Flyers Week 3 prospect report: Phantoms on fire and more

NEWARK, NJ - SEPTEMBER 25: Samu Tuomaala #56 of the Philadelphia Flyers warms up prior to the game against the New Jersey Devils on September 25, 2023 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NJ - SEPTEMBER 25: Samu Tuomaala #56 of the Philadelphia Flyers warms up prior to the game against the New Jersey Devils on September 25, 2023 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia Flyers are riding an impressive wave of form as they start the season 3-1-1, and their AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley Phantoms are following suit.

In last week’s Flyers prospect report, we covered:

  • Denver Barkey’s scoring start to the season
  • The NCAA prospects heating up
  • and Carson Bjarnason’s two-game win streak

This week, we’ll focus on the Phantoms’ start to their season, Matvei Michkov’s All-Star bid, and other Flyers prospects around the globe.

Lehigh Valley (AHL)

  • F Olle Lycksell
    • After scoring 14 goals, 31 assists, and 45 points in 53 games, Lyckell has scored in each of his last three games with Lehigh Valley to start 2023-24.
    • The Flyers’ 2016 seventh-round pick scored a hat trick against the Springfield Thunderbirds on Oct. 20, scored again against the Hartford Wolfpack the next day, and scored against Springfield again the day after that.
    • Don’t look now, but Lycksell is on pace for 72 goals in 72 games!
  • F Samu Tuomaala
    • The Flyers’ 2021 second-round pick has points in three out of his five AHL appearances, highlighted by a two-assist effort against Springfield on the 20th.
    • Tuomaala is playing his first full season in North America, having only played two prior AHL games during the 2021-22 season.
  • D Adam Ginning
    • The hulking Swedish defender looked like he had an outside chance to beat Emil Andrae to the Flyers’ roster, but he’s making good of his time in the AHL in the meantime.
    • Ginning is up to one goal and two assists in five games, and both of those assists came in a 3-2 win over the Thunderbirds on Oct. 22.
    • The former second-round pick is known more for his physicality and defending than his offense, so it’s nice to see some production out of him with the farm squad.
  • F Elliot Desnoyers
    • The 21-year-old also had a chance to make the Flyers outright after an impressive debut season in the AHL last year, but was set back by an up-and-down training camp.
    • Like Ginning, Desnoyers also has three points in five games and is on pace for a second consecutive 40-point season with the Phantoms.
  • D Ronnie Attard
    • With some prior NHL experience, it was a bit of a surprise that Attard couldn’t hammer down a place with the Flyers given the team’s lack of depth on the right side of the defense.
    • At the age of 24, the 2019 third-round pick is probably on his last legs in Philadelphia if he cannot break through quickly. One goal and two assists is a good start, but Attard will need to do something special to displace Andrae and Yegor Zamula, even with the Marc Staal injury.
  • F Alexis Gendron
    • The teenager Gendron is playing his first full season of professional hockey after making the transition from the QMJHL, where he played three seasons with Blainville-Boisbriand Armada.
    • Gendron has only played in three games thus far, but he scored a goal in each his first two appearances of the season.
  • D Ethan Samson
    • Like Gendron, Samson is also playing his first season in the pros after spending the last three years with the Prince George Cougars in the WHL.
    • The Flyers’ 2021 sixth-round pick has only played in three games as well, but he has picked up an assist already.
  • D Helge Grans
    • The former Los Angeles Kings prospect is playing in his third full season of AHL hockey, so 2023-24 will be a crucial step in his development.
    • Grans was EliteProspects’ 19th overall player in their 2020 NHL Draft rankings, with his translatable offensive skills cited as one of the reasons for that. After a nine-point 2022-23 season followed his 24-point 2021-22 season, the new Flyers prospect needs to rebound in a big way.
    • Grans has one assist in five games so far.
  • F Zayde Wisdom
    • Wisdom was one of the Flyers’ best players in training camp and preseason, but a lack of experience and a poor 2022-23 season were too much to overcome.
    • The 2020 fourth-round pick fell to the ECHL after scoring only 10 points in 45 AHL games last season.
    • So far, Wisdom has been held off the scoresheet in all three of his appearances with the Phantoms.


Ryan MacPherson (Penticton Vees)

  • MacPherson has extended his point streak to five games (2G, 5A, 7pts).
  • The Vees are on a four-game win streak thanks to the Flyers prospect’s efforts, and MacPherson is on pace for 38 goals and 38 assists in 54 games.


Alex Ciernik (Vasterviks IK)

  • After going two games without a point, Ciernik got back on the scoresheet with a goal against Sodertalje SK.
  • Thanks to Ciernik, Vasterviks snapped their four-game losing streak and earned only their second win of the season.

KHL & Russia

Matvei Michkov (HK Sochi)

Alexei Kolosov (Dinamo Minsk)

  • Kolosov hasn’t been as dominant lately as he was earlier in the season, but he helped Minsk snap a three-game losing streak in a winning effort against Salavat Yulaev Ufa.
  • The future Flyers goalie hasn’t had a save percentage north of 0.900 since his shutout on Oct. 11, but regularly faces fewer than 30 shots on goal.
  • The Flyers brass has been watching him closely, so they’ll want to see a little more consistency going forward.

Yegor Zavragin (Mamonty Yugry, Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk)

  • Unfortunately, Zavragin hasn’t appeared in a game since Oct. 12, but Yugra has only played two games during that timeframe.


Santeri Sulku (Hermes)

  • The Flyers’ 2022 seventh-round pick made his second appearance of the season against Kettera, and although he hasn’t recorded a point yet, Sulku’s ice time jumped nearly four minutes to 14:27 from the 10:58 he had in his first game.


Massimo Rizzo (Denver)

Cutter Gauthier (Boston College)

  • Gauthier found himself back on the box score for the first time since his overtime winner against Quinnipiac in the first game of the season.
  • The Flyers 2022 No. 5 overall pick scored a brace against Rensselaer Polytech Institute, and followed that up with an assist in a 4-3 loss to Rizzo’s Denver.
  • Gauthier is currently a little bit behind his 2022-23 pace, but that’s not cause for any concern this early in the season.

Devin Kaplan (Boston)

  • Kaplan finally got himself his first points of the season with two assists against Cole Knuble’s Notre Dame.
  • Knuble came out on top in their first meeting the day prior (Oct. 20).
  • With his mini offensive breakout, the 19-year-old is back on track to at least match his offensive production from last year.

Cole Knuble (Notre Dame)

  • Knuble split a two-game series against Kaplan’s Boston, but hasn’t scored any points through five games.
  • After scoring 66 points in 57 games with the USHL’s Fargo Force last season, it would appear the NCAA has been quite a step up for the Flyers’ freshman forward.
  • Notre Dame has struggled offensively as a whole, but if the 19-year-old can pick it up even just a little bit, maybe the floodgates will start to open.

Alex Bump (Western Michigan)

  • After assisting in each of his first two games of the season, Bump has gone his last two games without any points.
  • However, Western Michigan was able to defeat Bowling Green by a score of 5-2 on back-to-back days on Oct. 20 and Oct. 21. Bump’s new squad is still technically undefeated after tying Ferris State on Oct. 13.

Bryce Brodzinski (Minnesota)

  • Brodzinski earned his first point of the season with an assist last week against the University of St. Thomas, and followed that up with his first goal of the year against the University of North Dakota.
  • In his five-year NCAA career, the Flyers’ 2019 seventh-round pick has never really been a big producer offensively, but he’s well behind a pace that would match his 31 points in 40 games from last season.
  • At the age of 23, this season will be critical in determining Brodzinski’s career path at the professional level.

Ty Murchison (Arizona State)

  • Just one day after being ejected for an illegal hit to the head, Murchison faced Merrimack for the second time in as many days and earned his first assist of the season. The Flyers’ 2021 fifth-round pick also added another four penalty minutes in the process.
  • Murchison’s Arizona State are riding a four-game win streak, wherein they’ve conceded no more than two goals in any game.

Hunter McDonald (Northeastern)

  • McDonald has not appeared in a game since Oct. 7, when he recorded his first assist of the year.
  • The Flyers development camp standout is reportedly ‘week-to-week’ with what is speculated to be an upper-body injury.

Owen McLaughlin (North Dakota)

  • McLaughlin is still without a point on the season, but he did manage to split a two-game series with Brodzinski’s Minnesota. Minnesota claimed the first matchup 4-0, while North Dakota took the rematch 2-1.
  • The Flyers’ 2021 seventh-round pick is only in his second year of NCAA competition, so he might not make a noticeable jump in offensive production from last season’s 15 points.

National League

Brian Zanetti (SCL Tigers)

  • Zanetti has been out since Oct. 3 with an illness.


Denver Barkey (London Knights)

  • The focus of last week’s prospect report, Barkey danced all over his peers during his six-game point streak (7G, 5A, 12 pts). Unfortunately, the streak came to an end in a 6-4 loss to the Saginaw Spirit on Oct. 22.
  • The Flyers’ 2023 third-round pick has played a lot like a first-round pick lately, and has been playing some left wing and right wing too. As a smaller player, that experience and versatility will go a long way towards making it happen at the pro level.

Oliver Bonk (London Knights)

  • The assist machine that never stops giving, Bonk doled out three assists in a 5-3 loss to the Erie Otters on Oct. 20, giving him his second multi-assist game of the year.
  • The Flyers’ 2023 first-round pick is still without his first goal of the season, which is bound to come with more opportunistic shooting. Bonk has gone four games in 2023-24 without a shot on goal so far.


Matteo Mann (Saint John Sea Dogs)

  • The Flyers’ 2023 seventh-round pick made his much-anticipated season debut this weekend, featuring in games against the Moncton Wildcats and Acadie-Bathurst Titan.
  • Mann did not score any points, and only recorded one shot on goal between the two games.


Carter Sotheran (Portland Winterhawks)

  • After a huge three-point game against the Vancouver Giants on Oct. 7, Sotheran has impressively heated up once again with a three-game point streak.
  • The Flyers’ 2023 fifth-round pick continues to do it all as his Winterhawks embark on a seven-game win streak. Sotheran and co. have allowed more than one goal in a game this season only once.

Carson Bjarnason (Brandon Wheat Kings)

  • After going on a short-lived two-game win streak last week, Bjarnason has lost each of his last four appearances.
  • The 2023 second-round pick allowed four goals on 12 shots in an 11-1 loss to Sotheran’s Winterhawks on Oct. 18, but nicely rebounded by saving 65 out of 70 shots over the weekend, playing both legs of a back-to-back.
  • The Wheat Kings lost both of those games in extra frames, but Bjarnason stood tall facing a season-high 44 shots in their latest game against the Wenatchee Wild.
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Bjarnason’s performances in the face of adversity are admirable, but he and the Wheat Kings should both be careful of his workload going forward. Seven games in 14 days is a lot for any goaltender, but especially so for an 18-year-old getting peppered with shots with extreme regularity.