Flyers Prospect Pyramid - Intro and Tier 1
With the NHL offseason slowly but surely moving along, hockey fans like myself are left with a limited amount of options for their hockey fix. Other than the NHL 19 news and being able to laugh at the Habs there's not much going on.
But one of the things that hockey fans can always rely on for entertainment is going through their teams' top prospects, especially for Flyers fans, who cheer for a team with one of the deepest prospect pools in both quality and quantity in the NHL. Most people prefer to rank players, usually Top 20 or Top 25, but I find the prospect pyramid, coined by YouTuber Steve Dangle (video below), as the best way to concisely rank a team's prospects.
Obviously the above list is for the Maple Leafs prospects (Steve's favorite team), but this list will (obviously) be about the Flyers prospects. Some general rules of the road before we get started:
1. Only players under 25 years old will be considered for this list.
2. Only players eligible for the 2018-19 Calder Trophy (fewer than 25 career NHL regular season games played) will be eligible.
3. The list is not necessarily comparing Flyers prospects to each other, but the talent level of each prospect compared to prospects across the NHL landscape. Most teams will not have a single player in Tier 1, and a some may not have anyone in Tier 2 as well. If you're familiar with EA Sports NHL's franchise mode (like myself), think of each tier as a potential level (Tier 1 - Franchise, Tier 2 - Elite, etc).
4. There is no specific order to how players are ranked within a tier; a player on higher on the list is not necessarily better than a player lower on the list within the same tier.
5. Just like in the organization preview, teams listed are the ones each player spent the most time with in the 2017-18 season.
Also, here's the schedule for how the list will be unveiled:
9/1 - Intro and Tier 1
9/2 - Tier 2-3
9/3 - Tier 4
9/4 - Tier 5-6 and Conclusion
All articles will be published at 11 AM Eastern.
Without further adieu, let's begin!
G Carter Hart (WHL - Everett Silvertips)
Of all the prospects on the list, none are more critical to the Flyers success long-term than Carter Hart. It is rare, and even in this case, controversial, that a goalie make Tier 1. There is usually too much randomness in projecting goalie prospects, not to mention they usually take multiple years to develop before playing in the NHL, unlike a Rasmus Dahlin or Auston Matthews. Hart is also not a top-5 pick like most players on this list. What he is, however, is the best goalie prospect in the world. Hart is a three-time WHL goalie of the year, two-time CHL goalie of the year, and 2017-18 WHL player of the year. Hart's .947 save percentage last year was the highest in WHL history. He also took the Silvertips to the WHL finals and backstopped Canada to a gold medal in the World Junior Championship. More than likely, Hart will begin this fall with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, but within no more than 2 years, Hart projects to be the Flyers starter, and can hopefully develop into the elite goalie prospect the Flyers have been searching for since Ron Hextall.