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Philadelphia Flyers 25 Under 25: Morgan Frost hits the pro ranks, get your popcorn ready

extremely Jack Nicholson voice, “Here’s Frossstttyyyy.”

Canada v Finland: Quarterfinal - 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images

While the Flyers have a deep and talented pool of prospects, few —if any— have generated more buzz among both fans and scouts than Morgan Frost.

The former 2017 first-round pick has laid waste to defenses in the OHL the past two years to the tune of 221 points (79 goals, 142 assists) in 125 games for the Sault St. Marie Greyhounds. No OHLer racked up more points than Frost since being tabbed the 27th overall pick by then-GM Ron Hextall in 2017, and now the talented forward is finally headed to the professional ranks.

Now whether his pro career starts with the Flyers or with the Phantoms is really anyone’s guess, and could very well be determined by just how good (or bad) of a preseason Frost has in him this go around. We say this go around because last year did not go well for Frost in training camp and preseason games, and he was promptly sent back to juniors for more seasoning.

Fast forward a year and Frost is back after capping off back-to-back 100-point seasons with the Greyhounds, but is also out of OHL eligibility and (likely) in a battle for potentially one roster spot left on the big club with the Flyers. Could the offensively gifted Frost blow away the Flyers’ brass in camp and force his way onto the roster or does he need time in the AHL to adapt to the speed and pace of the pro game?

Either way, we’ll get a chance to see how the prolific junior point producer will fare against stiffer competition, and that’s going to be good for his development regardless of whether he’s in the NHL or the AHL to start.

No. 7: Morgan Frost

Position: F
Age: 20 (5/14/1999)
Size: 6’0”, 170
Acquired Via: 2017 NHL Draft — Round 1, Pick 27 (Pick acquired from St. Louis along with a first-round pick in 2018 and Jori Lehtera in exchange for Brayden Schenn on June 23, 2017)
2018-19 League/Team/Statistics: Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) - 37 G, 72 A in 58 GP
Nationality: Canadian
Ranking in BSH Winter 2019 25 Under 25: 6

The reason Frost is so high in the rankings if pretty simple: he’s the most gifted offensive player the Flyers have in their system.

Frost has elite hockey sense, vision, passing, and a real flare for offensive fireworks. The 20-year-old has the ability to keep the puck on a string and create offense for either himself of his linemates with ease and consistency. He likely won’t get mistaken for Patrik Laine, but Frost has a quick release and the creative offensive instincts to find the back of the net.

If you needed more evidence of Frost’s offensive capabilities, not only did he leave OHL defenses scorched, but he did the very same in World Juniors to the tune of four goals and four assists in just five games for Team Canada. Frost led the team in scoring despite comically low ice time throughout the tournament, where the Canadians didn’t even medal. Maybe should have given Frost a little more run out there, scoring goals is good! Anyways it was a good showcase for the Flyers’ prospect, who showed he was able to produce against the best competition offered to him on an international stage.

One of the knocks on Frost has been an old hockey men favorite: size.

Frost was a straight-up string bean when the Flyers made him the 27th overall pick in 2017, though pretty much no different than any kids when they get drafted that young. His draft + 1 season showed that, while slight, he was still a great talent with the numbers to back it up. But the concerns persisted and after that season, and Frost showed up to Flyers camp after putting on about 10 pounds to get to a much more manageable 185 pounds a year ago. Despite the added size, Frost didn’t have a great camp and was sent back to the Greyhounds to hone his game. The added weight did help him dominate juniors again and look visibly stronger on the puck throughout the season, which only bodes well for him going forward. Frost doesn’t shy away from contact and uses his body to shield defenders and protect the puck a lot as a young player, the extra weight will help him transition to the pro game immensely —especially in those all-important puck battles along the boards.

Talk of issues with pace of play and Frost are almost ridiculous until we see him play against the speed of the NHL game. Even in the AHL —should he start there— there is a massive gap between minors speed and full-on NHL speed. Given his instincts and ability, it won’t be shock to see Frost light up the AHL after getting acclimated, he’s just too skilled not to. The question then becomes whether or not he can excel against NHL competition, where the players are way faster and stronger than anything he’s ever faced before. That could be a legit concern in time, but really only if he bottoms out in Lehigh Valley, which would be a shock.

There are open jobs to be won (Still vacant top-9 spot, Tyler Pitlick injury) with the Flyers when we head into training camp, and Frost certainly has the abilities to take it and run. This will be an important year of development for Frost, and everyone is excited to see him hit the pro game and get a look at just what the Flyers might have in him going forward into the future.

He’s finally here and it’s going to be fun, folks.

Previously in Philadelphia Flyers Summer 2019 Top 25 Under 25:

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