Welcome Philadelphia Flyers fans to the fresh new look Flyers. “Gone with the Wind,” are the days of over spending on high priced veteran free agents. “Gone with the wind,” are the days of trading draft picks in trades, if players went down with injuries. Those days are forever gone. The Flyers finally have stockpiled their farm system with prospects, and they could temporarily fill in if players get hurt.
General Manager Ron Hextall has been a genius when it comes to drafting. Hextall has given the Flyers organization a fresh new look, and they have a ton of youth in the farm system that are chomping at the bit to get their shot with the big club. So who would be one of those players that is ready to impress the Flyers top brass for a promotion? Meet Goaltender Felix Sandstrom.
The Flyers have been searching for a franchise goaltender, well since Former President Ronald Reagan was in office. However, they may have found it in Sandstrom. I was fortunate enough to have an interview with him recently, and he is ready to win a championship for Brynas this coming season with the hopes of impressing the Flyers top brass.
Sandstrom was born on January 12, 1997, in Gavle, Sweden. He was drafted by the Flyers in the 3rd round of the 2015 NHL Draft. When Sandstrom was young, he fell in love with the players that played in the SHL (Swedish Hockey League). His passion and love for the SHL found himself playing for Brynas in the 2015-16 SHL season. Sandstrom’s numbers weren’t too shabby, as he posted a 10-14 record, with a 2.61 GAA, and a .904 Save Percentage in 25 games played. Sandstrom will never forget how and what brought him to be drafted by the Flyers in 2015.
“When I was young I was really looking up to the guys in the SHL, and really wanted to get there. With age I realized that I wanted even further to the NHL, and to be the best there. That’s still my goal and that motivates me everyday.”
The young prospect continues, “I sat at home with my family and watched the draft on TV. It was an amazing feeling to see my name show up, and I was really happy that it was by the Flyers.”
This young motivated netminder wanted to improve in his development in the off-season for the upcoming 2016-17 season for Brynas. Sandstrom never lost sight of his goal in the off-season, as he relied heavily on his favorite food to keep him going.
“My favorite food is a nice steak with bacon wrapped asparagus. I try to not mix up hockey that much with my life apart from hockey, so I try to do other stuff than things related to hockey on my spare time. I find it easier to have full focus when I’m at the rink that way.”
The Brynas product, Sandstrom put forth a heck of a 2016-17 season. A season that found Brynas on the brink of a championship, but eventually dropped the series 4-3 to Jonkoping. However, Sandstrom matured into a solid goaltender while posting a 14-7 regular season record, with a 2.25 GAA, and a .908 Save Percentage. For the playoffs, he posted a 2.83 GAA, and a .901 Save Percentage in 13 games played. Sandstrom thanks his hard work and dedication in the off-season for his breakout season.
“I want to take steps forward in my development everyday. I work hard off-ice during the summer, and I’ve found a good way to still be able to work on my physics during season. Make time for myself to do the extra work. Work really close to win something with our team last season, and my goal for this season with Brynas is to win it.”
Sandstrom continues, “I always do my best to be my best, try to minimize the bad days. I am working a lot with power and flexibility to be faster on the ice and more agile. I want to be better at handling the puck, and work a lot with that both off and during on ice season.”
This young dedicated netminder in Sandstrom will stop at nothing to succeed at his goal of making the NHL. With Sandstrom at the helm in a few years for the Flyers. The once goaltending issues hopefully be a thing of the past for this classy organization. Sandstrom will provide much needed depth to a position that is critical to the overall success of a team. He leaves Flyers fans with this unique message.
“I always work hard and do the best that I can everyday. I will do my best to make them happy, and I would love to play for them and win games with them. I have loved the times I’ve been in Philly, and I will do my best to see you soon.”
Mandatory Photo Credit: Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP