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Philadelphia Flyers Midterm Top 25 Under 25, No. 15: Mark Alt

One of a few new defensive prospects for the Flyers, Mark Alt hopes to shine in a system known for its lack of depth on the backend.

Mark Alt

Birthdate: October 18, 1991 (age 22)
Acquired via: Trade with the Carolina Hurricanes, along with Brian Boucher, for Luke Pither in January 2013.
Current Team/League: Adirondack Phantoms, AHL
Nationality: United States (Kansas City, Mo.)
Size: 6'4", 201
Contract: $781,667 per year through 2016 (two-way, entry-level contract)

In the past year or so, the Flyers have been really loading up the defensive prospects. One guy they hope to fill the blue line in the future is former college star Mark Alt.

Alt came to the Flyers in slightly strange circumstances. In early January 2013, the Flyers acquired him and Brian Boucher for Luke Pither (who would end up signing with KalPa in Finland the following summer). It seems a little odd that Carolina would give up a former second round draft pick for ECHL-level talent, so let's unpack this.

Before joining the Adirondack Phantoms last April, Alt spent three seasons playing for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. His best point production season was during his sophomore year, notching 5 goals and 22 points in 43 games.

If you take a look at analysis of Alt, it says pretty much exactly what you'd expect for a young defenseman. Here's what Hockey's Future has to say about him:

Like his father [former Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Jon Alt], Alt is a tall man but despite his height is a fluid skater who has good speed and agility. Having not yet played at a higher level of hockey, he is still raw in terms of tactical play and positioning but is a strong two-way player according to scouts who've seen him play.

I feel like we've read that for pretty much every defensive prospect -- "good skater" but still "too raw." Hockey's Future gives him a "C" grade in terms of likelihood of success, but to be honest, I'm not entirely sure how reliable that metric is.

He started off this season with a bit of bad luck, suffering a concussion in the rookie game against Washington back in September. Luckily it doesn't seem to have held him back, as he currently has 12 points in 46 games up in Adirondack. Not exactly an offensively minded guy, but not too shabby for his first full season at the professional level. Hopefully, even if he does begin to become a force at the AHL level, the Flyers stay patient with him and allow him to develop. Too many guys who come into NHL teams' systems get rushed, and it just kills their development.

It's unlikely that we'll see Alt at the NHL level any time soon -- unfortunately for him the Flyers simply have too many 7th defenseman to give him a chance. Perhaps he'll hit the ice if the Flyers find themselves out of playoff contention, but let's not talk about that.

Alt may or may not ever dress for the Flyers, but he's a nice addition to the formerly shallow defensive prospect pool. I know we all wish him nothing but success.

*Side note: when Alt signed his entry-level contract, you guys went bananas with the keyboard jokes in the comments. I'll hold back, but do your worst.

How we voted for Mark Alt:

Albert Allison Charlie Collin Kelly Kevin Kurt Travis
18 12 17 11 23 15 17 18

Who we voted for at No. 16:

Albert Allison Charlie Collin Kelly Kevin Kurt Travis
Nick Cousins Merrick Madsen Brandon Manning Nick Cousins Marc-Andre Bourdon Mark Alt Marcel Noebels Brandon Manning