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Philadelphia Flyers 25 Under 25: Don’t sleep on Philippe Myers

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The Flyers are loaded with defensive prospects, but this right-hander isn’t far behind his talented peers.

© Heather Barry
© Heather Barry

The Flyers have been one of the better drafting teams going back to the early part of the decade, and that has allowed them several advantages and kept things competitive in lieu of a true, full-on rebuild. And draft picks litter the top 10 of our Top 25 Under 25 rankings as proof, but for the next prospect on our list wasn’t even drafted: it’s Philippe Myers at No. 7.

No. 7: Philippe Myers

Position: D
Age: 21 (1/25/1997)
Size: 6’5”, 209 (via)
Acquired Via: Signed as an undrafted free agent on September 21, 2015
2017-18 League/Team/Statistics: Lehigh Valley (AHL) - 5 G, 16 A in 50 GP
Nationality: Canadian
Ranking in BSH Winter 2018 25 Under 25: 8

Myers’ route to coveted prospect has been a huge coup for the Flyers, who signed the 6-foot-5 defenseman back in September of 2015. The right-hander fell through the cracks after posting just eight points in his draft year for the Rouyn-Nordana Huskies in the high-scoring QMJHL back in 2014-15. But the Flyers’ scouting team saw promise in tall, lanky defenseman and took a flier that Myers had the frame and puck skills that made him worth a gamble.

Two years later Myers piled up 80 points in 97 games with the Huskies (27 goals) and landed on Team Canada’s WJC squad, where he added three assists in four games in 2016-17. Not too bad, eh? By then Myers had already skyrocketed up prospect rankings and teams all over the league were left scratching their heads on how they missed out.

Next up was Myers’ first season of professional hockey with the Phantoms a season ago. In 50 games, Myers posted five goals and 16 assists for 21 points. The 21-year-old added three goals and four helpers in the Phantoms’ run in the Calder Cup Playoffs. It was an impressive first season in the AHL for Myers, who logged a ton of minutes nearly everywhere but on the power play where he saw second unit time. Much of that was due to circumstance as Samuel Morin was hurt a ton and Travis Sanheim spent just 18 games with the Phantoms, but Myers only cemented the excitement surrounding his game going into the season.

After scoring at a high rate in juniors his last two years, you could look at his production of 21 points in 50 games and come away a little disappointed. But when you dive into the numbers that our own Brad Keffer provides so meticulously with his Phantoms tracking, you’ll see that more will be on the way for Myers on the scoresheet based off how he drives play when he’s on the ice.

Myers 5v5 On-Ice Stats

Corsi For Corsi Against Corsi For % Corsi For % Relative *Scoring Chances For % Goals For Goals Against Goals For %
Corsi For Corsi Against Corsi For % Corsi For % Relative *Scoring Chances For % Goals For Goals Against Goals For %
721 650 52.59% +4.42% 52.60% 40 26 60.61%
Via Brad Keffer, Phancy Stats

Myers’ metrics were very strong across the board, but it’s his Corsi Relative numbers at 5-on-5 that jump out. On a good team, which the Phantoms were in 2017-18, Myers posted a +4.42 Corsi Relative to his teammates. That was behind only Sanheim —who was far too good for the AHL competition— Mikhail Vorobyev, Danick Martel, and Nicolas Aube-Kube, all of whom are knocking on the NHL doorstep (save for Martel, really) and Myers is right there with them. Each of those players except for Vorobyev also has at least one more year of seasoning at the AHL than Myers.

Despite not scoring a whole ton, Myers posted a 60.61% Goals For percentage, which backs up that he was at least part of the play driving that led to Phantoms goals. When you get a good mix of possession metrics and goal based metrics like we have with Myers, you know you’re cooking with gas. And in this case, the gas is a 6-foot-5, smooth-skating, right-shooting defenseman. That’s straight fuego.

While their are obvious strengths in his game, Myers also has some things to fine tune as we go forward. But the good news is that the flaws in his game are both A) easily correctable and B) are super prevalent in young players.

Myers won’t turn 22 until late January, and wasn’t the most consistent or disciplined player in Lehigh Valley a season ago. He tied Aube-Kubel for the team lead in penalties taken with 27 minors. Given his skating ability and reach, he really shouldn’t be taking as many bad penalties as he did. It’s not the end of the world, and as he matures as a professional player he’ll learn from mistakes and how to better use his stick, his body, and positioning to avoid infractions.

The second part is consistency, which is something that young players really only achieve with experience. The likes of the Connor McDavids, who are consistent from age-17 on are super rare and even the best ones experience some consistency issues early on. Just ask Auston Matthews in the Toronto pressure cooker in his second NHL season. As we touched on earlier, Myers did a lot of learning on the fly in 2017-18 due to injuries and roster management, and that likely contributed to the variance in his play on a night-to-night basis. If Myers doesn’t end up in Philadelphia, expect the defenseman to follow a similar path to Travis Sanheim a year ago. Sanheim was a much more consistent player night-in and night-out, and was rewarded with a call up that should have ended with him in the NHL lineup every night.

Going forward Myers is a huge piece for the Flyers, no doubt, and his place at No. 7 on this list is no accident. In fact, Myers would easily be the top-ranked defenseman on this list save for the incomparable Ivan Provorov, who is a top-20 defenseman in the NHL right now and Travis Sanheim, who showed glimpses of top pairing potential at time with the Flyers last season before getting Hak’d.

That said, Myers is a darn good prospect in his own right and could break training camp with the big club with strong play even with a crowded blue line in Philadelphia. Even if a roster spot isn’t immediately available to Myers, he’ll have a chance to improve in a second cup of coffee in the AHL and hone his game for a call up to the Flyers. The Flyers can afford to wait a little longer on Myers, but given his development path already, we could be seeing him in Orange and Black sooner rather than later.

How We Voted For Philippe Myers

Bill Brad Craig Jake Jaypo Joe John Kelly Kurt Kyle Maddie Mike Steph Steve Community
Bill Brad Craig Jake Jaypo Joe John Kelly Kurt Kyle Maddie Mike Steph Steve Community
8 7 8 6 7 7 6 9 5 7 8 6 7 7 7

How We Voted At No. 7

Bill Brad Craig Jake Jaypo Joe John Kelly Kurt Kyle Maddie Mike Steph Steve Community
Bill Brad Craig Jake Jaypo Joe John Kelly Kurt Kyle Maddie Mike Steph Steve Community
Oskar Lindblom Philippe Myers Morgan Frost Morgan Frost Philippe Myers Philippe Myers Morgan Frost Morgan Frost Oskar Lindblom Philippe Myers Morgan Frost Morgan Frost Philippe Myers Philippe Myers Philippe Myers

How The Community Voted For Philippe Myers

Ranking # of Votes
Ranking # of Votes
1 2
2 1
3 2
4 13
5 82
6 151
7 243
8 191
9 112
10 84
11 49
12 21
13 17
14 9
15 7
16 9
17 3
18 7
19 1
20 2
21 1
22 2
23 1
24 0
25 3
NR 3

Previously in Philadelphia Flyers Summer 2018 Top 25 Under 25: