Ustimenko, Schmiemann, van de Leest Assigned To Phantoms

KELOWNA, BC - DECEMBER 27: Quinn Schmiemann #25 of the Kamloops Blazers passes the puck against the Kelowna Rockets at Prospera Place on December 27, 2019 in Kelowna, Canada. Schmiemann was selected in the 2019 NHL entry draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
KELOWNA, BC - DECEMBER 27: Quinn Schmiemann #25 of the Kamloops Blazers passes the puck against the Kelowna Rockets at Prospera Place on December 27, 2019 in Kelowna, Canada. Schmiemann was selected in the 2019 NHL entry draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze) /
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The Philadelphia Flyers made three more cuts to their training camp roster on Saturday. Goaltender Kirill Ustimenko and defensemen Quinn Schmiemann and Jackson van de Leest have all been assigned to the club’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Ustimenko will begin the season as one of the goaltenders splitting playing time in Allentown, while Schmiemann and van de Leest will attend Phantoms training camp as invites, much as they have been since August at Development Camp.

Ustimenko, a third-round draft pick by the Flyers in 2017, participated in Development Camp and Rookie Camp this year to get more on-ice activities under his belt after missing the entire 2020-21 season with a torn labrum that required surgery.

The 22 year-old Gomel, Belarus native last played in a game in 2019-20, when he primarily served as the starter for the ECHL’s Reading Royals. He recorded a 19-4-5 record along with a .919 save percentage, 2.40 goals against average, and had two shutouts for the Royals. He also appeared in five games with the Phantoms that season, going 1-3-1 with an .889 SV% and 3.84 GAA in his brief stint with Lehigh Valley.

Ustimenko will enter Phantoms training camp as one of four goaltenders who will fight for playing time. Swedish goaltending prospects Felix Sandström and Samuel Ersson will likely be participating in Phantoms camp soon enough, and longtime minor league veteran Pat Nagle will also fight to stick with the Phantoms after spending four seasons in the Detroit Red Wings’ minor league ranks.

Schmiemann and van de Leest were both camp invites after also partaking in Development Camp and Rookie Camp. Schmiemann is a former sixth-round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning back in 2019. He has spent the last four seasons playing for the Kamloops Blazers of the Western Hockey League, and also made one appearance for the Notre Dame Hounds of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League in 2017-18.

Schmiemann, a 20 year-old from Wilcox, Saskatchewan, racked up two goals and 15 assists for 17 points in 22 games during the abbreviated 2020-21 season with the Blazers, and he also tacked on 31 penalty minutes and a +14 rating. Schmiemann has 143 WHL games to his credit, with 12 goals and 70 assist for 82 points recorded while playing with Kamloops.

Should he stick around in Allentown, he’ll look to help provide some youth and stability on a Phantoms blueline that has since been departed by Derrick Pouliot, Chris Bigras, and Tyler Wotherspoon, leaving some room for Schmiemann to earn a roster spot.

van de Leest, who went undrafted, has spent five seasons with the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen. He scored three goals and nine assists for 12 points in 21 games last season for Calgary along with a +9 rating and 34 penalty minutes. Much like Schmiemann, he will also be looking to infuse the Lehigh Valley defensive corps with more youth. With that 6’7” 238lb frame of his, the 20 year-old Kelowna, British Columbia native will be an intriguing player to watch out for when head coach Ian Laperriere and company make their roster decisions.

Philadelphia’s training camp roster now stands at 52 listed players, with more to follow in the coming days as the team tries to set their season-opening lineup in the next 13 days before the puck drops at Wells Fargo Center for game one.