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Gostisbehere, Stolarz Shine for Team USA

The Philadelphia Flyers followed a strong draft in 2011 with an even greater group of promising individuals in 2012. First round draft pick Scott Laughton may arguably be the closest to making the big club in spite of his age, having signed an entry level contract with the organization last week, but the Flyers’ 2nd and 3rd round picks both gave impressive performances during the ten day National Junior Evaluation Camp for Team USA.

Goaltender Anthony Stolarz, drafted in the second round, is challenging for the back-up goaltender position behind John Gibson with Jon Gillies and Garret Sparks. He stopped 26 of 28 shots in 1:00:15 of ice time through two USA camp games. He also stopped all 16 shots faced in the final game of the tournament, which he split with Gibson. Team USA lost to Finland by a 3-2 margin.

The United States of Hockey listed Stolarz as the second best goaltender of the tournament based on his statistics, but had this to say:

“This one is as wide open as it was when camp started, though I think Garret Sparks might have gotten out ahead of the pack a little bit. Stolarz had good stats, but still looks pretty raw and might need some extra seasoning. Jon Gillies had a rough go in camp, suffering both from bad luck and some shakiness.”

While Stolarz is going to have to work hard in the fall to earn his spot on the roster for Team USA at the World Junior Championship, third round draft pick Shayne Gostisbehere appears to be a lock.

“Ghost” had one assist in a 5-2 routing of Finland along with two powerplay goals and an assist in a 10-2 dismantling of Sweden. With excellent puck moving abilities and above average defensive skills, the only consistent knock against him is his size and current build. Considering that three of the other top defensemen were all 1st round draft picks this year (two in the top ten), it makes the Flyers’ selection at #78 overall all the more impressive.

Ken Schott, writer for the Daily Gazette in Schenectady, NY, spoke with Team USA coach Phil Housley regarding Gostisbehere:

“Gostisbehere, def­initely, every day has gotten better. His skating ability to get out of trouble, his knack to make the first pass in traffic and get involved in the rush have been excellent. His decision process when to join and when not to join has been really solid.”

The 2013 IIHF World Juniors Championship begins on December 26 in Ufa, Russia.  The final roster must still be trimmed before then, but it’s a good sign for the Flyers organization that their recent efforts at the draft may be paying dividends sooner rather than later.

*****

Other recent 2012 prospect news:

  • Fourth round prospect Frederic Larsson responded to writer Bill Meltzer on twitter regarding his health after taking a vicious hit into the boards during training camp. “I did my first practice today since the concussion, but just 3 drills for 30 minutes!” It’s remarkable how he’s taking this.
  • Yahoo contributor Kelly Friesen included fourth round prospect Taylor Leier among his ”10 sophomores poised to blossom into stars”:
  • “It was tough for Leier to standout past his ultra-talented teammates in his rookie season… Next year should be a different story. The Winterhawks are expected to lose top scorers Bartschi, Ross, and Marcel Noebels to the pros. This should pave the way for a promotion for Leier from his third-line secondary-scorer role to receiving top-line minutes in both five-on-five and power-play situations.”

For the latest Flyers news and updates, you can follow me on twitter (@JoshJanet).

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Posted by on Aug 13 2012. Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Flyers, News, NHL. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 Comment for “Gostisbehere, Stolarz Shine for Team USA”

  1. Nice write up, josh. Appreciate it. I think if the new CBA vastly limits our ability to poach and/or sign top D talent, our future drafts will be 75% defense until we find some diamonds.

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