Look for these at the beginning of each week. Reports will expand quite a bit as both the AHL and NCAA don’t begin until early October.
Notable Canadian junior performers this week:
Connor Bunnaman (C/LW), Kitchener Rangers (OHL)
2016 4th Round Pick, 109th overall
- 9/22 - 3 shots, 9 for 10 FOW
- 9/23 - 1 assist, 5 shots, 2 PIM, 4 for 13 FOW
Anthony Salinitri (C), Sarnia Sting (OHL)
2016 6th Round Pick, 172nd overall
- 9/22 - 1 goal, 3 shots, 3 for 13 FOW
- 9/22 - 2 shots, 2 PIM, 2 for 5 FOW
Not only did Salinitri score his first goal of the weekend, his shootout goal ensured victory for the Sting in their 4-3 shootout win on Friday.
Morgan Frost (C), Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
2017 1st Round Pick, 27th overall
- 9/23 - 2 assists, 4 shots, 9 for 22 FOW
- 9/24 - 1 goal, 3 shots, 7 for 17 FOW
Folks have every right to be excited for Frost after a strong rookie camp. His first goal of the season was on this absolutely filthy penalty shot.
Isaac Ratcliffe (LW), Guelph Storm (OHL)
2017 2nd Round Pick, 35th overall
- 9/22 - 3 shots
- 9/24 - 6 shots, 2 PIM
It wasn’t the ideal opening weekend for Ratcliffe, which saw the Storm drop to 0-2 and Ratcliffe himself sport a -4 +/-.
Matthew Strome (LW), Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL)
2017 4th Round Pick, 106th overall
- 9/23 - 3 shots, 2 PIM, 1 for 3 FOW
Strome and the Bulldogs dropped the season opener 4-1. Strome was a -1 in the game and took a minor holding penalty (that ironically led to a short-handed goal, their only goal).
Maksim Sushko (RW), Owen Sound Attack (OHL)
2017 4th Round Pick, 107th overall
- 9/23 - 2 shots, 2 PIM
A quiet beginning to his post-draft debut. Sushko finished -2 on the night.
Pascal Laberge (C), Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL)
2016 2nd Round Pick, 36th overall
- 9/22 - 3 shots, 5 for 10 FOW
- 9/24 - 1 assist, 1 shot, 4 for 8 FOW
Laberge picked up the primary assist on the winning goal on Victoriaville’s 4-3 OT win on Sunday. The spark plug also threw around his body as well. After a lost 2016-17 season, Laberge will be under the watchful of fans as he tries to put those nasty concussions behind.
Notable European performers this week
Linus Högberg (D), Växjö Lakers HC (SHL)
2016 5th Round Pick - 139th overall
- 9/19 - 1 assist, 8:48 TOI
- 9/21 - 10:11 TOI
- 9/23 - 11:06 TOI
Högberg is still essentially the 5th/6th defenseman on the team, but hopefully with improved play we finally see the 19 year old get more and more ice-time.
David Bernhardt (D), Djurgårdens IF (SHL)
2016 7th Round Pick, 199th overall
- 9/16 - 11:16 TOI
- 9/21 - 2 PIM, 6:26 TOI
- 9/23 - 1 shot, 15:46 TOI
Much like Högberg, Bernhardt is also very much a 3rd pairing defenseman for the club. Though unlike Högberg, I believe Bernhardt has a bit more ceiling.
David Kase (C/W), Mora IK (SHL)
2015 5th Round Pick, 128th overall
- 9/16 - 18:17 TOI
- 9/21 - 1 goal, 1 assist, 3 shots, 17:14 TOI
- 9/23 - 1 shot, 17:48 TOI
You can check out Kase’s positioning and hands on his first SHL goal. Kase had spent the last two season’s in the Czech Republic’s highest-level league, Czech Extraliga.
Felix Sandström (G), Brynäs IF (SHL)
2015 3rd Round Pick, 70th overall
- 9/21 - 3 GA, 29 saves
Sandström will be splitting duties between the pites with David Rautio again this season. Rautio started 2 for the first 3 games for Brynäs and hasn’t looked particularly good. At some point Sandström will need to separate himself and start earning the bulk of the starts.
Ivan Fedotov (G), Toros Neftekamsk (VHL)
2015 7th Round Pick, 188th overall
- 9/9 - 4 GA, 21 saves
- 9/13 - 1 GA, 10 saves
- 9/15 - 2 GA, 16 saves
- 9/20 - shutout, 20 saves
It was a bit disappointing to hear that Fedotov wouldn’t be making the jump to the KHL after a strong season last year for Toros. He will need more performances like that on 9/20 if he wants to make a bigger impression.
Kirill Ustimenko (G), MHK Dynamo St. Petersburg (MHL)
2017 3rd Round Pick, 80th overall
- 9/9 - shutout
- 9/13 - 2 GA
- 9/17 - 2 GA
- 9/23 - 2 GA
Bear with me for any MHL updates on Ustimenko, as stats are a bit harder to find. According to EliteProspects, he has a .904 SV% and a 2.00 GAA in 6 games this season.