(Photo credit: Amy Irvin, 38 Photography)
Joining the Phantoms this week on an try-out basis is 2014 6th round pick Radel Fazleev. Like most late round picks, the odds of Fazleev making it big in the NHL is slim, but there is hope for him to be a future contributor at the NHL level.
Fazleev consistently improved in his Junior career during his seasons in the WHL. Now with the step to the pro ranks, it’s imperative he make the best of his time with the Phantoms. As of now, he’s likely to be a callup option next season as he’s waiver exempt. Of course, if he were to get a full season in the NHL, it would be possible to project what he is capable of.
The WHL to NHL translation is .27 points per game. So, for Fazleev, he would be expected for .325 points per game in the NHL or 27 points per 82 games.
From a usage standpoint, this means Fazleev is another of the Matt Read or Michael Raffl types in terms of scoring, but ideally, he’ll have enough two way play to replace Chris VandeVelde or Pierre-Edouard Bellemare on the fourth line. Having insurance for Bellemare is especially important as he is already 31, and given the tough minutes he logs on the penalty kill and on shutdown units, having an insurance policy in case of injury is ideal.
Also, Fazleev would be ineligible to be picked in a potential 2017 Expansion draft, which is something that the Flyers need to plan for. This is especially true if the Flyers were to lose of Read or Raffl in that expansion draft. Another player that Fazleev puts some pressure on is Scott Laughton, who is showing potential as a third line left wing, but hasn’t quite blossomed into the player he was hyped as when picked in the first round of 2012.
Either way, depth options like Fazleev are important as cheap ELC’s are needed for the Flyers in order to stomach the remainder of MacDonald contract while extensions to Couturier and Voracek kick in and Ghost Bear’s second deal is coming.