After the announcement of the AHL schedule on Friday, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms seventh season is approaching. With 12 days until the Phantoms season begins against the Bears in Hershey, today Phantoms GM Chuck Fletcher, head coach Scott Gordon and assistant coach Kerry Huffman announced their training camp roster.
25 players will be taking the ice for the start of training camp beginning tomorrow at the PPL Center in Allentown, PA.
Nine players return from last year’s Phantoms squad. Defenseman Chris Bigras, a Flyers prospect forward who saw some action with Philadelphia last season in David Kaše. Forward Pascal Laberge who spent most season with the Reading Royals (ECHL), Veteran center Cal O’Reilly, Flyers goalie prospect Felix Sandström, Prospect Matt Strome who spilt time in the ECHL and the AHL last season, Max Willman who competing for an AHL contract last season who started the year in Reading PA, Prospect Maksim Sushko and veteran defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon.
Not listed on the training camp roster was goaltender Charles Williams who was invited to Lehigh Valley camp earlier this week. Goaltender Roddy Ross will attend as well as remains unsigned to start the season. Also Nate Prossor, Andy Andreoff and Carson Twyanski, who all spent time in the AHL last season, are also off the camp roster with those three players on the Taxi Squad to begin the NHL season. All three could potentially suit up for a Phantoms game at some point this season.
The Phantoms training camp gets bolstered with the return of defenseman Derrick Pouliot returning to the AHL. He was removed from the Taxi Squad with Shayne Gostisbehere off the COVID-19 protocol list and Mark Friedman returning after he was injured from the first Boston Bruins game of the series.
There was no official word on how the coaches are going to run camp this year and with no fans allowed access will be limited. However I can imagine it’ll be very similar to the Philadelphia Flyers camp which consisted of six on-ice sessions and working in two different groups. Head Coach Scott Gordon with the forwards. Assistant Coach Kerry Hoffman will the defenseman and goalies. It may include morning skates, most likely an inter-squad game or two before the two pre-season games on Sunday January 31st at Hershey at 1:00PM then home at the PPL Center against the Wilkes Barre Scranton Penguins at 7:00PM on February 2nd.
Lehigh Valley will have five days until their preseason home game against Wilkes Barre before three days to tune up before the start of the 2021 AHL season. The game originally scheduled for January 29th was moved due to Wilkes-Barre Scranton’s training camp start being delayed.
Issac Ratcliffe was also left on the training camp roster due to sustaining a rib fracture while training but he should be back for a couple of reps including might be getting some ice-time in the scrimmages.
Tyson Foerster, Linus Högberg, Tanner Laczynski, Mason Millman, Linus Sandin, Egor Zamula, Zayde Wisdom, Wyatte Wylie who made the AHL training camp roster are gearing up for their first season in North America.
Foerster and Wisdom will take part while the Ontario Hockey League has yet to start its season. Junior players are allowed to report to the AHL for the season or be allowed to get called up to play an NHL game if those junior players are 18 and up.
For those that missed it, Flyers prospect goaltender Kirill Ustimenko underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum. He will be out approximately four to five months.
So the 25 players taking part in Phantoms training camp which starts tomorrow is follows:
While with training camp being closed to the public both pre-season games will be available via either AHL.TV or the Lehigh Valley Phantoms social channels. February 6th can’t come soon enough.