The team is set, though there are some interesting names both on and left off the Flyers playoff roster.
On Sunday afternoon, the Flyers announced the group of 31 players who were making the trip to Toronto. It has a mix of veterans, rookies, and even prospects who haven’t stepped on NHL ice yet.
The Flyers didn’t have to cut down their training camp roster too much. They had brought 34 players into their camp. So the decisions they have to make likely weren’t full of tough choices.
That doesn’t mean there weren’t a few surprises along the way though. With the addition of Oskar Lindblom to the playoff roster, the team was forced to eliminate another player. So they essentially had to cut down from 35 players if you count Lindblom in this.
Going with four goaltenders turned out to not be too big of a surprise as a few other teams carried that amount into the playoffs as well. So while Carter Hart and Brian Elliott are the primary goaltenders, Alex Lyon and Kirill Ustimenko make up the reserve players.
Lyon’s spot on the roster was to be expected, but not necessarily Ustimenko’s. He gives the Flyers even more insurance at the goaltending position. And with Hart’s injury scare during camp, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing to have.
A lot would have to go wrong for Ustimenko to end up in a game. So having him along to experience the playoff atmosphere doesn’t hurt a bit. He still needs more time to develop and is expected to be one of the goaltenders to take over the reigns for the Phantoms next season.
Carsen Twarynski would not find himself among the 31 players. That move was a bit of a surprise to see. There’s no doubt that Lindblom’s inclusion on the roster ended up being one of the reasons. He almost certainly makes it if circumstances were different.
He would be lower down on the list of players the Flyers would tap in if needed. But they clearly saw something in him when he made the team out of camp. His inability to sustain that into the season likely was part of his downfall. And not being to separate himself in this training camp wouldn’t help.
The Flyers are at a point where they need players who will be ready to step in at the drop of a hat if needed. And while Twarynski has some experience, the team thought it wasn’t enough to bring him along.
On the flip side of that, though, Connor Bunnaman found his name on the playoff roster. He too made the team out of camp and was unable to sustain that effort going forward.
He looked much better in his second go around with the team after the new year. Bunnaman even grabbed his first career goal right away. He would’ve been given another chance towards the end of the year if the season had not been paused.
So at the moment, it looks as if Bunnaman has climbed a bit higher on the depth chart than Twarynski.
The biggest surprise on the roster had to be the inclusion of Egor Zamula. He looked good during his 28 games in the WHL as he posted 20 points. But a back injury and later surgery ended his season early in January.
So he spent the rest of the time rehabbing. Even being on the camp roster was a positive sign for him. From there, he climbed up the depth chart and gained praise from all around.
The Flyers obviously like what they have in Zamula. And even if he’s likely to not play, the team clearly wants to keep an close eye on his before he makes his professional debut next season.
Zamula’s spot on the roster meant he beat out a few veterans who had the clear experience over him. Nate Prosser, who had played for Chuck Fletcher before, was one of those players. Prosser has skated in 25 playoff games, all with Minnesota.
Zamula will likely be among one of the many to see the ice during the exhibition game on Tuesday. The team is permitted to skate with 13 forwards and seven defensemen for the game.