For the past few seasons the Philadelphia Flyers have been inconsistent when it comes to scoring goals. One game they would dominate with a ton of goals, and the next game they would putter. Flyers General Manager Ron Hextall hopes to eradicate this issue in the near future with the likes of Oskar Lindblom, Connor Bunnaman, Taylor Leier, and Nolan Patrick/Nico Hischier. Just who remains down on the farm that could help the organization find more consistency with scoring? Meet a hidden gem, Center Anthony Salinitri. I was fortunate enough to have a phone interview with him recently, and he seems determined to showcase his skills as a member of the Flyers organization.
Salinitri was born on March 5, 1998, in Windsor, ON, CAN. The Flyers drafted him in the 6th round of the 2016 NHL Draft. Like most kids in Canada, Salinitri started playing hockey at a young age. His passion for the game found himself playing for the Sarnia Sting in the 2015-16 season. For the season he registered 17 goals, and 13 assists for a total of 30 points in 62 games played. After a decent season with the Sting, just who is this young prospect?
“I’m pretty good speed wise, and my hockey IQ is there. I have good hands, but I’m trying to work on my upper body, that’s where I need the most strength. The people in Philadelphia told me that’s what I should do, so I will do it. I’m just trying to get better to make the Flyers. It was a true honor hearing my name get called at the draft. I’m honored to be a member of the the Flyers. They have received a dedicated person who will stop at nothing to succeed at the NHL level.”
The young phenom made quite a statement for the Sting in the 2016-17 season. He enjoyed a career year tallying 28 goals, and 30 assists for a total of 58 points in 66 games played. He showed his silky smooth hands, and his skating was much stronger than year’s past. So what was behind his successful season?
“You know I focused on a lot of different areas. My speed, just very hardworking, and my puck handling got better (Laughing). I just train, train, train, in the off season. I need to get better at building my size up though. I’m just trying to show I’m a hockey player. I’ve been blessed that way cause of my family. It gives me added motivation to try and succeed at the NHL level.”
If one has seen Salinitri play the past few seasons for the Sting. One would have noticed the smooth skating Center that looks very composed and relaxed on the ice. Maybe his religion has given him added confidence to his game.
“I’m a befound Catholic. The Catholic religion has given me peace. I try to pray as much as I can, but it turns out to only be a few times this week. I should try to go to church more often. But, Catholicism is where my home is, and I’m a believer in God.”
Salinitri has worked tremendously in the off season to get better. He hopes to fulfill his dream to finally play in the NHL with the Flyers organization. Salinitri maintains his composure for not only his team, but his family as well. When he makes it to the NHL, he realizes who has helped him along the way.
“My family are my biggest heroes. I would not be here today if it weren’t for them. Going to practices, hockey equipment. Just little things. My family wanted me to succeed at hockey, so they did everything they could for me to succeed. For that I’m truly grateful.”
Salinitri continued, “I talk to my dad all the time. When I’m going through things he helps me out the most. He understands and has always been there for me. They have put a hold on projects in the house to have money to travel, or purchase hockey equipment. Im truly grateful, and blessed.”
The Flyers are loading up with talent, and hidden gems that will be the cornerstone of the franchise for years to come. Gone are the days where the Flyers were impatient. Salinitri is just another piece to the puzzle that Hextall is building in Flyer land. The young Sarnia Sting product has the will, determination, and grit to make the Flyers flourish in time. His day will come sooner rather than later.
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