The Flyers front office and coaching staff only have two more preseason games to make their final evaluations on the group of young players who are competing to land a spot on next Wednesday’s opening night roster.
To their credit, the rookies are not making the decisions easy.
“It’s a group of [seven] right now,” coach Dave Hakstol said after Tuesday’s 4-3 overtime win against the Rangers — and after the team announced it was sending Mike Vecchione down to the AHL Wednesday. “It’s been a pretty good competitive camp for those guys.”
With Sunday’s deadline to submit final rosters looming, here is our take on who has the inside track on wearing a Flyers or Phantoms sweater next week.
He’s delivered in every way possible with steady defense on 5-on-5 and the penalty kill, physicality (memorable checks and a couple of fights) and even a sprinkle of offense.
He’s flown under the radar, and there is a good reason for it. Instead of scoring that highlight reel goals or dropping the gloves, the 2013 second-round pick has played one simple game after another, which is why he is nearly a guaranteed to make the team.
The 2014 first-round pick entered camp as the likely odd man out. However, he quickly rebounded from a slow start, leads the team in points and may force the brass to keep him. If that happens a veteran, like Andrew MacDonald or Brandon Manning, would be sent to the Phantoms. This one is going to go down to the wire.
The Flyers didn’t use one of their 11 spots on the expansion draft protected list on Laughton only to expose him to waivers this fall. He would have to clear waivers to be sent down and surely would get plucked by another team. The 20th overall pick in 2012 has proven he’s ready to assume the fourth-line center role.
Meet the Flyers second line – and future No.1 – center.
Considered a lock at the outset of camp, Lindblom has been inconsistent and his spot is on not as assured as it seemed. Even still, barring poor play in the final days, expect the talented Swede to survive the cuts.
He had a stellar camp but is behind on the depth chart. Leir should get a call-up at some point, though.