When he was growing up, Christmas came on the 26th for Wayne Simmonds instead of the 25th.

That’s when the big present of the World Junior Championships came on TV.

“Growing up in Scarborough (Ontario) we had Channel 10 and they’d play the Oshawa Generals every Sunday,” Simmonds recalled. “I’d sit there and watch the games while my mom was folding laundry. I got to watch those guys play World Juniors and it was a pretty cool experience and maybe hope that one day I could play there and I did and I won a gold medal.”

Simmonds was on the 2008 Canadian team that also included Claude Giroux and Steve Mason. It’s a badge of honor that they will carry forever and odds are good that at least one of the Flyers’ prospects could be next to wear gold.

After all, they have nine prospects in the tournament. It wasn’t so long ago that they only had one or two. Suddenly the Flyers’ farm system is chock full of promising players.

“Nine prospects? That’s pretty impressive. That’s unbelievable,” Simmonds said. “I think if you go back and look at a lot of the guys that play World Juniors, the majority of those guys, I think, probably end up in the NHL and making an impact.”

That’s what the Flyers are hoping for as they try to keep an eye on all of them from six of the 10 countries in the tournament. Here’s a rundown of each player through the eyes of Flyers assistant general manager and director of player personnel Chris Pryor.