The Philadelphia Flyers’ final roster is starting to come into focus, but some key battles are emerging for the last few spots.
In just a week of training camp and preseason action, we’ve gained quite a bit more information about who is likely to make the Philadelphia Flyers’ roster. The number of players at Flyers training camp stands at 29 after cutting 18 players this past week, and they’ll need to bring that down to 23 before opening night.
With so few cuts left to make, there are only a handful of directions the Flyers could choose to go in regarding player selection. But if last week is any indication, choosing a direction is going to be extremely difficult for Ron Hextall and company. Here’s our roster prediction at this stage of the game:
Borderline: Scott Laughton, Dale Weise, Jori Lehtera, Mike Vecchione
Out: Matt Read, Taylor Leier, Cole Bardreau, Colin McDonald
The Flyers have begun to experiment with Vecchione on the wing instead of his natural center position, which helps his case for making the team immensely. Instead of competing against Laughton, whom the Flyers clearly value, Vecchione’s going up against Read and Lehtera. This is going to be a battle to watch; Vecchione has the ability to seize a roster spot from one of the two veterans, who will be fighting for their roster lives.
Oskar Lindblom also moves up to “Likely to make roster,” sending Dale Weise down the depth chart. Weise is still fairly secure in his spot, but the Flyers are giving Lindblom opportunities with the PP1 unit in the high slot position formerly manned by Brayden Schenn. They wouldn’t be trying Lindblom out there if they didn’t view him as a part of this year’s team.
Likely to make roster: Samuel Morin, Robert Hagg
Borderline: Andrew MacDonald, Travis Sanheim
Out: Brandon Manning
It gives me great pleasure to put MacDonald in the “Borderline” category along with Travis Sanheim (!). MacDonald and Manning have not been particularly impressive in the early going, while Sanheim has finally started to catch some eyes with his performance. I still can’t envision the Flyers dropping MacDonald after allowing him to play such a prominent role on the team last season, which is why I have Manning on the outside looking in. But neither of them should feel comfortable if Sanheim continues his strong play.
Locks: Brian Elliott, Michal Neuvirth
Still nothing to see here. Elliott looked pretty good against the Bruins; he’s probably on track to start opening night.