Phantoms are 2-4-1 to open the season and went 0-3 this weekend scoring just five goals (Willman, Wylie, Foerster, York and Jackson Cates).
Neither one of his contests this weekend were anything to write home about for the most part, but Ersson had a nice rebound after some struggles last weekend. He allowed three goals on 35 shots on Friday, but the game was tied 1-1 late into the third period before a pair of fluky goals got past him. He allowed four goals on 34 shots on Sunday’s matinée, So while he walks away with a bloated 3.28 goals against average on the season, visually, he does appear to be settling in- it’s just a matter of whether or not the rest of the team can help him out more often.
Still waiting for all the puzzle pieces to come together for Attard, but the flashes of brilliance are certainly there. He’s fast, his offense has a tendency to be explosive and while his defense isn’t quite up to snuff, it has been acceptable more often than not. He sure feels like an early-career Shayne Gostisbehere right now.
On the eve of his 23rd birthday, it’s time to give Wylie some credit. He got his first goal of the season on Saturday, but he is serving as the team’s top right-handed defenseman and is worlds better now than he was this time last season. Don’t know if he’s got much of an NHL future in front of him, but developing into a minute-munching RHD could open some serious doors for him when the opportunity presents itself.
Foerster isn’t necessarily playing bad he racked up a goal and assist in a lost game on Saturday, but we’re patiently waiting for him to assert himself a little more. The raw skill is unquestionably there, but it’s about taking that next step and start showing signs of future stardom. There’s a real lack of veteran star power on the Phantoms roster, and Foerster is one of the biggest examples of the rookies struggling because of it.
Desnoyers racked up just a single assist this weekend, but it’s hard not to be impressed by how this kid is playing. He certainly doesn’t play like a 20-year-old just getting his feet wet in the AHL. He’s smart, he’s skilled and he plays much bigger than his 5’11 frame suggests. The future is bright for the Destroyer.
Probably the most visually impressive player dating back to the rookie game, as a 23-year-old former sixth round pick, his play is still rather impressive. He’s got three assists in five games, but he’s certainly a workhorse and possesses a hell of a shot. It’s hard to predict where his ceiling is, but once he gets a little more comfortable with the North American game he could very well be a diamond in the rough.
York registered a powerplay goal this weekend off a sweet feed from Foerster, which brings him up to four points in six games in the AHL. Padding his stats helps, but considering the logjam at LHD in the NHL, there still doesn’t feel like there’s a clear road back to the main roster for York. All he can do is continue to play his game and hope the cards somehow fall in his favor as the season goes on. York did get hurt in a collision in Sunday’s game against Hershey. There has been no status update as of this writing.
It was yet another underwhelming weekend for Wisdom. He’s been stuck on the fourth line with limited opportunity for growth. No idea why he’s already in the coaching staff’s doghouse, but it’s certainly not doing his value as a prospect any favors.
Hogberg spent two of the three weekend games watching from the pressbox. With an abundance of defenseman in the minor league system, somebody is going to have to be the odd man out on a weekly basis, and Hogberg was the unlucky soul this time. Considering he played a few games in the NHL last season, they clearly must see something in him long-term, but he’s been practically invisible for most of his AHL run over the last year.
Don’t even know if Ratcliffe is considered a prospect anymore, but after his NHL recall last season sparked a bit of a renaissance in his play, there has clearly been none of that momentum carried over to this season. He’s back being a random dude who is endlessly disappointing considering his 6’6 frame.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)