Loser: Egor Zamula
Because Emil Andrae is a winner, someone else has to be a loser as a result, and unfortunately that’s how the cookie crumbled for Egor Zamula.
Zamula, like compatriot Cam York, has quietly impressed at both the AHL and NHL levels. Then, a shoulder injury sustained on March 31 prematurely ended his 2022-23 season. The Flyers saw enough of Zamula to extend him for another year, but now the 6’3″ Russian blueliner has a lot of hurdles to clear to land an NHL roster spot.
The Philadelphia Flyers failed to close on any trades for Travis Sanheim before his full no-trade clause kicked in on July 1. That means that Sanheim and Cam York are penciled in as #1 and #2 on the left side of the Flyers’ defense. At this point, #3 is anyone’s game. Marc Staal, Nick Seeler, Emil Andrae, Zamula, Will Zmolek, and newcomer Victor Mete will all be vying for a position with the Flyers come September, and Zamula’s shoulder surgery already has him behind the 8-ball.
Lastly, the Flyers must be very careful in their handling of Egor Zamula this season. Zamula is no longer waiver-exempt, so once he goes up, he cannot go back down without passing through waivers. On the other hand, Marc Staal’s cap hit is $1.1 million, and the threshold for an AHL burial penalty is $1.15 million. If the Philadelphia Flyers send Staal down, he won’t count against their cap.
There is a path to regular NHL minutes for Egor Zamula, but he’ll have to jump through hoops to get there, starting with beating out Emil Andrae.