The Philadelphia Flyers made a slightly surprising decision on Wednesday during their roster cutdown. 22-year-old center Morgan Frost has been sent to Lehigh Valley to hone his craft. While many fans were hoping to see Frost crack the Flyers roster, it shouldn’t be alarming that he hasn’t.
The only disappointing element stems from the fact that this was a huge opportunity if he was ready to take it. Kevin Hayes will miss the opening chunk of the season and Wade Allison is also in the same boat, which left the doors wide open for Frost to burst through.
Unfortunately, those hopes were brought back down to up quickly. We were quickly reminded that Frost had missed the entire 2020-21 campaign after dealing with a devastating shoulder injury and the impacts of COVID-19. As a result, there was naturally going to be some rust to shake off.
It’s not like the Flyers are in desperate need of help at center. The acquisition of Derrick Brassard very much takes the weight off of the former OHL sensation’s shoulders, and the experience of Nate Thompson in behind does the same. Scott Laughton should very comfortably fill out the final line and leave the Flyers with more than enough talent to hold the fort until Frost is ready to emerge.
We saw Frost shine in NHL play when he initially made the jump in 2019-20 but a lot has changed since then. With such a huge gap in playing time, there’s every chance that bad habits emerged or those flaws that were present in his game prior to the leap had a chance to creep out of the woodwork.
He was never going to be handed the 2C job on a silver platter and although he may be the best long-term fit, there’s no need to hurry his development if he isn’t ready yet. It may be disappointing for some, but this is a player who has ripped every level of junior hockey to shreds. For AV to make such a bold decision, there has to be a real sense of conviction.
It would be far worse for the development of Morgan Frost for him to be forced into a role of heavy responsibility when he isn’t ready. It’s better to preach patience at let nature take its course while the Flyers have the bodies to hold the fort.
Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre