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Philadelphia Flyers Winter 2019 Top 25 Under 25: Nos. 20 to 16

We continue on in our countdown of the team’s top young talent.

United States v Slovakia - 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images

We kicked off our Winter Top 25 Under 25 on Wednesday, looking at players 25 through 21 in our quest to rank the top young talent currently in the Flyers’ organization. Today, we continue on with players 20 through 16. Enjoy.

20. Jay O’Brien

Primary Team/League: Providence, NCAA
2018-19 Stats: 2 G, 2 A in 14 GP
Rank in Summer 25 Under 25: 17

Jay (ranked him #23): I feel like I’m the low-man on O’Brien. Given the hype of his offensive skill, I thought there would be a more immediate impact in his first collegiate season. We haven’t seen it yet, but he’s also dealt with injuries. I included him on my list this go around (falling from #17), but he’ll be a guy I need to see “prove it” before I get excited.

Drew (ranked him #19): I agree with Jay. He also scored zero points in seven World Junior games. He is definitely talented but I would like to see more.

Mike (ranked him #19): He’s struggled in his freshman season mostly due to injuries but has shown flashes of the skill that made Hextall spend a first-round pick on him. Like others, I wish we’d have gotten to see more of him at World Juniors, but he’s got a ton of upside and once he’s healthy and playing for more consistent stretches his game will take off at the NCAA level.

Brad (ranked him #21): It’s fair to say that O’Brien has been a bit underwhelming, although I think it might be a bit unfair to judge him on his WJC performance since he barely played. Now, not earning minutes is disappointing in itself so do with that what you will. He’s a first round pick and Ron Hextall and co. have a good history of hitting on picks, so let’s give him time.

Jake (ranked him #11): I wouldn’t be surprised if I rank him higher than everyone. O’Brien is someone I really started to like the more I read about him leading up to this past year’s draft. He’s fast, lightning quick, smart and has a good release on his shot. The issue for him this year has been two-fold: 1) injuries have kept him out of the lineup, and 2) making the jump from high school to D-1 college hockey is extremely difficult, especially playing for a top program like Providence. These rankings for me are mostly based on potential, meaning if he were to make it to the NHL, how high do I feel his ceiling would be. When I look at his skill set, I see a guy who could be a top 6 forward. It’s been a rough freshman year, but he’s been starting to put it together recently and I think he’s in line to have a strong sophomore season. Jay O’Brien is a player to keep an eye on over the next 2 years.

Maddie (ranked him #20): Hey, I got this one right! I was a little unsure about O’Brien when he was first drafted, but I’ve liked what I’ve seen from him so far. He was really good in the World Junior Summer Showcase, and it’s a shame he didn’t get a bigger role in the WJC. As the guys have said, we’d like to see more production out of him in his first season at Providence, but if he’s a guy that takes a little bit longer to develop, I’m okay with that too.

Craig (ranked him #14): Damn. He’s off to a rough start at Providence, but his success at Thayer still has me hopeful he will become a successful middle-six forward down the road. I get why he’s ranked 20th right now, but once he starts producing in the Hockey East you’ll all rank him at exactly 14 for the Summer Top 25 Under 25.

Paul (ranked him #13): I, like Jake, weigh potential and upside very heavily for these rankings. Reason being is that the upside of players and them reaching their potential is incredibly important (to me) if this franchise is going to set itself up for long-term success into the future. I understand that players coming out of high school don’t often play against the best competition, so it’s very tough to gauge just how skilled they are. However, once Ron Hextall called O’Brien’s name at the 2018 NHL Entry Draft with the 19th overall pick, I immediately began researching. Here is an excerpt from the Black Book - “His addition to the USNTDP line-up was so seamless due to his hockey-sense. He has excellent anticipation both with and without the puck, this allows him to find soft-ice and get into position before receiving passes at a consistent rate around the slot area and allows him to identify openings for transitional plays. His decision making is also very good due to his ability to process information on the ice rapidly, this allows him to create and be a part of give-and-go sequences with a high degree of execution. Above all else, his intelligence that he’s displayed has lead him to quickly adapting to a higher-level of competition.” O’Brien does a lot of things very well, he’s quick, fast, and is very deceptive with the puck on his stick. What sticks out to me the most about him though is his hockey sense and IQ, combined with how hard he works each and every shift. He thinks the game very well and I believe this will help him transition to playing against tougher competition each step of the way in his development. He’s had a rough year due to injuries at Providence, but his game is coming around now that he’s seeing consistent ice time. Very excited to see this kid develop over the next couple of years.

Kurt (ranked him #20): Yeah, this seems about right. He hasn’t totally jumped off the ice the way we were maybe hoping he would at Providence, but that was always more of a hope than an expectation given the fact that he was playing against high schoolers last year. Injuries haven’t helped that situation either. The excuses (which are valid right now!) will become less tolerable over the next year or so as he gets more familiar with the college game and takes on what will presumably be a more featured role at the WJCs next year, but for now I think a slight drop from where he was in these rankings last summer seems fair.

Kelly (ranked him #17): I didn’t rank this kid last time, mostly because I felt that we needed to see more. Granted, we haven’t seen a lot due to his injuries (sorry to repeat that again), but what we have seen looks pretty darn good. Potential is very important to me when I do these rankings and I think O’Brien has a lot of it.

Steph (did not rank): Ok so I am the lowest on O’Brien. He’s had a rough transition to tougher competition and that wasn’t super encouraging. Of course it all takes time, he just barely missed my top 25. I still think he’ll be a good prospect, it’s just going to take him some time. I have no doubts he will be ranked on my summer top 25 under 25.

Kyle (did not rank): Steph, fellow downer on O’Brien, hello! I’m just not high on this kid and his early struggles in college with Providence are not helping his case. He put up fantastic numbers in high school but I need to see him produce at a higher level before I rank him. He does seem to have a great skill set, but at the end of the day it’s about results and we simply haven’t seen them yet. I do think he’ll eventually figure it out, but it might be a long, arduous process for the first round pick.

19. Samuel Morin

Primary Team/League: Philadelphia, NHL
2018-19 Stats: Has not played due to injury
Rank in Summer 25 Under 25: 16

Jay (ranked him #17): Poor Morin can’t catch a break or understand what brunch is. The kid looked good in the AHL and was on the cusp of getting a break with the big club. Injuries have set him back close to a year and I’m fairly positive a healthy Morin is better than a couple of the Flyers current defensemen. I. STILL. BELIEVE.

Drew (ranked him #18): I think no matter what we’re eventually going to see Morin in the NHL. Whether or not he’s successful is a different story, but I do think he can be a good solid 3rd pair bruising defenseman that will provide a good bit of edge to this team.

Mike (ranked him #16): I’m not really surprised that I’m the highest on Morin since I just left him where he was essentially from the summer rankings. He’s here at No. 16 for me mostly because I think that —if healthy— he’s got a job in the NHL as a third-pair guy who kills penalties as his floor. You could do a whole heck of a lot worse than that, though it doesn’t light the world on fire.

Brad (ranked him #25): I genuinely didn’t have a clue where to put Morin, so I wound up putting him last. I just don’t know. He did play pretty well in his 15 AHL games last season, but man, I just don’t know what they have in him. I’ve said I don’t know too many times in a row and I was about to again, so I’m going to stop now. Make me look dumb, Sam.

Jake (ranked him #20): Sammy screams bottom pair PK specialist to me. And that’s fine! He’s big, he’s mean and he brings some snarl to a team that doesn’t have much of it. It wouldn’t be the worst thing to have a defenseman actually clear the crease. That said, I’m not sure his skill set is all that diverse, and for that reason he ranks toward the bottom of the list for me. To be totally honest, it’s hard to know what they have in him at this point given all the injuries he’s dealt with over the past year. All I know is they need to figure it out soon. Sammy is a great kid and I’d love nothing more than for him to prove me wrong.

Craig (ranked him #18): I’m with Jake, that Morin is a bottom-pairing penalty kill specialist and it’s absolutely fine! If he can drive play on the third pair, bring a physical dimension to the team, and play a role in improving the penalty kill, I like Morin. It’s a shame he was hurt this season, because if he had played at all this season he probably would be higher on the rankings. I want to see him in NHL games this season.

Paul (ranked him #21): It’s fine! I will basically echo what the previous two wonderful contributors have mentioned about Morin, which is him being a bottom-pairing penalty kill specialist. It really is fine. Every team in the NHL needs a guy who can step onto the ice and shut stuff down, and Morin is probably that guy. The only worry I have, which is the reason I have him ranked so low, is that in order for him to be that guy, he has to play very physical. Yes, Samuel is a great skater for his size and can move the puck, but he will be relied upon to play physically, kill penalties, guard the front of the net, and shut it down out there. The fact that he hasn’t been able to stay healthy makes me question if he’ll ever be capable of actually doing that, but the upside is still there. He’s a talented player, so I’m hopeful he can get some NHL games in towards the end of this season and begin prepping for a full-time 2019-20 season.

Kurt (ranked him #18): Slammin’ Sammy at it again. Well, not literally, because he’s still not actually At It yet this season. But! If what we’ve been told about his timeline is true (that he should be able to play at game speed by the end of next month), I feel like we’ll find out just how the current front office feels about him by what they do in terms of player movement on defense. If a Gudas or even a MacDonald is sent elsewhere, is Morin going to get the first crack at replacing them (in what will surely be a somewhat limited role out of the gate)? Or is he just going to be a healthy scratch for the rest of the season? Morin, for what it’s worth, didn’t seem overwhelmed by the NHL in his brief stint here last season, though his limitations were still on display there and the sample size was obviously small. Still, in a lost season, there’s no reason not to get him at least some time in the few healthy weeks that he’ll have available.

Maddie (ranked him #22): I don’t know how much I have to add to this, that hasn’t been said already. Morin’s still something of an open question for me, and I’d like to see him get a longer look up with the Flyers, just so we can see what we have in him. That said, the low ranking comes mostly from there being other defensemen in the pipelines whose skillsets I like more starting to break out recently too.

Kelly (ranked him #24): Everyone knows I’m not a Sam Morin fan. Remember how I said that I weigh potential pretty heavily? Yeah... I don’t know how much he has at this point. I’m not ranking a bottom pair defenseman higher than 24, though.

Steph (ranked him #18): I love the idea of Samuel Morin, I need to see him actually on the ice for more than a cup of coffee. I think that will happen this season, and I really believe he will make the team better. So what if he’s a bottom pairing defenseman, I fully believe he will have an impact at the NHL level and will help make the team better.

Kyle (ranked him #19): I desperately need to see this man play in a Flyers uniform for an extended period of time. Once again in the same boat as Steph, the idea of him and what he projects to be is fantastic. The Flyers do need someone who will control the front of the net and be an actually good defensive defenseman. Unlike what we’ve seen from the likes of Andrew MacDonald, Nick Grossmann, and countless others. I can’t wait to see what we have in him once he returns from injury.

18. Tanner Laczynski

Primary Team/League: Ohio State, NCAA
2018-19 Stats: 8 G, 17 A in 21 GP
Rank in Summer 25 Under 25: 18

Jay (ranked him #22): In my opinion Laczynski has been underrated since he’s been drafted. Now in his junior season he seems to have leveled off a bit (though that isn’t necessarily a bad thing). He’s still showcasing that he’s an all-situations type player who can do a little bit of everything (even if he isn’t exceptional at one). It will be interesting to see if he finishes college or if the Flyers can pry him away with an entry-level deal.

Drew (ranked him #17): Laczynski is one of my favorite Flyers NCAA prospects. I quite like Tanner and Wade Allison in terms of forward skill set, and I would hope to see Laczynski on professional ice sooner rather than later.

Mike (ranked him #17): I’ve seen him burn my alma mater a few times in person and he’s the real deal at the NCAA level and should absolutely be mentioned along with Farabee and Allison in terms of the Flyers’ collegiate prospects. He does a lot of things well, and has a pretty well-rounded game, and I’m not looking forward to having to type his last name a lot.

Jake (ranked him #16): Laczynski is a guy I was intrigued by in his draft year and he’s kinda flown under the radar ever since. He’s not super flashy but all the guy does is produce. Most of the talk in Flyers college hockey prospects revolves around Joel Farabee and Wade Allison, but there’s no reason Laczynski shouldn’t be talked about more than he is right now. The bottom line is he’s the 2nd leading scorer on the 3rd ranked team in the nation and that’s worth some attention.

Craig (ranked him #19): Laczynski is still killing it, but because he isn’t posting astronomical point totals and isn’t playing at the pro level yet, I think he often gets lost in the mix. He’s been a top point producer at Ohio State the last few seasons and has a skill set that could translate very well to the NHL level, but we’re all waiting on him to leave the NCAA and join the Phantoms.

Paul (ranked him #18): Well, obviously I NAILED this one, so I don’t really need to say anything about his game, right? This kid is just a bonafide point producer and finds ways to make it happen. He’s got the thiccness at 190 lbs, is a right shot, and is currently ranked 15th among all skaters in the NCAA with a PPG pace of 1.19. Is he a top-end talent? I think he has the makings of a situational middle-six winger, or a great fourth line center. Someone who can go out, make plays, play responsibly, kill penalties, and has the talent to score in all situations. With the center depth in this organization it’s going to be tough for him to crack the middle-six at that position, but we’ll know better once he has left college and joined the Phantoms. Hopefully this upcoming summer he will sign his ELC and be on his way to Lehigh Valley.

Kurt (ranked him #17): I’ve liked Laczynski ever since they drafted him and am curious to know how far away they think he is from the pros. Truthfully, I thought things would be going even better for him this year than they are — he’s basically produced at the same level he did last year, which certainly isn’t bad, but the thought was that he could be a legit Hobey contender with another step forward this season and he’s probably not quite there. But he’s on a team that has legitimate national title aspirations, and we’ve seen prospects in this system elevate their status with dynamic late-season runs to NCAA titles before, so let’s see how the rest of the college season goes for him.

Maddie (ranked him #17): So close! Anyway, maybe we’re not seeing Laczynski taking a massive step forward in his junior year, but maybe it was unfair to assume that he would, in the first place. He’s doing his thing, and doing it well. I don’t have a lot of thoughts on him, but he’s proving to be useful in all situations player with potentially some good upside. I’m here for that.

Kelly (ranked him #21): Not much to add in terms of why I like this kid - over a point-per-game on a very good team, plays well in all situations, etc. - but I think I ranked him a bit lower than most here because, to me, he feels like the kind of player that the Flyers will keep on the Phantoms entirely too long without giving him a proper shot at cracking the lineup for the big team. So I have doubts about what kind of impact he’ll make on this team.

Steph (ranked him #19): I’ve always been a fan of Laczynski, he’s been a consistent scorer for a decent team and is on a better pace this year than last year. Growth is what I’m looking for and he’s doing it, I look forward to seeing what he does next year hopefully in Lehigh Valley.

Kyle (ranked him #14): Laczynski is yet again having another impressive season for Ohio state. He’s on another point per game pace which would give him his second straight PPG season. If he does in fact sign and play with the Phantoms next season I think he could very well make the jump to the NHL by the end of the year. He’s already used to playing against bigger, stronger competition, which should make his transition much smoother.

17. Mark Friedman

Primary Team/League: Lehigh Valley, AHL
2018-19 Stats: 4 G, 12 A in 42 GP
Rank in Summer 25 Under 25: 24

Jay (ranked him #21): I’ve never been on the Friedman-hype as some other Flyers-prospect lovers, but I can’t ignore what most have said that he’s taken positive steps this season. I’m not sure he’ll ever be a 1st or 2nd pairing d-man, but it appears hey may have a 3rd pairing floor and that has value.

Drew (did not rank): Friedman is almost certainly not making the Flyers as a mainstay, and there are more talented players than he at the moment in the pipeline. Thank you, next.

Mike (ranked him #20): He’s not real sexy (sorry, Mark), but he has improved every year and is probably knocking on the door of the NHL roster. He’s mobile and doesn’t handle the puck like a live grenade, but doesn’t have the upside of a guy like Myers.

Brad (ranked him #18): I’m honestly shocked that I ranked him a spot above the average, because I absolutely love watching Friedman play. He’s kind of a jack of all trades in the sense that in one second he can join, or even lead, an offensive rush with his blazing speed, and in the next second he’s planting you on your ass and you don’t know what hit you. His on-ice numbers are down from a year ago, but through the majority of the first half of the season he had been in a top-pair role next to T.J. Brennan, a stark change from the sheltered usage that he saw a year ago. The big thing that has stood out over the last two seasons has been his ability to draw penalties through both his skating and his remarkable ability to irritate a number of players in a given game, while staying out of the box himself. Should his drawn-to-taken ratio stay close to what it’s been through the first 42 games of the season, he’ll once again finish first on the team in penalty differential. I wholeheartedly believe that he’s a NHLer, even if his ceiling isn’t that of a Phil Myers, for example.

Jake (ranked him #19): Every year Friedman improves. You always want to be cautious when evaluating prospects, knowing there are going to be ebbs and flows to their development. Friedman has been fairly consistent in his development. He gives it 10000000% every time he steps on the ice and it’s that edge and intensity that allows him to draw so many penalties. He’s having a really strong year for Lehigh Valley this year and I hope he gets a look in the NHL by the end of this season. He’s earned it.

Craig (ranked him #17): Swish. I feel like he’s improved each year since he’s been drafted and he is third in line to be called up to the Flyers, which could be kinda soon. Not this year, but maybe at some point next season.

Paul (ranked him #15): Friedman was the most impressive of all of the “could maybe crack the NHL lineup” defensemen during development camp and pre-season, at least to me. I absolutely love his game and his decision making both with, and without the puck. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to watch him at all this year for the Phantoms, but everything I hear from Brad and Maddie is encouraging about his game. Myers still has a leg up on him in terms of talent and upside, but I do believe Friedman will have a decent shot at making the team next season out of camp. The upside isn’t quite there, but he has already tied his point total from last season in 23 fewer games. I think he could be a solid partner with Sam Morin on the third pairing as soon as next season, and to me, that holds value. However, he is 23 and he needs to make it happen now. I would like to see him get some games in this season to begin prepping for next year.

Maddie (ranked him #15): Oh, hey, thanks for the shoutout, Paul! Anyway, yeah, I’m a big Friedman fan. I like his potential upside, he’s getting better this year, and I can’t help but feel like we’re still not even scratching the surface with him. Like Brad said, he’s getting a bigger role this season, playing on the top pair with Brennan, which is great, but that also means he’s Playing With Brennan, which also means he likely has to play a more conservative game to cover up Brennan’s defensive lapses. Friedman’s offensive instincts are exciting, and I’d like to see what he could do playing next to a more defensively sound partner, and given a bit more space to work with.

Kelly (ranked him #15): Wow, so many people agree with my ranking, I am so smart and good. Anyhoo, Mark Friedman should be on the Flyers right now, and he would be if not for Andrew MacDonald and Bob Hagg. He’s better than both of those guys, and I hope he gets an NHL shot soon, even if it isn’t here.

Steph (ranked him #15): I think Friedman would be a good replacement for Gudas - he plays on the edge and is a great skater. He has made a lot of improvements this season that helped him move up the rankings for me, we may even see him in the NHL this season and I think that would be cool and good.

Kyle (ranked him #17): Friedman gets lost in the cracks a lot in prospect rankings, but he’s having a really solid season for Lehigh Valley, and continues to improve. He’s already reached his point total from last season of 16, and he’s done that in 42 games. I think he could be a perfect bottom pairing defenseman that can move the puck and provide good offensive instinct on the blueline, ideal for today’s NHL.

Kurt (ranked him #21): The folks who watch Friedman love him and he seems like a fun player that’s easy to root for, and he’s definitely a good AHLer, which is how he makes my ballot here. I guess I just don’t know how high I think the ceiling here is? The ways he succeeds in the AHL, I dunno if those are going to be enough for him to make a big impact in the NHL. I just worry that guys who succeed in the lower levels by just straight-up outworking their opposition tend to have trouble translating that to higher levels when the talent gap is just that much higher. That’s not to say that I don’t think Friedman has translatable skills, I just have doubts that they’re going to make him more than a third-pair guy.

16. Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Primary Team/League: Lehigh Valley, AHL
2018-19 Stats: 10 G, 8 A in 32 GP
Rank in Summer 25 Under 25: 20

Jay (ranked him #11): I’m comfortably on the NAK-hype train now. He made me pause a bit last season with his senseless suspensions, but it appears that should be behind him. NAK has followed up his stupendous 2017-18 campaign with an equally good showing this season that includes an NHL debut. Things didn’t go overly great, but he only averaged five minutes a night thanks to our wonderful former coach.

Drew (ranked him #21): He may be a bottom-six forward? Unfortunately I don’t know given Hakstol’s maddening usage of NAK, but even still, would’ve preferred Martel in this type of situational role. I would really like Aube-Kubel to prove me wrong though, so this tweet is relevant.

Mike (ranked him #18): NAK looks like an NHLer, and the cup of coffee earlier this season only left us wanting to see more. I think he can be an effective bottom-six player, but I’m not sure he’s gonna score much at all and that limits his upside in my view as those types of players are a dime a dozen around the league and replaceable.

Brad (ranked him #15): Like Jay and Drew, I just wish we saw more of Aube-Kubel at the NHL level. He was the biggest surprise for me with the Phantoms last season and he’s been just as good a year later, with a +6.1% CF rel. There’s a strong case to be made that he’s been the team’s best 5-on-5 player two years running, and I guess the only negative that I’d like to throw out there is that he’s found himself in the box a few too many times this season. I view him as a Raffl replacement; they have pretty similar games and similar on-ice impacts, albeit in different leagues. On a lighter note, I hate how many songs I’ve accidentally replaced the actual lyrics with “Nic Nak” in my brain because it fits too well. It haunts me.

Jake (ranked him #17): Aube-Kubel is a play driver. He has very strong possession metrics and he produces on top of it. The negative has been this mean streak he’s developed since graduating from the QMJHL that’s gotten him suspended. I do think he can take that down a notch and the fact that he’s a productive player gives me hope that he can be a solid bottom 6 player for this team, similar to what Michael Raffl has been to this team in his career. He’s injured at the moment, but NAK is another player I’d like to see get a look by the end of this year, a longer one than he had earlier this season.

Maddie (ranked him #14): I like the Raffl comparison a lot, thanks Brad and Jake. Aube-Kubel plays a pretty complete game, and I appreciate that a lot. I think what’s been most exciting for me is seeing him given more opportunities this season and continuing to excel. He was even getting worked into the penalty kill rotation before he got hurt, and he was looking pretty good there, in that relatively limited showing. I’d like to see him get another look up with the Flyers this season, too, and particularly with a coach that knows him and trusts him more than Hakstol did. And I’m excited to see what he can do with a real chance (that is, more than four minutes of playing time a night) with the big club.

Craig (ranked him #16): SWISH. AGAIN. Another player that has seemingly improved every year since he was drafted, NAK is somebody who could be a regular at the NHL level next season. Probably as a bottom-six player, but if he drives play and provides offensive upside I’m a fan.

Paul (did not rank him): This may have been an oversight on my part. I liked him in pre-season and thought he played decent enough in limited ice time with the Flyers this season, but I guess I just don’t see the upside with him. I think there are far too many skilled forwards in the pipeline for him to really crack this lineup and make an impact outside of the 4th line, but I will admit that I probably should have had him ranked as he will definitely be an NHL player soon. I don’t think it helped that Hakstol was the coach while NAK was up with the Flyers, as he averaged about five minutes of ice time during his nine game stint, so not enough to really show what he could do. I probably should have ranked him in the high ‘teens based on his near guarantee to be an NHL player, but his lack of upside left him off for me.

Kelly (ranked him #14): Like Friedman I think NAK is a guy that has already earned an NHL spot, the Flyers just haven’t made room for him yet. He gets better every season, he seems to have gotten the whole “dirty hit” thing under control, and I think he’d be a great addition to the bottom six. Imagine having four lines that can score! The dream!

Steph (ranked him #16): Nailed it. The good news is he hasn’t been suspended yet this season! The bad news is I don’t think he’s much more than a bottom-six guy, and I just can’t get it up for bottom-six guys anymore. I rank based on NHL impact and I think he is solidly an NHL player, I just don’t think his ceiling is that high.

Kyle (ranked him #18): Thank goodness he’s chilled with the suspensions, because outside of those, he was such a pleasant surprise last season. NAK got a few games with the big club earlier this year and really didn’t get much of a chance from former head coach Dave Hakstol. Like others, I think he’s a bottom six guy and while that’s a bummer when we need something to be excited about this season, it’s not bad. NAK has a lot of energy and projects to be a good play-driver which is perfect for the bottom six. If a Michael Raffl type player gets dealt at the deadline, we could see NAK return (once healthy) and hopefully receive more minutes.

Kurt (ranked him #16): I like NA-K. I don’t think he’s particularly amazing at any one thing, but he’s got a well-rounded skill set that should allow him to have a decent floor at the NHL level, and he’s succeeded for multiple years now with the Phantoms. The comparison you heard for him a lot when he was with the team (and that has been made already in these write-ups!) was as a Michael Raffl replacement, and I could see him slotting in there as soon as next year. And while he’s not quite as good a skater as Raffl was, I think he’s got more of a scorer’s touch to his game.

How We Voted For Players 20-16

Player Bill M Brad Craig Drew Jake Jason Joe John Kelly Kurt Kyle Maddie Mike Paul Steph Community Total Points Rank
Player Bill M Brad Craig Drew Jake Jason Joe John Kelly Kurt Kyle Maddie Mike Paul Steph Community Total Points Rank
Jay O'Brien n/a 21 14 19 11 23 18 21 17 20 n/a 20 19 13 n/a 18 104 20
Samuel Morin 15 25 18 18 20 17 19 25 23 18 19 22 16 21 18 16 106 19
Tanner Laczynski 23 17 19 17 16 22 16 n/a 20 17 14 17 17 18 19 23 115 18
Mark Friedman 11 18 17 n/a 19 21 24 17 15 21 17 15 20 15 15 19 126 17
Nicolas Aube-Kubel 14 15 16 21 17 11 12 14 14 16 18 14 18 n/a 16 14 160 16

How We Voted At 20-16

Rank Bill M Brad Craig Drew Jake Jason Joe John Kelly Kurt Kyle Maddie Mike Paul Steph Community
Rank Bill M Brad Craig Drew Jake Jason Joe John Kelly Kurt Kyle Maddie Mike Paul Steph Community
20 Samuel Ersson Samuel Ersson Isaac Ratcliffe Matthew Strome Samuel Morin Wyatt Kalynuk German Rubtsov Samuel Ersson Tanner Laczynski Jay O'Brien Linus Hogberg Jay O'Brien Mark Friedman Egor Zemula Matthew Strome Samuel Ersson
19 Isaac Ratcliffe Robert Hagg Tanner Laczynski Jay O'Brien Mark Friedman David Kase Samuel Morin Noah Cates German Rubtsov Matthew Strome Samuel Morin Robert Hagg Jay O'Brien Matthew Strome Tanner Laczynski Mark Friedman
18 Robert Hagg Mark Friedman Samuel Morin Samuel Morin Linus Hogberg Linus Hogberg Jay O'Brien Wade Allison Noah Cates Samuel Morin Nicolas Aube-Kubel Olle Lycksell Nicolas Aube-Kubel Tanner Laczynski Samuel Morin Jay O'Brien
17 Joel Farabee Tanner Laczynski Mark Friedman Tanner Laczynski Nicolas Aube-Kubel Samuel Morin Connor Bunnaman Mark Friedman Jay O'Brien Tanner Laczynski Mark Friedman Tanner Laczynski Tanner Laczynski Scott Laughton German Rubtsov Wade Allison
16 German Rubtsov Egor Zemula Nicolas Aube-Kubel Wade Allison Tanner Laczynski Wade Allison Tanner Laczynski Linus Hogberg Mikhail Vorobyev Nicolas Aube-Kubel Mikhail Vorobyev Samuel Ersson Samuel Morin Robert Hagg Nicolas Aube-Kubel Samuel Morin