Last week, the Flyers had announced the signing of Union College forward and Hobey Baker finalist Mike Vecchione to an entry level contract. The signing means Philadelphia has made another step towards their future.
Though they have officially been eliminated from playoff contention, Philadelphia is already making moves to improve for next year.
Vecchione, 24, is set to make his season debut tonight against the New Jersey Devils. He will be centering the 4th line with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare moving to the left wing and Colin McDonald on the right. Chris Vandevelde will indeed be a healthy scratch.
The former Union College captain, who went undrafted, has been reunited with college teammate Shayne Gostisbehere. The good news here is that there is already chemistry with a teammate, which should make it easier to get used to playing with a new team. There was plenty of excitement going on following the signing.
Vecchione describes the NHL reunion as “a dream come true.” Gostisbehere stated that he “did not have to do much convincing.”
The undrafted center is a speedy two-way forward who excels in puck possession. The offensive-minded forward has the ability to finish plays. After putting up 63 points in 38 games, it is safe to say he is ready for the next level.
Over his entire college career, Vecchione had 176 points in 149 games, averaging over a point per game. This is something the Flyers bottom six desperately need.
It is unclear whether the 4th line will remain a permanent role for him, but he provides offense and speed that the 4th line desperately needs. Tonight will also be a trial to see how he does in the faceoff circle, an aspect of the game in which Bellemare has certainly struggled.
Vecchione can be a quality bottom-six addition and provide some lethal secondary scoring next season. He will wear number 74 tonight.
Photo: Centpacrr (via: Wikimedia Commons)