Lehigh Valley Phantoms Top 14 Prospects For The 2021 Season

Pascal Laberge, Philadelphia Flyers (Photo by Jeffrey T. Barnes/Getty Images)
Pascal Laberge, Philadelphia Flyers (Photo by Jeffrey T. Barnes/Getty Images) /
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We’re finally almost here. The 2021 AHL hockey season is upon us. There was some uncertainty if an AHL season would even happen but here we are. The Phantoms were set to open preseason play tonight, but the team announced it has been postponed. Now is still a perfect time to rank the prospects on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Just a disclaimer these are skaters that have made the roster out of training camp and not in college such as Bobby Brink and Cam York. It’s also important to note that missing from this list are some of the guys from the Flyers Taxi Squad with the names of Carsen Twarynski and Connor Bunnaman. Now with that disclaimer out of the way let’s get into one of my favorite articles before the start of the AHL season.

With no ECHL season this year for the Reading Royals in 2021 due to COVID-19, doing a top prospect list is a little different than it has been in years past. It’s also huge to note here that with no start date for junior hockey in sight please keep that in mind.

Typically, I take into account not only the tools and the upside, but performance has to play into the equation. We have no “performance” to go off for some of these guys at the professional level so this list together based on past season’s, what is expected of them in the AHL, plus what value they bring to the table.

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms prospect pool takes a very interesting dive this year due to some players that are playing at the pro level that aren’t even finishing their junior years yet due to COVID-19 but I believe that those players will be staying put. Next some prospects on this list, I believe would’ve seen more time in the ECHL under head coach Kirk McDonald with the Royals but as I stated in the disclaimer, no ECHL season this year at, least for the Philadelphia Flyers organization.

There are plenty of prospects to be excited about but the big challenge for head coach Scott Gordon is where in the world do you find playing time for everyone on this roster? Certainly a monkey wrench in the AHL season this year due to no junior hockey, yet. Of course you even have the on-going questions if a Calder Cup will even be awarded this year with most teams if not all playing only three in their own division.

How do you divvy up the standings to see who gets into the playoffs? I guess we will have to wait and see how that plays out so more on that later in a future piece.

It is also worth noting there have been changes across the entire minor league hockey landscape with teams opting out of the ECHL and AHL season and multiple players are on loan to different teams serving as duel affiliations for this wild year. Currently the Philadelphia Flyers will not be placing any player to an ECHL team that’s not their own and everyone that was on-loan during the off-season has returned to the states. Of course things can change but I don’t see it happening.

The Philadelphia Flyers affiliations this year will be:

Lehigh Valley Phantoms – AHL

None – ECHL

Without further ado, here are my top 14 prospects for the 2021 season.