A day ago, Jackson Cates received a two-way extension termed 1yr/$775k.
He made his debut during the 2020-2021 season. Cates played four games in a season with restrictions on opponents and travel due to COVID-19. He tallied his first NHL point, an assist, against the New Jersey Devils in a 6-4 loss.
Last season, Cates played eleven games. Again, he totaled one point. This time, he scored his first NHL goal. Unfortunately, his second NHL point unfolded inside another empty stadium. Cates gave the Philadelphia Flyers a short lead before a 3-2 shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre.
“I heard it was a fun place to play, and I was excited for the fans and everything. I found out before the game there was no fans, I was [shrugs], but at the end of the day it’s still a hockey game and you got to play to win.”Jackson Cates; 12/16/2021
He’ll join the Lehigh Valley Phantoms next season. As the last two seasons have shown, he could get another taste of the NHL.
He signed with the Flyers before his brother, Noah Cates. Following 2021-2022, he needs further seasoning in the AHL. A natural center, Cates did play left wing on a line with Patrick Brown and Zack MacEwen. Cates was at his best in an overtime loss against the San Jose Sharks.
To date, Cates only ventured to the Phantoms once. He played 37 games in the AHL with Lehigh Valley, totaling ten points (2G, 8A.) Both were shorthanded goals. Since signing an entry-level contract with Philadelphia, his AHL service in 2021-2022 showcased his current growth.
As Joel Farabee and Bobby Brink heal, Cates could compete for the thirteenth forward role. The extension shows confidence in his recovery from injury in early March 2022. About five and a half months ago, Cates collided into the end-boards on a shorthanded rush against the Charlotte Checkers.
A critical proponent of integrating Cates into the lineup would be his play on the penalty kill.
Both Cates Brothers are on track for this off-season with John Tortorella. Competition for a bottom-six center role features Brown, Tanner Laczynski, Cooper Marody, and Adam Brooks.
(Photo Credit: Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)