Photo by Amy Irvin/38 Photography
Currently, the Flyers have three lower level prospects playing in the ECAC of the NCAA. Merrick Madsen (G, Harvard, Soph, R6 2013), Terrance Amorosa (D, Clarkson, Soph, R5 2013) and Reece Wilcox (D, Cornell, Senior, R5 2012) and all 3 are playing big roles on their teams.
While it’s too early in the ECAC season to draw major conclusions from their samples, there is at least a predicted development curve to be set now to see if they achieve it. Because of that, this piece will set the expectations, so that they can be reviewed at the end of the season.
Madsen’s set the Harvard world on fire with a .976 SV% and 2 shutouts in his first 3 appearances on a stacked Harvard team. The goalie he splits with, Michael Lackey, isn’t too shabby either so there might be some team effects at play. Obviously, there’s a rush to call him the next Ben Bishop due to the size comparisons, and while it’s certainly possible, we have to remember that goalies are voodoo. Therefore, with Madsen, set the expectation that he just needs to stay in school for this year, and next year. Don’t expect to see him in the pro ranks until 2017 with a likely NHL arrival in 2018 if he’s good enough. His ceiling is NHL-starting goalie for sure, but like all goalies, his floor is also ECHL-washout.
Amorosa seems to have earned a shot on the top pairing as a Sophomore at Clarkson. He’s only played 4 of the 9 games this season, at a point per game clip. He’s got no listed injuries, so this may be a coach’s decision. His ceiling is a puck moving defender, likely as a bottom pair option. Given the ECAC’s reputation, he’s at worst more AHL filler in a few years. Like Madsen, he likely won’t be turning pro until 2017.
Wilcox is a Cornell University senior. At 6’4. 205 he’s a big kid but before this season, was never much of a scoring threat. With 6 points in 6 games to start the season, the hope has to be he’s figured out how to add offense to his game. Everyone is Chris Pronger, so obviously draw your own conclusion there. Reasonably speaking, as a right shooting, big, defender with questionable puck moving skills, he’s likely a future replacement for the pending UFA Luke Schenn or pending RFA Radko Gudas. This season, as a senior, is Wilcox’s last chance to get back on the NHL radar. He’ll likely end up a Phantom by the end of this season, just to see how he adjusts to the pro game. It’s make or break time for Wilcox and hopefully in a few months, we’re adding yet another legitimate prospect to the pool.