The kids keep coming.
The Philadelphia Flyers have signed 2015 4th round pick (104th overall) Mikhail Vorobyov to an entry-level contract, per Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports.
Mikahil Vorobyov signed his ELS contract with the Flyers. 4th round pick in 2015. #tvasports
— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) April 26, 2017
Vorobyov has been one of the most overlooked prospects in the Flyers’ system. His KHL numbers aren’t all that impressive with 11 points in 44 games, but that is to be expected with a 20-year old.
However, his international showings are where Vorobyov excelled. The center recorded 10 assists in seven games at this years World Juniors for Team Russia and has been impressing against some of the best players in the world.
While the physically imposing pivot showed off his impressive defensive game on more than one occasion, and also dominated on the dot – winning 61.4% of the draws he took over the tournament – but it was his subtle, crisp passing that was most visible. It was not sheer coincidence that he ended the tournament as the “Assist-King” with ten tallies across the seven games. He picked out eye-of-the-needle gaps on a regular basis, and made sure that wherever Kaprizov was on ice he had a way to pick out his line-mate and create chances. His pass from behind the net to Kaprizov in the Quarter-final was a thing of beauty, almost Gretzky-esque. In that game he also scored a nice shoot-out goal, albeit in vein, faking like he was going to make a deke before firing quickly over goalie Parsons blocker.
The reports around Vorobyov have been swirling for a while now, and it looks like he will be playing in North America next season after all. Back in early March Alex Appleyard wrote that Vorobyov’s increased role in Russia could be a sign of things to come in North America. And just a few weeks ago it was clear that Vorobyov was inching closer to coming across the pond.
Vorobyov is a strong, two-way center that should be able to transition well to the North American game. He has drawn comparisons to another Russian center, Artem Anisimov, who thrived playing between two skilled wingers.
The Flyers core group will soon be joined by a few rookies and they have a handful of prospects joining the NHL-AHL system. It looks like both Vorobyov and Swedish winger Oskar Lindblom will be among those prospects in training camp with the team this fall.
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