After the longest hiatus we’ve had since we did our first-ever BSH Flyers Top 25 Under 25 back in February 2014 (my god, look at some of these names), we’re back with another version. For those of you who partook in our Community Ballot voting, thank you for your input once again. For those of you who didn’t, I’m sorry about your life choices.
Anywho! The 25 Under 25 is a sometimes-more-than-yearly-but-at-least-yearly series that we here at BSH take part in as we look to evaluate the young talent in — and, in turn, the future of — the Flyers’ organization. We take every player under 25 that’s either under contract or on the Flyers’ reserve list, and ... we rank them. By really whatever criteria we choose, but typically one that’s meant to represent their value to the organization by whatever definition of that term our voting panel members use.
Of course, none of the other iterations of the Top 25 Under 25 that we’ve done here have come after a hockey season quite like the one we’ve just lived through, so our approach here is going to change a little bit. The 2020-21 hockey season was, for obvious reasons, the strangest season that many of us have ever seen. And that weirdness has some consequences when it comes to our little exercise here. It’s been harder for us to actually get viewings in on a lot of these guys, and as we Flyers fans know as well as anyone, sometimes it’s tough to evaluate players’ long-term potentials in the backdrop that circumstances like the one this year has set.
As such, we’re not going to go quite as deep on some of these guys as we maybe normally would in this series, and instead, we’ll attempt to answer four questions about each of them:
- How did this player’s 2020-21 hockey season go? Is his stock trending up or down from where it was entering the year?
- What are we expecting from him this season? What should we be looking for from him?
- How does he fit into the Flyers’ long-term plans? Where does he stand in the Flyers’ organizational depth?
- What do we think his ultimate NHL upside is, and how likely is it that he gets to something approaching that?
Consider this a bit of a “taking inventory” exercise. We’ll be watching these players throughout the year, and we’ll see how things go as the sport gets back to something resembling normal, but until we’re there, we’re going to keep things a bit more simple than we usually do.
With that, before we proceed, let’s take care of some housekeeping:
Who decides the Top 25?
There are 10 ballots that make up our final ranking. Nine of them are courtesy of the voters on our masthead who chose to participate; the tenth was decided by you, the BSH community, last week.
Who exactly is in the running?
Any member of the Flyers’ reserve list that was under the age of 25 as of August 15, 2021. That gives us the following 44 players, listed alphabetically within their own position groups:
Forwards: Wade Allison, Bobby Brink, Bryce Brodzinski, Connor Bunnaman, Noah Cates, Jackson Cates, Elliot Desnoyers, Joel Farabee, Tyson Foerster, Morgan Frost, Gavin Hain, David Kase, Travis Konecny, Tanner Laczynski, Olle Lycksell, Connor McClennon, Owen McLaughlin, Jay O’Brien, Isaac Ratcliffe, German Rubtsov, Matthew Strome, Maksim Sushko, Samu Tuomaala, Marcus Westfalt, Zayde Wisdom
Defensemen: Emil Andrae, Ronnie Attard, Adam Ginning, Linus Hogberg, Mason Millman, Ty Murchison, Ivan Provorov, Ethan Samson, Jack St. Ivany, Wyatte Wylie, Cam York, Brian Zanetti, Egor Zamula
Goaltenders: Samuel Ersson, Ivan Fedotov, Carter Hart, Alexei Kolosov, Felix Sandstrom, Kirill Ustimenko
Who missed the cut?
We won’t list every player who’s listed above but didn’t make it, but here’s every player in the ranking that got at least one top-25 vote on our 10 ballots (the “others receiving votes” section, essentially):
Felix Sandstrom - 20 votes
Mason Millman - 16 votes
Jackson Cates - 15 votes
Adam Ginning - 13 votes
Kirill Ustimenko - 13 votes
Wyatte Wylie - 13 votes
Olle Lycksell - 11 votes
Gavin Hain - 9 votes
Connor McClennon - 9 votes
Alexei Kolosov - 7 votes
Jack St. Ivany - 3 votes
With that, we’re ready to get started! No. 25 will come later today; from there forward, we’ll do 2-3 posts most weekdays through the end of next week.