As NHL teams across the league head to their respective hub cities, playoff rosters are being announced. The Flyers released their roster, which was mostly status quo, with a few surprises.
One of the name noticeably left off the list is forward Carsen Twarynski. The 22-year-old made his NHL debut during the season and played 15 games for the Flyers where he recorded a single goal. He was with the team during the summer workouts, but seeming lost his roster spot to veteran forward Andy Andreoff, who has 143 NHL games under his belt, but just a single playoff game with the Kings in 2016.
Two other rookies did make the cut, however, as Morgan Frost and Connor Bunnaman will accompany the team to Toronto. Connor Bunnaman saw semi-regular ice time on the Flyers fourth line this season, suiting up for 21 games over two separate stints with the big club. He recorded two points with the Flyers and nine points in 29 games with the Phantoms.
Morgan Frost, the highly anticipated prospect, had a lackluster debut with the Flyers through November and December before being returned to the Phantoms for the rest of the season. His game slowly developed and finally started to look comfortable just as the AHL season was put on hold. With a couple of months to rest and train, the hope is that he’ll be ready if called upon during the playoffs.
Elsewhere in the lineup, The Flyers added two more defenseman to their already-crowded blueline with the additions of Andy Welinski and Egor Zamula. Welinski is in his third professional season, and first within the Flyers organization. He played the entire season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms where he posted eight goals and 21 points in 42 games between multiple stints on IR.
Zamula, on the other hand, has yet to play a professional game, though carries a high pedigree from his days with the Calgary Hitmen. Zamula posted 28 points in 28 games before a back injury kept him on the sidelines since the middle of January. That coming after a stupendous 56-point campaign the season prior. By all accounts the recently-turned-20-year-old raised a few eyebrows during the “preseason” and clearly seemed ready enough to potentially join the Flyers during the playoffs.
As expected, the Phantoms tandem of Alex Lyon and Kirill Ustimenko will accompany the Flyers, who were allowed to carry an unlimited amount of goalies to Toronto. Lyon has 16 games of NHL experience spread out over the past three seasons, while Ustimenko is a rookie who has just five games of AHL experience, earning his recall from the ECHL late in the season.
Chances are none of the black aces actually see ice time for the Flyers, but it clear the organization went with a group they deemed best if tragedy were to strike with their usual roster. With a solid mix of veterans, top AHLers, and hot-shot rookies, the already-impressive amount of depth the Flyers roster flaunts continues further as the team gears up for what is hopefully a long and successful playoff run.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: nbcsports.com