The Flyers return to the Skate Zone today to kick off a brief training camp period before their trip to Toronto. Their 30-man roster was released on Monday morning and contained a few surprises. Here’s everything you need to know:
James Van Riemsdyk
There was a lot of speculation surrounding the return of Nolan Patrick. The former second overall pick hasn’t played since April 2019 due to lingering migranes. Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher projected that Patrick would return at some point this season when quizzed about his progress back in January, but it looks as though the Mountain was just a little too tall to climb.
Phantom of the playoffs
The expanded roster currently includes 11 players from the team’s AHL affiliate – Lehigh Valley Phantoms. This is a great opportunity for those names to prove they belong at the next level, are ready to make the jump in case someone falls injured, or can maybe even snag a spot on the final roster.
Morgan Frost, who was selected with the 27th overall pick in 2017, ended his AHL campaign with a total of 29 points (13 G 16 A) and he’ll be looking to really throw the Cat among the Pigeons as camp progresses.
German Rubtsov and Carsen Twarynski will also be intriguing names to watch, with the latter having appeared in 15 games for the Flyers already this past season, as well as 15 for the Phantoms.
Maybe the biggest surprise of all here is the inclusion of 20-year-old D-man Egor Zamula. After going undraftted in 2018, the Flyers snatched him up and he’s since become a hot commodity – rallying to 28 points in just as many games for the Calgary Hitman (WHL) last season.
While it’s unlikely that Zamula travels with the team to Toronto, it’s going to be a great experience to get into the thick of the action with NHL talent after another promising season under the radar.
No, it’s not Carter Hart vs Brian Elliott, but rather a clash for the potential 3rd goaltender spot. Alex Lyon has appeared in a few games for the Flyers this year but has made his paydirt down at Lehigh Valley, where he appeared in 32 games, going 11-14 and allowing 2.69 goals per game. It’s not a given that he’ll make the roster, however.
Breathing down his neck though will be Kirill Ustimenko, who’s just 21-years-old and was taken in the third round back in 2017. Ustimenko only had 5 games of AHL experience this year allowing 3.84 goals per game, but looked fantastic down in Reading, going 19-4 in the ECHL and allowing just 2.4 goals per game.
This experience will be invaluable to the young goalie who will be looking to at least make his presence felt before next season’s camp. At best, he may even turn a few heads for a look at this year’s playoff roster.
Photo Credit: Alex Mcintyre