It’s no secret the Philadelphia Flyers are in the midst of a youth infused season. The orange and black have seen their fair share of ups and downs recently, after eclipsing a 0-3-4 mark in their last seven games. However, there’s a reason to believe again in South Philly. Thanks in large part to a new rockstar in Philadephia, Forward Danick Martel. He has instilled hope into yet another season of Flyers mediocrity.
Martel has played the majority of his professional career for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Flyers in 2015. How Martel went undrafted is mind-boggling. This kid can just flat-out fly. In the 2015-16 season for the Phantoms, Martel potted a career high 22 goals, and 15 assists for a total of 37 points in 67 games played. After a breakout season some people couldn’t believe that this young stud went undrafted.
With how well Martel performs. It makes General Manager Ron Hextall look like a magician, as he waves his magic wand for undrafted free agents to join the team. Well, Martel has done just that for Hextall, as he tallied a career high with 40 points in 2016-17 for the Phantoms. He registered 20 goals, and 20 assists in 68 games played. Martel really showed his range with playing in any situation the coaching staff asked of him.
Even with all of Martel’s successes last season. He still wasn’t a sure lock to make the Flyers opening night roster out of training camp. Martel showed his speed and awareness throughout camp, however he was eventually sent back to the Phantoms. This move paid huge dividends for his development, as he lead the AHL with 14 goals, and 19 points in just 17 games played before being recalled. What’s even more impressive Martel was a whopping plus 10, as he flashed his skill for the Phantoms.
On November 22, 2017 at exactly 0940 am, Martel was finally called up to the big club. With five straight losses the orange and black needed a spark. The top brass looked to Martel to reignite the Flyers engine. Well, he did just that in his first game against the New York Islanders on Pre-Thanksgiving night. Playing on a line with Nolan Patrick and Wayne Simmonds. Martel flashed his speed as he was all over the ice in his NHL debut. Moreover, he even had a breakaway that was saved by goaltender Thomas Greiss. Martel fired six shots on net, and he was one of the better Flyers in his debut. What Martel did was give the Flyers offense some life, even though they lost 4-3 in overtime. Keeping his game simple was one of his keys to success in his debut, Martel states.
“Hockey is a simple game and I wanted to keep it simple, play hard, and that’s what I did and had a couple of good scoring chances.”
Martel once again flashed his net presence against the New York Islanders in Saturday’s 5-4 overtime loss. The line of Martel, Patrick, and Simmonds was one of the best, most consistent lines in the matinee loss. Martel just has the knack of knowing where to be and when. Moreover, he has become one of the fastest Flyers in his early stint with the big club. Patrick had this to say about Martel, and his line after the game on Saturday.
“Yeah, Martel has had a great start in the American League lighting it up. He is here for a reason. He competes really hard and he is a great skater. Simmer is obviously a unbelievable player for a lot of years in this league. It’s a good two guys to play with.”
This young stud in Martel has become the new rockstar in Philadelphia. Flyers fans have fallen in love with him, and it’s easy to see why. He plays every shift like it’s his last shift. The sky is the limit for Martel, and he’s just more proof why the orange and black have the best farm system in the NHL. One thing is certain Flyers fans, the future is bright in Flyer land.
Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports