Zamula, Flyers agree to a one-year extension

Flyers' Yegor Zamula
EAST MEADOW, NY – SEPTEMBER 12: Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Yegor Zamula (70) looks to make a play up ice while being chased by New York Islanders forward Jeff Kubiak (67) in a pre-seaon rookie game on September 12, 2018, at the Northwell Health Ice Center. (Photo by John McCreary/Icon Sportswire)

His second signing as the interim General Manager, Daniel Briere inked Egor Zamula to a 1yr/$775k contract extension.

After a strong training camp, Zamula cracked the 2022-2023 Philadelphia Flyers opening night roster. He has a high upside and great vision; a prospect John Tortorella wants to develop for the future:

“He takes up a lot of space. A defenseman that we think sees the ice really well. He lacks experience; he’s going to be under some pressure when the real stuff happens, but we think he can make a play to get us out of our endzone because I think he sees it. We like the way his camp’s been, and he’s one that we want to develop.”

John Tortorella; 10/12/2022

Zamula suited up in fourteen games with the Flyers during 2022-2023, tallying four assists. He scored his first NHL point against the Tampa Bay Lightning and recorded his first multi-point game versus the Florida Panthers. In 44 games with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, Zamula scored 19 points (1G, 18A).

“I was just trying to play my game. If you’re playing good, points is coming. I got second apple, I think it’s a lucky point. I passed to Tony [DeAngelo], and Tony made unbelievable pass to Laughts [Scott Laughton], and Laughts scored.”

Egor Zamula; 3/21/2023

A key player along the Phantoms’ blue line throughout their 2022-2023 season, Zamula underwent shoulder surgery on April 10th. The procedure caused him to miss the 2023 AHL Calder Cup Playoffs. In the first round, the Phantoms were eliminated by the Charlotte Checkers in a best-of-three series, 2-1.

His extension could be viewed as a ‘prove-it’ deal, similar to the extension Morgan Frost received last summer. He’ll battle for more ice time with the Flyers in 2023-2024 to earn another contract.

Currently, the Flyers have plenty of young defensemen who fulfill the LD role. Cam York blossomed into a full-time NHL player and Emil Andrae made significant strides in his brief run with the Phantoms after signing an entry-level contract on an amateur tryout. Some veteran players like Travis Sanheim and Ivan Provorov struggled during the season. Entering a rebuild, Provorov is a name featured in trade rumors. Sanheim signed an 8yr/$50mil extension on opening night.

Zamula can play RD, like York showed, adding flexibility to his game. The Flyers are invested in LD depth, making it more difficult for Zamula to earn an opening night roster spot in back-to-back seasons. Tortorella cut York to send a message about the physicality and urgency of his game, but after he arrived in Philadelphia, Zamula began to take a backseat. Following a strong season from Nick Seeler, Zamula could find his place opposite of his natural position.

“I don’t care. I want to play hockey. I have experience playing [the] right side last year a little bit and I play in Russia a little bit on the right side; World Juniors, too. It’s a good experience for me; if you’re good [defenseman], you can play both sides.”

Egor Zamula; 11/28/2023

Zamula has top-four potential, but injuries haven’t helped his development. Despite those obstacles, his career numbers in the NHL reflect a -5, 33BLK, 17GV, and 47.3%CF with four assists in 26 career games.