We’re back, gang! It’s a brand new season, and like the NHL squad, the Flyers’ prospects are all finally back in action, and we’re here to talk about them.
For those new to the series, every week we’re highlighting some of the standout performances by Flyers prospects all around, as well as some big news as it happens (none this week though). And without further ado, let’s get right into it!
In some ways, it was a disappointing start to the season for Attard on a personal level. He hung around longer than just about anybody else at NHL camp, but fell just short of getting any actual regular season game play with them, before getting sent down to the AHL to join the Phantoms. But if this was a disappointment for Attard, he hasn’t let it show in his on-ice results. He’s right back to doing the same things he did in college—stepping up and being a real force offensively for his team while still maintaining a good defensive responsibility. He put up two goals, two assists (very nearly three), and eight shots on goal in the Phantoms’ two games on the weekend. He’s looking comfortable at the professional level already, and while game does still need some polishing, he’s setting himself a really strong foundation, so far.
Gauthier moved over to center when he made the jump to college this fall, and it’s been a bit of an open question as to whether that transition would be a smooth one, and the answer, so far, seems to be a pretty hard yes. Boston College just had the one game one deck last weekend—a 5-0 win over UNH—and Gauthier made a solid impact therein.
He picked up his second goal of the season, his first at home, and chipped in an assist on top of that. Now, it’s still the very, very early goings, and we don’t want to get into setting unreasonable expectations for a prospect still getting adjusted to the NCAA level (even if he was a fifth overall pick), but Gauthier’s off to a very good start, it’s been fun to watch, and we’ll see where he goes from here.
Okay, okay, this stat line doesn’t absolutely leap off the page like one we’ll get to in just a moment, but we’re grading on a bit of a curve here, taking into account that Andrae is finding a nice bit of productivity in one of the world’s top professional leagues. After spending the bulk of last season playing down in the Allsvenskan, Andrae is back in the SHL, being given a significant role with his team, and really running with that opportunity. Over the last week’s two games, he picked up a goal and an assist, and has been hovering a little over 20 minutes of ice time a game, and seems comfortable as ever in that role, and his stock just keeps on rising.
That grading curve we mentioned had Samson shuffled out of our top three showings of the week, but only just barely. Over in the WHL with Prince George, Samson’s off to a pretty stellar start to the season. He came into the week with a solid enough four points in his first five games, but he gave that total a very nice boost this weekend, as he chipped in a further two goals and three assists in Prince George’s two games, a tidy figure indeed for a defenseman. We’ll see soon if this was just a flash in the pan, or if that pace was a bit more predictive, will be sustainable, but with Samson entering his fourth WHL season, we should expect that he should be figuring out the league well enough.
After having what should have been his second season with the Phantoms derailed by injury last year, Foerster is back and looking to get back to contributing to the team with some consistency, and he’s off to a good start, so far. In the first four games of the season, he’s picked up three points, including two (a goal and an assist) this weekend. And that goal was really something.
Tyson Foerster with a no-look snipe for his first of the season pic.twitter.com/4mKf451tBV— Brad Keffer (@brad_keffer) October 23, 2022
The Phantoms, while deeper than they were for much of last season, are already looking a bit diminished in their lineup because of injuries continuing to hit the Flyers, but the organization seems committed to giving Foerster a long, consistent stretch of time in the AHL to continue to grow and round out his game. He’s going to get a lot of minutes to work with, and he’s already starting to find his legs again. We’ll see if or how he’s able to build on this, but things are looking good so far.
Desnoyers is also part of that group getting himself acclimated to playing at the professional level with the Phantoms, and all in all, he’s been doing a good job of it. He was able to extend his scoring streak to three games—the first three of the season—but that came to an end on Sunday. But, that said, he still played well enough on the whole, even if he didn’t find a way to get on the scoresheet, and chipped in two shots on goal to boot. Things are likely going to be a bit up and down for Desnoyers this year—it’s a long season and that’s just the reality of making the jump to the professional level—but he’s doing well to hit the ground running and get things started on a high note.