Many fans have been very impressed by the play from some of the young guys, such as forward Travis Konecny. Some even pondered the question of whether Konecny, or defenseman Ivan Provorov, would steal a roster spot. Well those questions can be answered with a “no,” as general manager Ron Hextall announced that 23 players were cut from the Flyers roster. This comes a day after Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Samuel Dove-McFalls, and Philippe Myers were returned to their Junior clubs, while Luke Philp was released from his amateur tryout.
Four players, Konecny, Provorov, defenseman Travis Sanheim, and forward Radel Fazleev, were returned to their junior hockey clubs. Konecny will rejoin the Ottawa 67’s of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), where he finished second on the team in points with 68 last season. He was also their team captain. Provorov will rejoin the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League (WHL), where he scored 61 points in 60 games for the team in his rookie year, best out of all rookies and fourth out of all WHL defensemen. Sanheim will rejoin the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL, where he tallied 65 points last season, third on the team and tops for defensemen. Radel Fazleev will also return to Calgary, where he recorded 51 points last season.
These moves make a lot of sense from a prospect stand point. Hextall has preached patience with his prospects and that he doesn’t want to ruin their development by calling them up to the NHL too early, which his smart. I enjoyed watching Konecny and Provorov the first two game, as well as Sanheim on Tuesday night. They showed a lot of promise, but it’s always the best for business to further develop these guys. I think Konecny, Provorov, and Sanheim will be heavily considered for a spot next season.
In addition to the four players going back to juniors for this season, the team also sent 19 guys to Lehigh Valley to start the season. Here’s the list:
- RW Brandon Alderson
- D Mark Alt
- C Cole Bardreau
- LW Tyrell Goulbourne
- G Connor Knapp – AHL Contract
- D Maxim Lamarche
- LW Taylor Leier
- D Nick Luukko – AHL Contract
- LW Danick Martel
- RW Derek Mathers
- D Sam Morin
- G Martin Ouellette – AHL Contract
- RW Pavel Padakin – AHL Contract
- RW Michael Parks – AHL Contract
- D Jesper Pettersson
- D Logan Pyett – AHL Contract
- LW Jay Rosehill – AHL Contract
- G Anthony Stolarz
- RW Petr Straka
These are guys that we expected that would be in Lehigh Valley to begin the season. The name that strikes out is Sam Morin. It’s not a surprise that he’s going to the Phantoms, because Hextall wants him to get some professional experience after spending time in juniors the past few seasons.
So who are some notable players that remain? Nick Cousins is one of them. He spend 11 games last season with the Flyers, but did all of his work in Lehigh Valley, recording 22 goals and 34 assists. Also remaining is Scott Laughton. Laughton played in 31 games in his first pro season last year with the Flyers, where he recorded two goals and four assists. He also spent 39 games with the Phantoms and was phenomenal for the most part, recording 14 goals and 13 assists. They will try to knock off veterans Ryan White and Chris VandeVelde off a roster spot that they had last season. But they also have AHL vets in Tim Brent, Chris Connor, Aaron Palushaj, and Chris Porter looking for similar spots as well.
On the defensive side, there’s Robert Haag, Brandon Manning, and Shayne Gostisbehere. Gostisbehere had two third period goals against the Rangers Tuesday night and looked great for the most part after underling ACL surgery last season. He started last season in Lehigh Valley before he was called up due to an early season injury on the blue-line. Meanwhile, Hagg spent all of last season with the Phantoms, and many people say that is very close, if not ready, to make the jump to the NHL. Brandon Manning spent 60 games last season with the Phantoms, recording 11 goals and 32 assists, but also recorded three assists in 11 games with the Flyers. He has been with the big club on multiple occasions, but will he be overlooked by one of the younger up-and-coming defensemen? Davis Drewiske is also still on the team, but will more than likely get sent down later on. One name in particular, Christian Marti, is injured, and cannot be waived just yet.
The Flyers open up the regular season in a little over two weeks as they travel to take on the defending Eastern Conference champion Tampa Bay Lightning.