It’s early days but Cam Atkinson is shining with the Flyers

Flyers' Cam Atkinson
PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 20: Philadelphia Flyers Right Wing Cam Atkinson (89) skates with the puck during the first period of a National Hockey League game between the Boston Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers on October 20, 2021, at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia Flyers made a big decision this offseason in moving on from Jake Voracek. They traded him to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Cam Atkinson, with a pressing cap-hit being the main motive. It’s still early days, but so far it’s safe to say that the Flyers are satisfied with the returns.

Atkinson has picked up where he left off in Columbus. His 15 goals and 34 points ranked second on the Blue Jackets last year, while he led the team in short handed goals, an area where he stood second among all NHLers. Predictably, it didn’t take him long to find the back of the net on the power play in Philadelphia.

His shorthanded goal against the Panthers gave the Flyers a temporary 2-1 lead in the second period. It was the 17th of his career and has amassed the third-most shorthanded goals of any NHL player since 2011-12. His hot start goes beyond special teams though.

Atkinson is one of two Flyers (the other being Claude Giroux) to notch a point in all four games thus far. He’s only two games shy of the franchise record that is currently shared by Peter Forsberg and Greg Hawgood.

“It’s still early on and learning your line mate’s tendencies out there and you know their spots.” Atkinson told reporters recently. “I think that week of practice definitely helped acclimate, especially with my line and what we like to do and just get comfortable with one another and form some sort of chemistry, so it was a good week of practice.”

Playing on the notable ‘FAB’ line with Joel Farabee and fellow new-signing Derrick Brassard, Atkinson’s presence has really helped ignite the Flyers offense. There is a lot of hockey left to play, but the Flyers have to be impressed with what they’ve seen from Atkinson, who could be in Philly for another three years if he plays out his current contract.

You only get one shot to make a good first impression, and Atkinson could not have made his any stronger.

Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire