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Philadelphia Flyers prospects: Phantoms turn it around, Morin suspended

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It's time for your weekly look into the future of the Flyers with the prospect report. Taking a look at the Phantoms turnaround and a glance into the CHL with some prospect updates.

Jason Akeson hopes to rejoin the Flyers after his recent streak.
Jason Akeson hopes to rejoin the Flyers after his recent streak.
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

This week's Prospect Fly-By

Everything you missed from around the minors this week.

Phantoms battle on

The Phantoms headed into Valentine's Day weekend hoping to love the outcome of their three games ahead. They were coming off a road overtime win in Hershey, but were still in a bit of a rut.

The weekend started with a Friday the 13th matchup at home against Binghamton. The Senators scored just over two minutes into the game and added another later in the period to go up by two. The Phantoms came back with a power play goal with two seconds remaining in the period to lift their spirits as they headed to the locker room. Nick Cousins picked up the tally with assists to Brandon Manning and Jason Akeson, all three of which continued their hot streaks this game.

The second period started with 19 scoreless minutes before the Senators took their two goal lead back with a last-minute power play goal of their own. Lehigh Valley added another power play goal (Manning from Cousins and Akeson) midway through the third period but couldn't get more than that as they dropped the weekend opener 3-2 at home.

Rob Zepp made his return to the lineup in this one, stopping 29 of the 32 shots that he faced in the defeat. Defenseman Steven Delisle fought three times in the game, earning him a misconduct. He had 22 penalty minutes on the night and now has 116 penalty minutes in 44 games played. Not to be outdone, Jay Rosehill had 19 penalty minutes of his own and now has a whopping 172 penalty minutes in 46 games.

***

The Phantoms traveled to Wilkes-Barre on Saturday to face off with the Penguins. This was a back and forth affair with each team scoring four times in regulation. Zepp started again for Lehigh Valley, showing no signs of fatigue from his injury or rust from his time off. He stopped 26 of the 30 shots he faced through 67 minutes, and the game was to be decided in the dreaded shootout. Petr Straka and Taylor Leier scored for the Phantoms in the shootout to clinch it, as Zepp stopped three of the four Penguins he faced. Akeson earned first star honors with two goals. Cousins and Manning also had multi-point nights, with Cousins adding three assists and Manning adding two.

***

One for two isn't bad, but two for three would be better. Lehigh Valley looked to win back-to-back games for the first time since their four-game win streak in early January, but the Springfield Falcons were standing in their way. The Phantoms held leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 4-2 before the Falcons clawed back to tie the game in the third period. For the second time in as many days, regulation time was not enough to decide a winner. However, this game didn't reach the shootout and it didn't even make it past 24 seconds into overtime when Andrew Gordon scored his 15th goal of the season to win it for the Phantoms.

***

Lehigh Valley was peaking at the right time as they headed into their midweek home game against the Binghamton Senators. They went up 2-0 early on goals by Zack Stortini and Petr Straka before seeing that lead vanish late in the third period. With just 3:57 left to play the Senators' Darren Kramer tied the game at two. Less than a minute later however, Akeson decided that he wanted to play hero and score a late-period goal of his own. This was his second point of the night and extended his point streak to 10 games, with eight goals and six assists. Akeson's hero status was thwarted though when the Senators tied it up in the final minute and won it in overtime. Anthony Stolarz played stellar in his return to the AHL, stopping 40 of the 44 shots thrown his way.

The PPL Center will be the place to be this weekend as the Phantoms host Providence and Hartford on Friday and Saturday night as they look to extend their three-game point streak.

Lehigh Valley point leaders

Player Position Games Goals Assists Points
Nick Cousins
C
Last 5 Games 5 2 7 9
Season 51 16 29 45
Brandon Manning
D
Last 5 Games 5 1 6 7
Season 49 9 28 37
Jason Akeson
RW
Last 5 Games 5 5 3 8
Season 33 16 16 32
Andrew Gordon
RW
Last 5 Games 5 1 1 2
Season 51 15 16 31
Taylor Leier
LW
Last 5 Games 5 2 1 3
Season 48 13 13 26

Nick Cousins is having a pretty good February after a fantastic January, he nearly has upped his season pace to a point per game. Brandon Manning is still producing well and should be given another shot in the big show, but that seems unlikely in the near future. Jason Akeson has gone on a tear recently, not only does he have eight points in his last five games but a 10-game point streak as well with 14 points in that stretch. Akeson is another intriguing case that should get another look in the NHL at some point. Gordon and Leier are pitching in when they can and still have some potential as fringe-NHL guys.

I'd like, and almost expect, to see Manning and Akeson back with the Flyers after the trade deadline at some point in the latter stages of March.

Prospect points

League Player Position Games Goals Assists Points Team
QMJHL
Nicolas Aube-Kubel
RW
Last 5 Games 5 3 8 11
Val-d'Or Foreurs
Season 48 28 36 64
WHL
Radel Fazleev
LW
Last 5 Games 5 1 1 2
Calgary Hitmen
Season 56 17 24 41
WHL
Tyrell Goulbourne
LW
Last 5 Games 5 0 2 2
Kelowna Rockets
Season 49 17 19 36
QMJHL
Samuel Morin
D
Last 5 Games 5 0 4 5
Rimouski Oceanic
Season 24 4 19 23
WHL
Travis Sanheim
D
Last 5 Games 5 1 2 3
Calgary Hitmen
Season 52 11 40 51

A huge set of games for Nicolas Aube-Kubel who could see himself shot up the prospect list after this stellar campaign. Morin continued his point per game pace and showed some of that Philadelphia culture when he was suspended earlier this week. A slow week otherwise for the kids.