Connect with us

Flyers Prospects

Flyers Prospects to Watch in 2024 NCAA Ice Hockey Tournament



Massimo Rizzo
Four Flyers prospects, and maybe the injured Massimo Rizzo, will take part in the 2024 NCAA Division I Ice Hockey Tournament. (Photo: AP)

The NCAA’s 2024 Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament will officially kick off on Thursday, featuring five Philadelphia Flyers prospects.

On Thursday, regional competition will open in Springfield, Massachusetts, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Then on Friday, more regionals will open in Providence, Rhode Island, and Maryland Heights, Missouri.

The winners of the regionals will play on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, and the final four teams will compete in the Frozen Four in St. Paul, Minnesota, from April 11 to April 13.

If all goes well, Flyers management will have more than one postseason run to watch this spring.

Without further ado, here are the five Flyers prospects taking part in the NCAA tournament.

Owen McLaughlin, Univ. of North Dakota, (7th round, 206th overall in 2021 – Flyers)

McLaughlin, who just turned 21 three days ago, has forced himself into the conversation amongst Flyers prospects after a disappointing first season in the NCAA with UND last year.

In 2022-23, McLaughlin managed just two goals, 13 assists, and 15 points in 36 games played, but appears to have found his stride this season. In 38 games this year, McLaughlin has posted 13 goals, 25 assists, and 38 points, showing remarkable year-to-year improvement with his offensive production.

The Phoenixville, Pennsylvania native is yet to sign an entry-level contract with the Flyers, though his rights won’t expire until Aug. 15, 2026.

Massimo Rizzo, No. 3 Univ. of Denver, (7th round, 216th overall in 2019 – Hurricanes)

Formerly college teammates with rookie Flyers forward Bobby Brink, Rizzo finds himself as the most intriguing name on this list for the majority of people.

Acquired from Carolina in the summer for the rights to David Kase, the 22-year-old has been one of the most productive players in the NCAA. Through 28 games, Rizzo has scored 10 goals, 34 assists, and 44 points.

Rizzo is currently eighth in the NCAA in assists, 22nd in points, and sixth in points per game. The Flyers have not signed Rizzo yet, and his rights will expire on Aug. 15, 2025.

He has not played since Feb. 3 due to injury and is “doubtful”, per head coach David Carle, to feature in the tournament, though it has not been ruled out entirely.

Devin Kaplan, No. 2 Boston University, (3rd round, 69th overall in 2022 – Flyers)

Kaplan has struggled greatly with his offensive production since starting NCAA competition in 2022. The Flyers’ third-round pick in 2022 has managed just 15 goals, 28 assists, and 43 points in 34 games across two seasons so far.

Last season, Kaplan scored 10 goals in 40 games, but has only half of that number in 34 games this year. The intrigue, though, is that Kaplan is a crafty, natural playmaker and still just 20 years old.

His skating still needs to come a long way, but it would not be surprising in the least to see the points start to come more plentifully once that gets sorted out. Kaplan will be an interesting watch at this tournament.

The Flyers have until Aug. 15, 2026 to sign him.

Alex Bump, Western Michigan Univ., (5th round, 133rd overall in 2022 – Flyers)

After transferring from the University of Vermont just before the fall, Bump has enjoyed a highly productive first season in the NCAA with Western Michigan. The 20-year-old has notched 13 goals, 21 assists, and 34 points in 37 games so far.

Bump has quietly ascended the ranks of Flyers prospects over the last two seasons, especially after a 39-point campaign in the USHL last year.

With a bit of imagination, it’s not hard to see Bump turning pro in the next year or two. His rights won’t expire until Aug. 15, 2027, so the Flyers have plenty of time to let the Western Michigan ace get some more seasoning while doing his thing in college.

Bryce Brodzinski, Univ. of Minnesota, (7th round, 196th overall in 2019 – Flyers)

Serving as the captain of Minnesota for the first time, Brodzinski is enjoying a career-best season in the NCAA, albeit not by much. The 23-year-old has scored a career-high 32 points in 37 games this season, overtaking the 31 points he had in 40 games last year.

His brother, Jonny Brodzinski, has been an AHL-NHL tweener for mostly his entire career and has honorably served as the captain of the Hartford Wolf Pack in each of the last three seasons. Jonny has played in a career-high 50 NHL games for the New York Rangers this season and just scored against the Flyers on Tuesday night.

Leadership and beating the odds appear to run in the Brodzinski family.

Bryce Brodzinski’s rights expire on Aug. 15, so a strong NCAA tournament showing will help him strengthen his case to stick in the Flyers organization and turn pro in the next few months.

For more Flyers news and up-to-date coverage, visit Philly Hockey Now and like our Facebook page.
Follow us on 𝕏:

Get PHHN+ today!

Get PhHN in Your Inbox

Enter your email address to get all of our posts sent directly to your inbox.

Copyright © 2023 National Hockey Now and Philadelphia Hockey Now. In no way affiliated with the Philadelphia Flyers or the National Hockey League.