5 on-the-fence players attempting to make Flyers' roster
There could be some very tight and exciting battles for roster spots as the Flyers prepare for the upcoming season.
The Flyers, along with the rest of the NHL teams, debuted their new jersey for the upcoming season on Tuesday night.
Beginning this year, Adidas will be producing and manufacturing them instead of Reebok. Fortunately, the Flyers jersey remained the same.
Now, the more pressing question surrounding the “new” jersey is who will be wearing it this fall.
Following Wednesday night’s release of the Expansion Draft, we now know that Pierre-Edouard Bellemare will not after being selected by the Las Vegas Golden Knights. The Flyers lost one of their alternate captains — he was named one after alternate captain Mark Streit was dealt to the Lightning at the trade deadline — and penalty-kill specialist.
Here are the players who we are unsure of whether they will wear a Flyers, Phantom or another organization’s jersey this season.
Nolan Patrick or Nico Hischier
One of the two will be selected by the Flyers Friday night with the second overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft. Scouts and experts are split on whether either one will play in the NHL right away.
Some say they both need some more seasoning in juniors, and Flyers GM Ron Hextall is typically a fan of not rushing kids into the NHL. Others are confident Patrick and Hischier can make an immediate impact in the league. No matter who the Flyers pick, their performance at training camp will likely decide their fate.
The unrestricted free agent has been in negotiations with the Flyers. According to reports, the team and the center have agreed on the length of a deal but are not square on the money yet. If Weal, who scored eight goals in 23 games last year, does not sign with the Flyers by July 1, he will be free to negotiate with any NHL team.
The Flyers protected the rookie netminder in the expansion draft — and exposed veteran goalie Michal Neuvirth — but that still does not guarantee him a spot on the roster this season. Coach Dave Hakstol was impressed with Stolarz’s small sample size last year but was not ready declare him the backup yet. Plus, there are rumors that Stolarz could also be used as trade bait this summer. So, he could be with the Flyers, Phantoms or even another organization.
Robert Haag and Sam Morin
The two defensemen each made their NHL debuts — albeit one game — late last year. With Nick Schultz and Michael Del Zotto leaving via free agency and Streit’s departure in March, the Flyers have openings on the blue line. They’d love to see one, or both, kids earn a job out of training camp. However, don’t be shocked if Hextall signs one or two veteran defensemen in free agency as competition or an insurance policy.