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LegionOfDoom

Philadelphia Flyers: Nicolas Aube-Kubel looking solid despite low ice time

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Posted (edited)

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The 2014 second round pick is still scoreless through nine games, but has done plenty of other things right in his brief time with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Normally, not registering a point in nine games played would be a pretty big cause for concern for any player, but this isn’t the case for 

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 rookie forward 

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 for a variety of reasons.

The 22 year-old forward is doing all he can despite the low ice-time he’s receiving. Aube-Kubel is currently averaging 

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 minutes of time-on-ice, with the highest amount coming in his second career game against the 

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 where he played for 

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.

These minutes are extremely low, even for a fourth-line rookie. For whatever reason, it seems Head Coach Dave Hakstol doesn’t fully trust the young forward as an NHL player quite yet. That still hasn’t stopped him from making the most of his ice-time, though.

While the sample size is small, Aube-Kubel has shined through his possession metrics and advanced statistics. He ranks 

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 on the team in Corsi-For percentage with 55.3% and 

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 in Fenwick-For percentage with 58.3%. Having a fourth line player that can possess the puck better than the opposition will only help the Flyers, as it can help create more scoring chances and score more goals in the process.

Speaking of scoring chances, Aube-Kubel currently ranks 

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 on the team in High Danger Chances For percentage with 58.33%. He also has a 

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 Scoring Chances For percentage, which is a solid number for the young rookie. Generating the same amount of chances as your opposition isn’t a bad thing, especially if it’s coming for a fourth line player. At some point these scoring chances do have to turn into goals, though. I trust that if Aube-Kubel can keep this pace up or receive more ice-time, that he points will come sooner rather than later.

It’s not like he doesn’t deserve more minutes, either,  he’s done everything that’s been asked of him outside of getting on the scoresheet. I understand keeping him on the bench late in the third period if the game is close, but he should be getting more than an average of 

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 shifts per game.

There was some promise that he would see more time when Hakstol elected to make 

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 a healthy scratch the past 

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 games, but it now looks like that’s about to change. Lehtera practiced with 

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 and 

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 on the fourth line during practice on 

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, which is a sign that he could be a healthy scratch on Wednesday against the 

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.

This would be a mistake in my opinion. While Lehtera hasn’t looked bad as the fourth line center this season, Aube-Kubel provides more speed to the line than Lehtera does. He’s also played well on the forecheck, consistently putting pressure on opposing defensemen looking to make plays up the ice.

All of this goes back to Hakstol’s unwillingness to give young players an actual chance to show what they’ve got. I don’t care what he sees during practice, you make your decisions on a player on how they play in a game, and it’s nearly impossible to make a true assessment on them when said player is averaging just over five minutes a game.

Lehtera isn’t exactly lighting the world on fire from a scoring standpoint, either, nor was he was helping the Flyers ever-struggling team defense or penalty-kill. Hakstol has to let Aube-Kubel make the mistakes he’ll make as a rookie and learn from them. He can’t keep sheltering him on-ice or potentially putting him in the press box because it could hurt his development in the long run.

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I'm pulling for N.AK to make the team on 3RW if they want to keep PickPocket on 4RW.

Rubtsove should come in at 4RW after 3 months in the AHL after he has played at a high level there. PackRat can be alternated on back to backs or on 3 games in 4 nights to give Rubtsov some breathing time to acclimate the grind of an 82 game season.

After mid way point in season: Slotting N.AK on 4RW and promoting Rubtsov at 3RW to boost his TOI/PK/Defensive Draws during games to groom him to be ready to take over 4C. N.AK can be paired as 4RW with him on a few shifts to see how they do in a few games during the season bumping Laughton to 3RW in those shifts a few times.

 

The Lines:

 

G/Coots/TK

JVR/Hayes/Jake

OL/Patty/N.AK

Raffs/Laughts/PockPock

--------------------------

 

Then three months later:

 

G/Coots/TK

JVR/Hayes/Jake

OL/Patty/N.AK

Raffs/Laughts/Rubtsov(aka "The Germ/RubyTuesday/Germanator"

 

Another three months after that:

G/Coots/TK

JVR/Hayes/Jake

OL/Patty/Rubtsov(boost  TOI/PK/Defensive Draws during games to groom him to be able to spend more ingame time.) 

Raffs/Laughts/N.AK

 

By then maybe bring in Farabee or Frost:

G/Coots/TK

JVR/Hayes/Jake

Farabee (OL)/Patty/OL (Frost/Laughts)

Raffs/(Rubtsov-ready to work his game as a center)/N.AK

 

Edited by LegionOfDoom
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7 hours ago, LegionOfDoom said:

The 22 year-old forward is doing all he can despite the low ice-time he’s receiving. Aube-Kubel is currently averaging 

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 minutes of time-on-ice, with the highest amount coming in his second career game against the 

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 where he played for 

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.

These minutes are extremely low, even for a fourth-line rookie. For whatever reason, it seems Head Coach Dave Hakstol doesn’t fully trust the young forward as an NHL player quite yet. That still hasn’t stopped him from making the most of his ice-time, though.

 

You are trying to draw the interest of NAK's favorite fan Coach X.

 

I think NAK will be perfect for the bottom 6.

 

I notice he finished as a plus player in the games played even though they had been eliminated and his line mates didn't give a f**k.

 

Laughton and Raffl finished -4 and -3 in those games and he finished +1. About as good as you can ask for meaningless games.

 

He will help a lot with the 5 on 5 play. Not sure he will get any PP time but he will help on the PK.

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6 hours ago, OccamsRazor said:

NAK will be perfect for the bottom 

Fixed it. 

 

Im not sure ive seen this much love for a guy who might be good enough to be a role player. He makes me miss Matt Read

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38 minutes ago, CoachX said:

Fixed it. 

 

Im not sure ive seen this much love for a guy who might be good enough to be a role player. He makes me miss Matt Read

 

Well at this point he has more experience than Farabee and Frost....so don't be shocked if he is playing on the Flyers and they are in the AHL.

 

And ain't nothing wrong with a prospect paying his dues and getting his shot. It's the way it should be.

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It just makes sense to play the prospects you developed, especially if you can't bring them up and down from the AHL to NHL anymore.

We played Lehtera and Weise and they didn't really amount to much during the season, if N.AK wasn't a positive at 5 on 5, I could see the hesitation in bringing up a player like that, but he is a positive force and helps in cost control as oppose to bringing in someone and blowing over a million AAV for someone we have as a prospect that should be better or just as good as a signed 4th liner that hasn't been signed in free agency.

 

We don't have anything to lose and a very possible gain. I mean look at Raffl, had we drafted him and developed him and he came into the NHL from our Phantoms we would be happy with what we developed as a bottom 6, We have Laughton who can be a middle six, and we are ok with it for now. We should bring up our assets and let them play, when they are really ready to graduate to the NHL. N.A.K is a perfect example of this situation, as oppose to bringing someone from the outskirts who doesn't think much of the organization.

One of Hextall's great points that he made was that when you draft a player and he has been playing for your organization and been developing in your farm system, they build a bond with the organization and a mentality that they are part of this organization that drafted them and invested in them. There is usually a sense of belonging and an attachment to want to do well, if you've drafted a good character prospect, which Hextall also believed in.

 

Let's play our prospects and improve from within. Then we can continue to add pieces to complement them.

I like what Fletcher did with our young defensive prospects in bringing in veteran leadership on the blue line, to help them play and develop.

I think we have enough experience in our forwards to bring in our prospects to learn from.

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One of the positives of promoting a hard working guy like NAK is NCAA free agents see they have a legit shot if they play hard in the AHL.

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10 hours ago, LegionOfDoom said:

We don't have anything to lose and a very possible gain.

 

BINGO!

 

Coach X for whatever reason just hates NAK i think he keeps taking his handicap parking spot at the local bowling alley every thursday night or something....i think he needs to lay down on a coach and talking to someone about it.

 

No matter i think he will become his biggest fan once he sees him play....he will even lead the fan club maybe.

 

Ok back to reality....it is time to see if he can help and if he can he will carve out a spot in the lineup if not he more than likely will be waived and sent to the AHL and become a forgotten prospect like the many before him...the point being would be hey you look right under your nose before looking elsewhere.

 

The one thing he will need to do is turn down some of the physical stuff so he does end up in the box or worse suspended and in AV doghouse.

 

But i would prefer to have to try and get a player to play under control/discipline than try to have to provide motivation for him and have to get hi to want to come play. If nothing else he has a good chance to take Pitlick's spot in the bottom 6. 

 

I think he will help with 5 on 5 play and maybe pick up some PK duty by mid year. If i'm wrong then i'm wrong.

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4 hours ago, jammer2 said:

One of the positives of promoting a hard working guy like NAK is NCAA free agents see they have a legit shot if they play hard in the AHL.

 

I think this sends a good sign to anyone playing in the AHL and specifically to a guy like NAK he didn't get PP time and it went to others but he was a good soldier and took the minutes he was given and made something positive out of it.

 

And that is what sends a good message not everyone can play on the PP but that doesn't mean you can take your role and play it to the best of your abilities.

 

Just put your nose down and go to work the rest will handle itself...and that is what sends the message hey he worked hard and now is getting his chance...you don't have to just be a high draft pick everyone will get a shot if they do what they are suppose to do.

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22 minutes ago, OccamsRazor said:

Coach X for whatever reason just hates NAK i think he keeps taking his handicap parking spot at the local bowling alley every thursday night or something....i think he needs to lay down on a coach and talking to someone about it.

 

A little low, don’t you think? Opinions can be discussed without this. 

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3 minutes ago, elmatus said:

 

A little low, don’t you think? Opinions can be discussed without this. 

 

Just a ribbing is all....get ya panties out ya crack....me and him...have been having this back n forth on NAK for awhile.

 

Thanks for being concerned....

 

:beer:

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1 hour ago, OccamsRazor said:

 

Just a ribbing is all....get ya panties out ya crack....me and him...have been having this back n forth on NAK for awhile.

 

Thanks for being concerned....

 

:beer:

Indeed. Its all good here. I knew what I was getting into when I responded. Hahaha

 

But, Im still not seeing it. If we had a 4th lune spot for him to work for, ok. But discussions of 3rw for a guy who has doesnt have thw upside of other prospects, is not appealing to me. We gone down that rabbit hole all to often. Id much rather see a proven NHL'r than a guy whos only positive attribute is hes good 5on5. Im not even suree where that stat come from, fantasy hockey?

 

Now, if you will excuse me, i have to chase a blue hair out of my HC space, so Im not late for my couch therapy 

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22 minutes ago, CoachX said:

But, Im still not seeing it.

 

Well of course they haven't even practiced yet.

 

You're not going to see it unless you got your magic 8 ball out the shop finally.

 

One thing is for sure one of will be right about the kid.

 

Till a meaningful game is played we can only speculate.

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25 minutes ago, CoachX said:

Im not even suree where that stat come from, fantasy hockey?

 

He lead the AHL the last two seasons in 5 on 5 goals.

 

That is where and he doesn't play on the power play.

 

Those type of guys have a place in the bottom 6.

 

If it's there AV will get it out of him he loves guys who play a 200 foot game.

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5 hours ago, OccamsRazor said:

 

Till a meaningful game is played we can only speculate

They havent played a meaningful  game since 2012. 

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38 minutes ago, CoachX said:

They havent played a meaningful  game since 2012. 

 

e8a.gif

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      One of the positives of promoting a hard working guy like NAK is NCAA free agents see they have a legit shot if they play hard in the AHL.
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      Indeed. Its all good here. I knew what I was getting into when I responded. Hahaha   But, Im still not seeing it. If we had a 4th lune spot for him to work for, ok. But discussions of 3rw for a guy who has doesnt have thw upside of other prospects, is not appealing to me. We gone down that rabbit hole all to often. Id much rather see a proven NHL'r than a guy whos only positive attribute is hes good 5on5. Im not even suree where that stat come from, fantasy hockey?   Now, if
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      I think this sends a good sign to anyone playing in the AHL and specifically to a guy like NAK he didn't get PP time and it went to others but he was a good soldier and took the minutes he was given and made something positive out of it.   And that is what sends a good message not everyone can play on the PP but that doesn't mean you can take your role and play it to the best of your abilities.   Just put your nose down and go to work the rest will handle itself...and that is
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      They havent played a meaningful  game since 2012. 
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      Fixed it.    Im not sure ive seen this much love for a guy who might be good enough to be a role player. He makes me miss Matt Read
    • 1
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      It just makes sense to play the prospects you developed, especially if you can't bring them up and down from the AHL to NHL anymore. We played Lehtera and Weise and they didn't really amount to much during the season, if N.AK wasn't a positive at 5 on 5, I could see the hesitation in bringing up a player like that, but he is a positive force and helps in cost control as oppose to bringing in someone and blowing over a million AAV for someone we have as a prospect that should be better or ju
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