Flyers Faithful asked Dave Isaac from Philly Sports Daily, Ryan from Flyers Goal Scored By…, Anthony Mingioni from The Hockey Guys,Center Ice Philly, and Sportsology, and our very own Frick five questions about the first half of the season. We are very grateful that they took the time to share their opinions and predictions with us. Each day of this week, we will run the answers to one of those questions. Today’s question is:
Schenn aside, which prospects stand the best chance of making the Flyers this season?
Dave Isaac: When the Flyers made the big trades over the summer, it looked like Matt Read might be pushed down the depth chart, but he’s proved in the preseason that the Flyers will have a hard time keeping him out of the lineup. He can take faceoffs and he can pass, that’s for sure. He has shown a bit of trouble finishing near the net, though. But if he finds a way to prove that before the preseason ends, he could secure a roster spot.
Ryan: Just like the guys who actually get paid to write about this stuff, Read has impressed me. But I’m really pushing for Couturier to make the club. I know that the kid will have some growing pains but he cannot waste a year in juniors dicking around and winning the league scoring title. I think he’ll definitely be around for 9 games but hope he solidifies his spot with decent defensive play and 4 to 5 points.
Anthony Mingioni: Winger Matt Read has just about locked up a roster spot with excellent two way play. He is overcoming a number of limitations to prove himself to the coach staff and management. His puck smarts and speed are plainly evident. There are alot of great tangibles and intangibles about first round pick Sean Couturier, but with a slide-able contract, he’ll probably be back in juniors. With Tom Sestito being waived (and likely sent down to Adirondack), winger Zac Rinaldo has had some nice moments in the preseason, enough so that he may be on the opening night roster. If Lilja is underwhelming, I’d expect Gustafsson to be the first defensive call up with Kevin Marshall not far behind.
Frick: Two weeks ago, I would have said none. With the Shelley suspension, it seems there might be an open spot on the roster. The Flyers have some intriguing prospects to fight for this spot. Tom Sestito seemed to be the logical man to fill it (until being waived), but Zac Rinaldo may have stolen the spot from him. If the Flyers wanted to go in a different direction with that spot, Matt Read has looked great so far. I also think Eric Wellwood and Erik Gustaffson will both be used at some point this season (injuries/coach’s decisions). While Couturier has had a good preseason, I hope he is not rushed, and gets a year in the minors to fill out, build muscle and work on skating. There were times where he looked like a bumbling bear out there. And since Hartnell is still around, that spot is already filled.