Flyers' top prospect arrested

Flyers prospect Nick Cousins was charged with sexual assault. (Ron Tarver/Staff Photographer)

   Center Nick Cousins, regarded as the Flyers’ top prospect, was charged with sexual assault and arrested, the Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, police said on Sunday.

   "We are aware of the unfortunate situation involving Nick Cousins. Due to lack of information available to us, we will not comment at this time,” Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said in a statement.

   Cousins, 19, and two of his Sault Ste. Marie Soo Greyhounds teammates _ Mark Petaccio, 18, and Andrew Fritsch, 19 _ were charged with sexual assault against a female known to them, according to a release from the Salt Ste. Marie police.

   Petaccio, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound right winger, is from Sicklerville, N.J, and he has a bail court date on Monday.

  Cousins and Fritsch have an Oct. 1 court date.

  Each player is accused of having sexual intercourse with an adult female on Friday, according to the The Ontario website said the woman reported the incident to police on Saturday.

  Cousins, known for feisty style of play, was selected by the Flyers in the third round of the 2011 draft; the draft pick was acquired as part of the trade that sent Jeff Carter to Columbus last year. The Flyers also acquired Jake Voracek and a first-round pick that turned out to be Sean Couturier.

   The fifth-leading scorer in the Ontario Hockey League with 88 points (35 goals, 53 assists) in 65 games with the Greyhounds last season, the 5-11, 177-pound Cousins signed an entry-level contract with the Flyers in late March and played one game with the AHL Adirondack Phantoms.

   In a statement, the Greyhounds said they would “continue to perform our duty in supporting the three members of our team as they go through the legal process” and “continue to support” to police investigation “in any way possible.”

   The Greyhounds also said: “Over the course of time that each of these players has been part of our program we have seen each of them make excellent strides both on and off the ice. The strides made over each young man’s tenure here are what makes today’s situation so surprising.”

   Sault Ste. Marie opens its training camp Wednesday.

   Contact Sam Carchidi at or on Twitter @BroadStBull.