Rookie Cookies: Grading the Forwards

Ahh yes. Fall is here. Football is in full swing, the baseball season is finally starting to have meaning, and the Sixers are picking out of a hat who should get injured in training camp.

 

But you know what the best part about fall is? That sweet, sweet sound of knives cutting up blocks of ice. If you aren’t one for metaphors, I am talking about the best sport in the world – ice hockey, is back.

 

The Flyers had their annual Rookie Game Wednesday at The Farg, so to shake off the rust on my hockey journalism, I figured I would do a little rookie breakdown from Wednesday’s performance. This way, I can go back and look at how wrong I was describing what to look for in these players.

 

The layout of this breakdown is simple. I will provide a brief description of each rookie that played in Wednesday’s game. If I think they performed well and showcased their skills, they will receive a Rookie Cookie. If not, they will not receive a cookie.

 

Side note: just because a rookie doesn’t get a cookie, doesn’t mean I think they are going to be bad – it just means I don’t think they stood out in Wednesday’s game. This segment may continue throughout training camp. Cookies will be passed around like money in a casino, so don’t freak out if your favorite prospect doesn’t get a cookie you child.

 

Side note to the side note: If someone gets a cookie, chances are I think they will be on the Flyers roster sometime within the next 4 years.

 

Forwards:

 

Nicolas Aube-Kubel, RW

 

If he played, I didn’t notice him. He’s supposed to be a scoring forward in Lehigh, granted he’s only been there for one season. He’ll need more time in the AHL before even thinking about making the jump to the NHL. NO COOKIE.  

 

Connor Bunnaman, C

 

Bunnaman turned my head. He was playing a very intelligent game. Reading the defense, utilizing his speed against tired lines, and getting the puck to the open man were three of his primary talents that shined on Wednesday. On top of being openly physical with his 6’1”, 207 build, this was a great piece to add to his reports. Connor will be very likely end up back in the OHL for his fourth season with the Kitchner Ranger’s, but I will not be forgetting his name anytime soon. COOKIE.

 

Radel Fazleev, C

 

Another unnoticeable presence on the ice (if he even played). I saw this kid a lot last season in Lehigh Valley. 16 points in 65 games for a center is not something to toot your horn about in the AHL. Going to be a road for this 21-year-old. NO COOKIE.

 

Morgan Frost, C/LW

 

Morgan Frost was so-so. The first-round pick for Brayden Schenn definitely showed his wheels (more than Brayden Schenn anyway), but nothing else really stood out. What I was most impressed with was his ability to read and control the neutral zone. He was able to cover most of it at all times with his short bursts that looked like someone in the crowd was holding down the sprint button in NHL 17. Morgan was on the first list of cuts today, being send back to juniors. For a first round pick I expected a tad bit more offensive ability in this game, but because of the scouting report success in his speed – COOKIE.

 

Ivan Kosorenkov, RW

 

An assist in the game, shielding the puck consistently, and all from an undrafted rookie? Oh, and he’s Russian. Give the kid a contract! COOKIE.

 

Pascal Laberge, C

 

Teammate to Kosorenkov in Victoriaville, Pascal Laberge seemed to have his head on straight after his year-long battle back from a huge concussion in juniors. He had some solid set-ups but overall still looked shakey compared to some of the other wingers on the squad. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for his road to redemption, especially since he didn’t seem haunted by getting physical again. COOKIE.

 

Oskar Lindblom, LW

 

If it were up to me, I’d put this kid on the Flyer’s third line tomorrow. He’s a scoring winger who shows a ton of offensive upside and intelligence. Tallying a secondary assist on the first goal of the game really helped this kid’s chances of receiving an Oreo from yours truly. Oskar will be in the organization this season either with Philadelphia or Lehigh Valley, lock it in. COOKIE.

 

Nolan Patrick, C

 

The second overall pick was not flashy. But in a rookie game, with a bunch of kids who are probably not even close to his talent level, why show off? Nolan did his thing with a couple fantastic setup’s and really showed his knowledge of the game along with his overall vision on the ice. Some people may be wary of what I’m about to say, but I really don’t care about them – Nolan is a roster spot lock. COOKIE.

 

Isaac Ratcliffe, LW

 

Big dude. Big, big dude. We traded up to grab Ratcliff in the second round, and I’m fine with that. I didn’t see one forward skate past him, nor did I see one forward even attempt to cut to the middle of the ice anywhere around him. He didn’t seem to have the best vision when controlling the puck, and made a couple sketchy passes to dangerous areas. But I’m high on guys with size in the defensive zone (call me old school, tell me I’m wrong). COOKIE.  

 

German Rubstov, C

 

While I was watching the game on Wednesday, German really didn’t grab my eye to the point where I shouted his name from section 202 of The Farg (as I did with other players). But when recapping some of the nice offensive breakouts, I couldn’t help but remember German being part of mostly all of the flashier plays. A couple great passes – one of which was a cut to the middle drop back pass, a toe drag, all of which ended up failing after the fact. He’ll get some more time to crush it in the QMJHL and hopefully get a sense of how to seal the deal post-deke. COOKIE.

 

Anthony Salinitri, C

 

This name came up a couple of times, but it typically was me saying ‘whose #86?’. Salinitri was a former teammate to Travis Konecny with the Sarnia Sting, and has been able to put up some solid numbers in the OHL. His speed is an apparent factor in scouting repots, but I didn’t notice anything spectular about this guy at the rookie game. We’ll see how he does in the OHL this season and report back. NO COOKIE.

 

Matthew Strome, LW

 

Strome actually caught my eye quite a bit. His ability to keep the puck in the offensive zone and battle along the boards was quite possibly the best on the squad. He looks like a lock for a 4th liner once he can get his skating down, but he’ll be back with the Hamilton Bulldogs in the OHL this season.

 

Maksim Sushko, RW

 

I noticed Shusko’s name on the ice a couple times. But not for anything special. Maybe a couple decent shifts offensively, particularly with zone entries. He is already headed back to juniors, so in order for him to really gain my respect, a solid year from this 2017 fourth round pick is going to be needed if he wants to be in cookie contention next camp. But for now… NO COOKIE.

 

Carsen Twarynski, LW

 

Along the same line as Sushko, didn’t really see anything pop from Twarynski. Good movement in the offensive zone, and not afraid to be physical. That’s about it. Have a good year in the WHL if you want to satisfy your sweet tooth, Carsen. NO COOKIE.

 

Mike Vecchione, RW

 

Didn’t play in the rookie game. Most people are saying he’s a lock to make 4th line center. I’m not as confident, and I’d also prefer him to start in Lehigh Valley. Let’s be honest about Mike, his age says it all. He will never break the top 6 (in this organization that is), and knowing that at his age – what’s the hype for a 24 year old lock on the 4th line? I just don’t get it, he’s got to prove me otherwise. NO COOKIE.

 

Mikhail Vorobyev, C

 

Quite possibly the most impressive performance of the night. Puck possession was the biggest aspect I noticed from Vorobyev. His ability to maintain control and allow plays to develop while also having the vision to find the open man, even on the backdoor, really shined. COOKIE.

Welp, those are the forwards of the future. Tomorrow I will share my thoughts on our kiddo defensemen and goalies. Check back to see who gets a cookie, and who doesn’t

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