Earlier this offseason, as the Flyers were trying to sign all of their RFAs, Zack MacEwen didn’t take the qualifying offer and requested salary arbitration instead. However, MacEwen avoided arbitration by signing a one year, $925,000 contract. He will again be arbitration eligible next year.
MacEwen had a career year with the Flyers this year, scoring three goals and six assists in 75 games. All of this while averaging less than ten minutes a game last season.
Those numbers aren’t eye-popping in any way, but if you look at his professional hockey journey, the path this 26 year old forward has taken is impressive. He was an undrafted free agent with the Vancouver Canucks. While with their AHL affiliate in Utica, NY, he scored 22 goals in his second season. Over the next few years, he struggled to put up points as he dealt with COVID related issues. While being sent down last season, the Flyers made a waiver claim for him and put him on the fourth line with Nate Thompson and Nicolas Aubé-Kubel.
While on the fourth line, he developed a reputation as a scrapper. He mixed it up with some pretty big names, such as Zdeno Chara, Wayne Simmonds and Tom Wilson. The Flyers rewarded his efforts by giving him the Gene Hart Memorial Award. The award is given out by the Philadelphia Flyers Fan Club to the player who shows the most “heart”.
MacEwen may find the scoring touch he once had in the AHL. If he doesn’t, he should be part of a rather impressive line with Nicolas Deslauriers. If Coach Tortorella intends to make this team tougher and more physical, this is certainly a way to do it.
With MacEwen re-signed, the Flyers have now signed all of their current NHL roster. Wade Allison, Jackson Cates, Hayden Hodgson, and Linus Hogberg are their remaining non-rostered free agents. With the team currently $2.5M over the cap, some decisions will have to be made before the season begins.