The Flyers announced their 31-man playoff roster on Sunday afternoon before on the eve of their trip to Toronto. There were some interesting names who made the cut and will travel with the team. Here’s everything you need to know.
There are no major shocks here other than the fact that they’re carrying a fourth goalie in the way of Ustimenko. This may have been prompted due to Carter Hart’s back spasms, although it appears as though their resident wonderkid is ready to go for the playoffs despite a training camp scare.
Hart will be backed up by Brian Elliott and it’s likely that Alex Lyon sneaks some time as well if the Flyers jump out to a sizable series lead at any point, while Ustimenko will wait in the wings in the event of an unforeseen obstacle.
The 21-year-old 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.
All of the familiar faces are here. Provy, Hagg, Ghost, Braun, Niskanen, and Sanheim, will pick up where they left off in the regular season. Provorov was handed the Ashbee trophy recently so will be coming into the playoffs filled with confidence.
As for the depth, it’s really encouraging to see 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. Whether or not he sees any in-game action remains to be seen, but it’s an exciting opportunity nonetheless.
Friedman signed a two-year extension with the team this past week so it’s no surprise to see him listed here. Originally selected in the third round by Philadelphia back in 2014, Friedman is coming off of his third season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, where he potted 3 goals and tallied 15 assists through 45 games. He already has experience with the Flyers too, having played in 6 games this season. Friedman notched his first NHL assist in that time, helping a Connor Bunnaman goal back in January. During that span, the 5’10, 192 lbs, d-man averaged 13:35 of ice time per game. He could well be a name to watch this Summer.
James Van Riemsdyk
The deepest group on the team was arguably the easiest to pick. There aren’t any shocks here…except for the most pleasant surprise of all. Oskar Lindblom is going to Toronto.
Lindblom signed a three-year deal worth nine million dollars, three million annually earlier this week and was a restricted free agent heading into this offseason. The move was a no-brainer. In 30 games this season, Lindblom notched 11 goals and seven assists before his world was turned upside down. The young star was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma and would embark on a scary, yet remarkable journey. About seven months later, Lindblom got to ring the bell after finishing his cancer treatments at Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center.
Not only did Lindblom fight through his treatments and beat the Cancer, but he’s now headed to Toronto to play in the NHL playoffs – something many assumed wouldn’t happen for at least another year. It’s absolutely beautiful to see Lindblom back with the team and being able to play competitive hockey once again after enduring something so life-changing and scary. It speaks volumes about his character and the team haven’t been shy in pouring out just how much he means to them. Having him back on the Ice will mean everything for this team.
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