A few weeks ago, right winger Jason Akeson was brought up from the Trenton Titans to play for the Adirondacks Phantoms. In that short period of time since he started back with the Phantoms, he has shown fans just why Flyers GM Paul Holmgren made this move. It’s also proof that he is back where he belongs. In just 9 games he has scored 10 points from his 10 assists. He hasn’t scored any goals yet with the team, but it’s only a matter of time.
There are two things that sets Akeson apart from other players. One, he is one of those rare hockey players that has never been drafted into the league. The Flyers signed him to a 3 year contract in 2011 and that’s when he began his tenure with the Phantoms. Prior to the lockout, Holmgren assigned a few of the Flyers rookies to the Phantoms and due to this, Akeson was sent down to the ECHL affliate. Not because his game was bad, actually the opposite as he led the Phantoms in points last season, but because they would have too many forwards and his position within the line up would not help his game if he got placed on the fourth line. As we can see he obviously belongs within the top two lines.
One of the other things that sets Akeson apart from other hockey players is the fact that his PIMS are pretty low compared to the average player. In 9 games with the Phantoms he has only taken 1 two minute penalty. The highest amount he’s ever had was 40 total minutes when he played for the Cumberland Grads during the 2006-2007 season and that was over a period of 54 games. While playing in the OHL with the Kitchener Rangers in the 2010-2011 season, he only logged 23 PIMS total and was named the “most gentlemanly player.” This was also the season where he tied for the most points in the league with Tyler Toffoli with 108 total points.
These impressive numbers indicate his skills as a player, so it’s no wonder the Flyers jumped at the chance to sign him. He played in the OHL for 4 years and only accumulated 67 PIMS in the course of those 4 years (201 games). Having a player who focuses on scoring and helping his teammates do the same is key in hockey. Especially for the Phantoms who have been struggling this season since too many of their players want to be enforcers.