We’re just about wrapped up our prospect projections, and we’re rounding out our series here, talking about this most recent bunch of draftees.
We should note that, at present, it’s a little difficult to make any super precise guesses as to when these prospects will be able to make the jump to the NHL, because much of that judgement comes based on how they perform in their draft+1 season. But, fear not, we’ve enlisted some expert help to weigh in on this matter.
So, when will Cam York make the NHL?
*shakes Magic 8 Ball*
“Outlook not so good”
Hm, no, that doesn’t sound right.
*shakes Magic 8 Ball, harder this time*
“Cannot predict now”
“Cannot predict now”
Okay, you know what, I’m over it. We’re on our own. Let’s do some guessing. Thanks for nothing, magic 8 ball.
Cam York (14th overall)
The Flyers did say they wanted to bolster their pipeline at defense with this draft, and they kicked that off early, and they seemed to grab a good first addition with York. He had himself not just a very good draft year, but a historic draft year, when he scored 14 goals and 65 points in 63 games played with the NTDP. He’s bound for the University of Michigan this season, so we’ll have to wait at least a year to see him join the Flyers or Phantoms, but he may well be the prospect drafted this year who’s the closest.
How close? That’s the question. If we were to go hunting for some comparables based on his scoring in his draft year, we’d come up with two—Quinn Hughes (53 points in 65 games) and Adam Fox (59 points in 64 games)—but even then, they don’t help us all that much. Hughes spent one season at the University of Michigan, and is slated to join the Canucks this season. Fox spent three seasons at Harvard and is only just figuring to join the Rangers this season. And context is important here as well, as Vancouver needs Hughes soon, and Fox never really seemed interested in signing with Calgary or Carolina, so waiting it out to go to New York (even if a trade didn’t send him there) seemed to be the play. And where does that leave us? As we said, York will spend at least one season in college, and it wouldn’t be a big surprise if, assuming her bulks up a bit and gets stronger, if he signs after this season, as the Phantoms won’t have very many defensemen under contract. But, as the same time, the Flyers are well enough stocked at the NHL level and with prospects ahead of him that it isn’t like they need him on the roster immediately.
Magic 8 Ball says: Most likely.
Bobby Brink (34th overall)
And now we arrive at the player who might just be the steal of the draft! Bobby Brink fell to the second round despite having a distinctly dynamic scoring touch due to his skating, and the Flyers likely won’t be complaining. Brink scored 35 goals and 32 assists in 43 games in the USHL, which is, yeah, it’s pretty good. But as we alluded to, he’s also got some work to do. We’ve talked at length since he was drafted about his skating and the improvements that he needs to make there, so we won’t beat that one into the ground. He’s off to the University of Denver for this season, and it seems reasonable that he might spend a couple of seasons there, working on the skating and getting stronger overall, before making the jump to the pros (more likely the AHL, considering the depth of the Flyers’ prospect pool at forward, so they don’t need to rush him).
Magic 8 Ball says: Outlook good.
Ronnie Attard (72nd overall)
Another defenseman! The Flyers went a little off board in drafting Attard, but there seems to be some promise there. He scored 30 goals and 64 points in 48 games in the USHL as a defenseman, and even if he is a little older than his peers in this draft class, that’s quite a feat.
And here is where the search for comparables gets a little tricky. Because Attard was passed over in the first two drafts for which he was eligible, and then went on to score 30 goals in the USHL. No one has done that. Players who were passed over twice just don’t put up those sort of numbers. And we’re not quite sure what to do with that, and that’s okay. Where we’re at is cautious optimism with Attard, and perhaps more so than with any of the other players in this draft class, his first season in college (Western Michigan) will be important in helping us gauge just what we have with Attard. He’ll be taking a step up in terms of difficulty in competition, and the playing field is evened a bit. From there we’ll be able to start to get a better picture of what his ceiling might be, and when he’ll be ready to turn pro. As we said with York, there will be spots open with the Phantoms after this season, but it’ll be up to Attard if he’s ready to take that next step.
Magic 8 Ball says: Most likely.
Mason Millman (103rd overall)
And another defenseman, still! Millman had, all told, a modest draft season with the Saginaw Spirit of the OHL, registering
Millman also has some work to do on his skating, as well as just polishing his overall game, and he’ll be heading back to Saginaw to do so this season. There will be spots open on defense for the Phantoms, again, but with Millman’s game not quite so finessed, it looks at present like he may well need those two seasons after his year to work on putting everything together. It certainly isn’t outside the realm of possibility that he takes a massive step forward and really makes the Flyers think about bringing him up after just one season, but right now that feels like more of a long shot. So it will be up to him to put the work in on his game and work towards checking that next box that we like to see from overage prospects playing in junior, that they can dominate that league. Millman hasn’t hit the point of dominating the OHL yet, and that’s going to be the next step for him.
Magic 8 Ball says: Reply hazy. Try again.
Egor Serdyuk (165th overall)
We’re carrying some of that sentiment over with us into these talks on Seryduk. He had himself a quietly very solid draft season, putting up 65 points in 63 games in hist first season with the Victoriavile Tigres of the QMJHL, after coming over from Russia. It is the easiest of the leagues in the CHL but those are still more than respectable numbers for a draft year.
The logjam at forward ahead of him will likely keep him out of the AHL for two more seasons, so we’ll be looking to see that he can keep improving his game and getting to the point of dominating the Q. we’ve got a solid foundation in the draft season, now we just need to see that Seryduk can, at the very least, repeat that performance. We’re looking for a level of consistency of play, of repeatability of production. He’s going to have time to polish his game, but he also has to show us that he’s capable to that as well.
Magic 8 Ball says: Don’t count on it!
Roddy Ross (169th overall)
The first and only goalie the Flyers picked in this year’s draft, they selected Ross in the sixth round. He’s coming off of a fine enough draft season, which saw him split his time between the AJHL (22 games) and the WHL (25 games), where he put up pretty similar numbers—he recorded a 2.94 GAA and a .920 sv% in the AJHL and a 2.76 GAA and a .919 sv% in the WHL, which are solid enough, all in all. He’ll be with Seattle full time next season, so the test will be if he can put together a full season of just as respectable results in the WHL, if not building on them.
It’s difficult to make projections on players this young, in general, but goalies in particular can be even tougher to pin down as they are, as we like to say, voodoo. There are a number of solid goalie prospects in front of him so Ross will have the big task ahead of him not just of proving that the can be a useful piece in the organization, but to prove that he’s good enough to eventually vault over the players ahead of him on the depth chart. And that’ll take some time.
Magic 8 Ball says: My sources say no.
Bryce Brodzynski (196th overall)
And finally, we wrap things up with Brodzynski, perhaps one of our most curious cases. He played most of his games last year in the Minnesota high school system, where he dominated, putting up 32 goals and 76 points in 23 games played. And while high school players can be kind of tough to get a read on, because they’re just playing against high schoolers, Brodzynski did also play 19 games with the Omaha Lancers of the USHL in his draft year, where he recorded seven goals and 10 assists. Those are numbers that feel like should have gotten him drafted before the seventh round, but we digress.
The question for Brodzynski will be is he’s able to maintain that same scoring punch at the next level, or if this really just was him out here beating up on other high schoolers. He’ll be joining the University of Minnesota this season, so he’ll have the chance to prove just that. Because of the logjam at forward, again, he’s another one who we don’t figure we’ll see making the jump to the pros for a few more years, but he’s got some raw potential, and he may well make it, yet.
Magic 8 Ball says: Ask again later.
All stats via Elite Prospects. All Magic 8 Ball verdicts via this simulator here.