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It was a big week for both Taylor Leier and Scott Laughton, as two of the best prospects for the Philadelphia Flyers keep showing they might have what it takes to make an impact in the NHL. Jakub Kovar was also seen on a global stage this week at the Olympics, as he saw action for the Czech Republic. It's also worth noting that Shayne Gostisbehere is doing very well in the fan voting of the Hobey Baker Award.
Leier was named the Denny's WHL Player of the Week for the week that ended on February 16th, 2014. The Portland Winterhawk had four goals and six assists in four games over the span of a week, as Leier's WHL club won their 16th straight game on Saturday in a 7-4 decision over the Vancouver Giants. The Flyers' prospect is fourth on Portland with 65 points, as the Winterhawks are still seven points out of first in the Western Conference behind Tyrell Goulbourne's Kelowna Rockets.
Selected in the fourth round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft by the Orange and Black, Leier has surfaced as one of the few prospects anticipated to have a chance at the next level. Leier is regarded as a player who can do everything from killing penalties, to winning puck battles, and to creating for himself offensively. The forward recently represented Canada at the World Junior Championship.
As for another popular Flyers' prospect, Laughton had a big night on Friday as he posted four points in the Oshawa Generals' 6-0 win over the Ottawa 67's. Laughton potted a shorthanded goal in the second period to cap off his hat trick, as he also had the primary assist on Oshawa's next goal from Dylan Smoskowitz. The forward currently has 75 points in 45 games for the Generals.
Drafted by the Flyers in the fourth round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Kovar has spent this season in the KHL and has played the last few seasons in the Czech Republic's Tipsport Extraliga. This week, the 25-year-old netminder had his shot to represent the Czech Republic at the Olympics and didn't do too well. Although he earned the start in the nation's first game against Sweden over Ondrej Pavelec, Kovar was pulled 51 seconds into the second period after he allowed his third goal against on the 10th shot he saw. He didn't do too well against Sweden, but Kovar is doing fine with Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg in the KHL with a GAA under 2.00 and a save percentage over .930.
When it comes to prospects on defense, Shayne Gostisbehere is being recognized by several fans, as he currently leads the fan voting for the Hobey Baker Award as the NCAA's top ice hockey player. The mobile blue liner has 17,552 votes in his favor, which is almost exactly 1,000 more votes than Ryan Faragher of St. Cloud State, who is second with 16,553 votes. Both Carsen Chubak and Kyle Flanagan were top 10 finalists for the award last season.
- Scott Laughton (Oshawa Generals, OHL) - 75 points (33 goals and 42 assists), plus-14, and 63 PIMs in 45 games.
- Taylor Leier (Portland Winterhawks, WHL) - 65 points (31 goals and 34 assists), plus-32, and 27 PIMs in 49 games.
- Jason Akeson (Adirondack Phantoms, AHL) - 47 points (18 goals and 29 assists), minus-13, and 22 PIMs in 50 games.
- Tye McGinn (Philadelphia Flyers and Adirondack Phantoms) - 28 points (17 goals and 11 assists), minus-16, and 59 PIMs in 51 games.
- Tyrell Goulbourne (Kelowna Rockets, WHL) - 28 points (11 goals and 17 assists), plus-16, and 94 PIMs in 54 games.
- Michael Parks (University of North Dakota, NCAA) - 25 points (Nine goals and 16 assists), plus-10, and 18 PIMs in 28 games.
- Ben Holmstrom (Adirondack Phantoms, AHL) - 24 points (10 goals and 14 assists), minus-4, and 119 PIMs in 50 games.
- Petr Straka (Adirondack Phantoms, AHL) - 22 points (Seven goals and 15 assists) and 18 PIMs in 44 games.
- Andrew Johnston (Orlando Solar Bears, ECHL) - 17 points (Three goals and 14 assists), plus-2, and 36 PIMs in 41 games.
- Nick Cousins (Adirondack Phantoms, AHL) - 13 points (Four goals and Nine assists), minus-7, and 25 PIMs in 48 games.
- Brandon Alderson (Adirondack Phantoms, AHL) - 11 points (Seven goals and Four assists), minus-5, and 18 PIMs in 45 games.
- Kyle Flanagan (Adirondack Phantoms, AHL) - Eight points (Three goals and Five assists), minus-3, and eight PIMs in 37 games.
- Marcel Noebels (Adirondack Phantoms, AHL) - Seven points (Two goals and Five assists), plus-5, and 20 PIMs in 32 games.
- Matt Mangene (Adirondack Phantoms, AHL) - Five points (Two goals and Three assists), minus-2, and 32 PIMs in 46 games.
- Tyler Brown (Adirondack Phantoms, AHL) - Four points (One goal and Three assists), plus-2, and six PIMs in 30 games.
- Petr Placek (Harvard University, NCAA) - Zero points, minus-1, and two PIMs in one game.
- Derek Mathers (Adirondack Phantoms, AHL) - Zero points, minus-3, and 77 PIMs in 25 games.
- Samuel Morin (Rimouski Oceanic, QMJHL) - 25 points (Seven goals and 18 assists), plus-1, and 98 PIMs in 43 games.
- Shayne Gostisbehere (Union College, NCAA) - 23 points (Seven goals and 16 assists), plus-14, and 12 PIMs in 30 games.
- Brandon Manning (Adirondack Phantoms, AHL) - 20 points (Five goals and 15 assists), minus-9, and 164 PIMs in 50 games.
- 2. Mark Alt (Adirondack Phantoms, AHL) - 13 points (Two goals and 11 assists), minus-11, and 19 PIMs in 49 games.
- Terrance Amorosa (Sioux City Musketeers, USHL) - Nine points (Two goals and Seven assists), plus-12, and six PIMs in 34 games.
- Robert Hagg (MODO HK and MODO J20) - Nine points (One goal and Eight assists), plus-2, and 24 PIMs in 48 games.
- Maxim Lamarche (Adirondack Phantoms and Elmira Jackals) - Eight points (Three goals and Five assists), plus-2, and 29 PIMs in 43 games.
- Oliver Lauridsen (Adirondack Phantoms, AHL) - Eight points (One goal and Seven assists), plus-4, and 133 PIMs in 50 games.
- Tyler Hostetter (Wichita Thunder, CHL) - Six points (Two goals and Four assists), minus-1, and 15 PIMs in 19 games.
- Reece Willcox (Cornell University, NCAA) - Six points (Two goals and Four assists) and four PIMs in 24 games.
- Nick Luukko (University of Vermont, NCAA) - Five points (Two goals and Three assists) and 22 PIMs in 28 games.
- Fredric Larsson (Tri-City Storm and Youngstown Phantoms) - Five points (One goal and Four assists), minus-11, and 70 PIMs in 37 games.
- Cullen Eddy (Adirondack Phantoms, AHL) - Four points (One goal and Three assists), plus-3, and 30 PIMs in 27 games.
- David Drake (Des Moines Buccaneers, USHL) - Four assists, minus-8, and eight PIMs in 34 games.
- Marc-Andre Bourdon (Adirondack Phantoms, AHL) - Three assists, minus-2, and 12 PIMs in seven games.
- Valeri Vasiliev (Spartak Moscow, KHL) - Three assists, minus-9, and 14 PIMs in 35 games.
- Matt Konan (Adirondack Phantoms, AHL) - Two assists, minus-7, and 22 PIMs in 26 games.
- Jakub Kovar (Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg, KHL) - 44 games, .934 save percentage, and 1.91 GAA.
- Anthony Stolarz (London Knights, OHL) - 21-4-2, .925 save percentage, and 2.58 GAA.
- Cal Heeter (Adirondack Phantoms, AHL) - 15-19-0, .916 save percentage, and 2.48 GAA.
- Merrick Madsen (Minot Minotauros, NAHL) - 8-12-0, .909 save percentage, and 2.62 GAA.