Former Philadelphia Flyers prospect, Wyatt Kalynuk, will reportedly sign an entry-level contract with the Chicago Blackhawks. As I speculated at the beginning of this month, the Blackhawks were a prime target to secure Kalynuk. A team that wouldn’t be playoff eligible without the 2020 bracket expansion signs a much-needed defenseman. It’s no doubt that Chicago does improve, but the sour taste is at the expense of the Flyers. The rhythm of the NHL offseason during the pandemic has disrupted the handling of Kalynuk as a prospect.
After his tenure at the University of Wisconsin, the Philadelphia Flyers had thirty days to sign Wyatt Kalynuk to an entry-level contract. While he was familiar with the Flyers, many surrounding teams were familiar with Kalynuk due to the proximity from his school to franchise hub cities. One of the NHL franchises that surround Wisconsin is the Chicago Blackhawks. The defensive depth in Philadelphia doesn’t do Kalynuk any favors in streamlining him to their NHL roster. It’s not surprising that the Blackhawks were a smooth fit for Kalynuk.
Last place in the standings of the NHL Central Division, the Chicago Blackhawks are aching for a prospect that can make an immediate impact. “Steady” isn’t accurate to describe the Blackhawks’ defense. Calvin de Haan isn’t the player that I would write home about when speaking of a true defenseman in Chicago during the 2019-2020 regular season. He was placed on long-term injured reserve by the Blackhawks. Other defensemen that caught the injury bug were Adam Boqvist and Brent Seabrook.
Due to those hurdles that the Chicago Blackhawks have recently faced on the defensive front, Wyatt Kalynuk has the opportunity to play straight away on an NHL roster. The Philadelphia Flyers didn’t sign Kalynuk because of a lack of trying, but because Kalynuk realized a better opportunity to play elsewhere. Kalynuk didn’t sign with the Los Angeles Kings either, where Ron Hextall is an advisor. It’s purely a career move by Kalynuk, and it’s worth praise for a competitor. He’ll join a former teammate and current prospect on the Blackhawks, Josh Ess.
Strengthening the blue-line is a top priority of the Chicago Blackhawks. The Philadelphia Flyers have solid depth at defense in their system. In the Flyers system are players like Egor Zamula, Cam York, Samuel Morin, Linus Hogberg, Mark Friedman, and Wyatte Wylie. That’s six other defensemen who aren’t permanent fixtures on Philadelphia’s NHL roster. While Kalynuk has all the potential to be a great player, the Flyers are anything but empty-handed.
Mandatory Credit – Alex McIntyre
Eric is a University of Delaware graduate with a degree in English. While in school, he began writing for different publications such as The Highlight Network, Amps and Greenscreens, and he did color commentary for the University of Delaware Men’s and Women’s lacrosse teams throughout the 2013 season as an alumni. Prior to being featured with Philly Sports Network, he began a pro-wrestling podcast with a childhood friend called the Totally Over Podcast. As an avid sports die-hard for all things Philadelphia, Eric is also a proud supporter of West Virginia University.