The last time Flyers winger Eric Wellwood played against his big brother Kyle, he was 4-years-old in his backyard in Windsor, Ontario. Tonight, when the Flyers take on the Winnipeg Jets, they’ll face each other again.
Last time Eric was called up to the Flyers, the 21-year-old narrowly missed the chance to go to Winnipeg and visit his brother whom he hasn’t seen since September, right before training camp.
“I’m pretty excited to go see him,” said Eric, who has only texted, Skyped and called his brother since then. “I talked to him yesterday and I think we’re gonna go meet up. I’m not sure what we’re gonna do, but we’ll definitely go hang out and meet up.
“He’s got a little boy that I’m excited to see because I’m sure he’s a lot bigger than the last time I saw him.”
The elder Wellwood has had a lot of success aside from starting a family. In his eighth season, Kyle has 12 goals and 24 assists in 59 games. His 36 points rank third on the Jets behind Blake Wheeler (46) and Evander Kane (38). A career season is within reach for Kyle, who topped off at 45 points in 2005-06 with Toronto.
But young Eric brings some confidence with him on his trip to Winnipeg. He’s coming off his first career goal in the NHL in Saturday’s loss to Pittsburgh and is ready to take on his big brother.
“Actually, he texted me,” said Eric, who has three points in four games with the Flyers this year. “He saw it. He said congratulations, keep working hard and see what happens.”
Eric has spent most of his young career in the AHL. He has nine goals and 12 assists in 32 games this season. Last year, he scored 16 goals and 12 assists in 73 games. But he does have one thing on his brother — about an inch on the height charts. Of course, it wasn’t always that way.
“He’s seven years older, so he was always bigger growing up,” Eric said. “So maybe it’s my turn to push him around.”