Which Flyers' Prospects Are "Untouchable"?

2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Portraits
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Portraits / Terry Wyatt/GettyImages

With the trade deadline looming in a few weeks, there are going to be the conversations that ask if the Flyers are buyers or sellers. While the team could be trading away some of their defensive players to gain more future assets, it is also possible that the team could swing a deal to add goalie depth or a power forward to make a run for the playoffs. While that is probably not happening, you never really know what opportunities could present themselves.

With this is mind, which of the Flyers' prospects might be considered "untouchable" to other teams? This is rather hard to figure out. After all, at this time last year, we all would've agreed that Cutter Gauthier was a definite untouchable player. And yet last month...welp....looks like that wasn't the case anymore.

The point is that we never know who is untouchable or not. Likewise, if an amazing deal comes along, sometimes you may have to pull the trigger and give up a highly touted prospect in order to land an amazing veteran player. Also, there have been a lot of prospects that have been viewed as the "next big player" that fizzled pretty quickly due to injuries (Nolan Patrick) or lack of talent (German Rubtsov).

Probably Untouchable Unless Something Totally Amazing is Offered

These are the guys that the team are most definitely not trading unless you are getting a hall of fame quality guy in return. You can never say never, but these guys are the most likely to not be traded.

Oliver Bonk: The 2023 first rounder looks to be better than advertised. He is one of the top scorers in the OHL right now and seems to be Philly's offensive defensive player of the future. So far, he has 21 goals in 44 games for the London Knights. I wouldn't be surprised if he hits the AHL next season, but there is no rush for him.

Alexei Kolosov: With Carter Hart's future growing dimmer, the team needs to figure out his replacement. Maybe Sam Ersson is it. However, this Belarussian goaltender has been a rising star in the KHL. His contract in Russia is up at the end of this year and it is possible he could be bringing his talents across the Atlantic soon.

Matvei Michkov: While his path to the US is a little murkier than Kolosov's, the Flyers are confident that in a few seasons their top pick in 2023 will be suiting up in Orange and Black. He is performing well in the KHL, scoring 16 goals with 21 assists in 41 games, and seems to have a very bright future ahead of him.

Carson Bjarnason: Bjarnason was touted as one of the best goalies in last year's draft. Briere was able to snatch him up in the second round. If Ersson or Kolosov don't pan out long term, he's probably the next guy up. He's 18 and raw. With a little patience, we could see him in Philly by the end of the decade.

Bobby Brink: Ok, he's back on the Phantoms for now. However, during his time in Philly earlier this season, he was playing well. He still has 18 points, including seven goals in 38 games. He has shown a lot of promise. The team management likes his work ethic and hustle. The former second rounder isn't going anywhere.

Most Likely Untouchable....But.....

In this category are players that have shown some promise but are either too young or have yet to fully showcase what they have. The Flyers could more easily part with them than the above players.

On defense, you have players such as Emil Andrae, Ronnie Attard, Egor Zamula, and Helge Grans. There is nothing wrong with these guys, however they haven't been able to crack the lineup either in camp or when they have been called up. There is appearing to be a logjam with young players at defense up above.

Perhaps Attard, the oldest of the bunch, might be the most expendable. Andrae and Grans have played well enough at the AHL level, but nothing that stands out yet. Zamula has grown a lot so far playing with the big club. Most likely, the Flyers would keep him, but again if the right offer is made, you never know.

These young defenders could also become more expendable depending on what happens if the team decides to keep either Nick Seeler and/or Sean Walker. However, if Seeler and/or Walker are traded away, you could see Andrae and Attard come up to fill their spots on the roster.

With the forwards, Olle Lycksell, Alex Čiernik, Ryan MacPherson, Elliot Desnoyers, Massimo Rizzo, and Samu Tuomaala seem to fit that bill well. They play well enough at the various lower levels. They show promise. However, if the right deal came along, they could be parted with.

Lycksell, in particular, hasn't been able to show off the same skillset at the NHL level as he has at the AHL one. It also seems that he hasn't impressed John Tortorella in his few appearances in Philly. Maybe he needs a change of scenery. At best, he could be a valuable toss in to a trade instead of offering up another draft pick.

The others are younger and show a lot of promise. Most likely, they won't make the Flyers for another two or three years at the earliest. Raw talent, like that, you might hesitate to part with right now.

As of right now, we don't know what the Flyers are going to be up to. A lot of it, probably, will depend on how the team plays over the next three weeks. Briere, Tortorella, and the rest of the Flyers brain trust will decide what moves they will have to make in order to improve this team. We'll see what happens soon enough.