While Ron Hextall and the Philadelphia Flyers hope that their stockpile of prospects help turn the franchise into a revolving door of homegrown NHL talent, the draft isn’t the only place to find cheap talent.
The organization has done its homework in recent years, nabbing foreign free agents and getting great value in the draft due to some extensive scouting overseas. Their efforts have expanded in North America, too, if only by default due to all of the recently selected prospects they need to keep tabs on throughout the year.
Ivan Kosorenkov, a teammate of 2016 second-round pick Pascal Laberge with the Victoriaville Tigres in the QMJHL, may be a byproduct of those organizational roots expanding around the globe. He was also teammates with 2016 first-round pick German Rubtsov on the Russian U-18 team that was banned from the IIHF World Championships amid their doping scandal.
Kosorenkov made it through all seven rounds of the NHL Entry Draft without getting selected for the second consecutive year. This year, the 19-year-old right winger was projected to be a middle-round selection and many were surprised that a team didn’t at least take a flyer on him in the seventh round.
The Flyers didn’t wait long to reach out to Kosorenkov, a player they have scouted along with their continued eyes on Laberge, and invited him to last week’s Development Camp. The flashy forward impressed just about everyone in attendance with his sharpshooting abilities on both the forehand and backhand and may have earned himself a training camp invite with his performance.
Kosorenkov just torched Sandstrom. Bar down. His shot is filthy. Have to imagine he’s earned an invite to camp in Sept.
— Dave Isaac (@davegisaac) July 11, 2017
Kosorenkov shows off his backhand at the end of this clip.
— Art (@orangestreak) July 8, 2017
Kosorenkov had 34 goals last season with Victoriaville, which was good enough for second among rookies in the QMJHL behind only first overall pick Nico Hischer. He’s a power play standout and a pure points machine, though the Q is known as scorer’s league.
His highlights from the 2016-17 season are a fun watch as his offensive potential screams out of the screen.
Here, Kosorenkov brings the puck up the wing with speed, cuts through the slot and buries the shot.
He shows off his power play prowess in this highlight, spinning around with space and turning on the jets towards the high-danger area.
Finally, the sweet short-side snipe.
Kosorenkov seemingly has the skills to be at least a strong prospect, so why did 30 teams pass on him in all seven rounds twice (and Vegas once)?
The doping violations certainly don’t help, but most don’t put the players at fault there and it didn’t hurt Rubtsov more than a few draft spots. Being stigmatized as one of the “offense-first” Russian-types is a knock with some evidence to back it up. Playing in the offense-heavy QMJHL is another note of caution on top of that.
Still, it’s surprising that he wasn’t selected by someone in the seventh-round, though the Flyers aren’t complaining right now.
“Certainly a kid that could have got drafted and didn’t,” Hextall said via Dave Isaac of the Courier-Post. “There’s a lot like that. There’s a lot of bubble guys. We had a few guys in the seventh round that we would have liked to pick.”
For now, the Flyers got a free look at a gifted offensive talent that proved his worth during a week with the Flyers talented prospect group. Could an official camp invite and potentially an entry-level contract be next?
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