Photo: Frank Fimmano
The Flyers kicked off the pre-season with their rookie game against the New York Islanders at the Wells Fargo Center. While there were some exciting moments, the Flyers did drop a 4-3 OT decision to the Islanders.
James DeHaas, signed by the Phantoms to an AHL contract this summer, started the scoring for the Flyers. Mark Friedman and Travis Sanheim also scored in the game, as the Flyers defenders, who just a few short years ago were known for being slow, plodding and unable to move the puck made up 100% of the scoring tonight.
Friedman and Sanheim will both vie for a roster spot in training camp.
As the game itself isn’t really indicative of the team as a whole, team level observations will be subbed out for more of a look at individual players.
Sam Morin was fairly physical and should his dominance with the body translate to games against NHL players, he’ll lock up a roster spot and be a force on the Flyers penalty kill this season.
Travis Sanheim and Mark Friedman both showed their puck handling skills with their goals. Friedman’s a right handed shot and will likely start with the Phantoms, but in the future, he’s going to hopefully develop into an option for the PP as a right shooting option.
Carter Hart and Alex Lyon both looked good in net, though Lyon probably wants the first Islanders goal back. With Stolarz’s latest injury, Lyon will have a big chance to step up on the Flyers goalie depth chart. He’ll need to impress as Stolarz, Felix Sandstrom, Hart, and so many other goalies from the last few drafts are coming. The Flyers traded Merrick Madsen and still have Matej Tomek, Kirill Ustimenko, and Ivan Fedotov coming.
Nolan Patrick showed flashes of the brilliance that made him the consensus most talented player in the draft, while also showing no ill effects of injuries that made him fall to the Flyers at number two overall.
Oscar Lindblom had a dominating shift with the puck and will likely make the team to replace Brayden Schenn’s role as a jack of all trades top 9 forward with lots of powerplay time. That said, camp will tell us for sure where this all goes.
In summary, it’s great to see Hextall’s plan coming to term, and remember, one rookie game does not a season make.