The Philadelphia Flyers winger has continued to be a fabulous presence in the team’s Bottom-6 group.
Though the Philadelphia Flyers brass weren’t too fond of the Alberta, Canada native to begin the 2019-20 campaign, I think it’s safe to say that Nicolas Aube-Kubel has now won them and any other skeptic over with his play at the NHL level. Aube-Kubel was recalled by the team back in December due to a litany of injuries in the Flyers forward group, serving as nothing more than a replacement until those who were sidelined came back to the lineup.
The soon-to-be 24-year-old took full advantage of his second opportunity in the league, though, scoring three points in his first five games while proving to be solid in covering his own end. His play eventually led to a seemingly permanent role in Philadelphia’s Bottom-6 and, at times, Top-9, where NAK has continued to thrive in this season, especially in recent contests.
Since the start of February, Aube-Kubel’s been producing points at a career-high rate, posting six points in 12 games during the month while riding a brief, two-game point streak from the 18th to the 20th. That marked the first time NAK scored in back-to-back matchups at the NHL, doing so with less than 50 league games under his belt. What’s made this recent hot stretch on offense from Aube-Kubel more impressive is that he’s doing all of this in a limited amount of ice-time. The 2014 second-round selection has averaged just over ten minutes of total Time on Ice (TOI) in February, never obtaining more than 13 throughout the month so far. Though this type of TOI should be expected of somebody skating in a lower-line role, it’s still admirable to see Aube-Kubel find ways to score in such a small amount of time per shift. I wouldn’t expect him to continue to produce at this rate through season’s end
Even when he’s not scoring, Aube-Kubel’s motor, defensive IQ, and forechecking prowess make him a valuable commodity to have in any club’s Bottom-6. Hopefully, General Manager Chuck Fletcher will opt to re-sign the winger this offseason, as his one-year deal is set to expire after this year.