After the rumored Tony DeAngelo trade fell through, the Philadelphia Flyers have found a way to land prospect Massimo Rizzo after all.
Danny Briere has been working hard this off-season to bring changes to the Flyers. He’s shipped out a few veterans players and has brought in others to help this team during a rebuilding time. That means the team is set up to take a chance on players that have either been unable to establish themselves elsewhere or who simply haven’t cracked an NHL roster yet.
Briere has done that with players such as Ryan Poehling and Victor Mete. He has stocked up the prospect pool with some exciting names including Matvei Michkov, Oliver Bonk, and Carson Bjarnason. There are also prospects currently in the system who could and have already seen some NHL time such as Tyson Foerster, Elliot Desnoyers, Olle Lycksell, and Ronnie Attard. Developing these prospects will be a key part of the Flyers rebuild moving forward. If these players can become a part of the team’s future, it will help as the team looks to contend down the line.
And this rebuild also includes prospects who won’t be a part of the future as well. One of those is David Kase, who had been playing in the Czech Republic the last few seasons. The Flyers continued to hold his rights while he was playing overseas. Until now, that is. Philadelphia has acquired the rights to prospect Massimo Rizzo and a 2025 fifth round pick from the Carolina Hurricanes for the rights to Kase. Possibly a thank you for buying out Tony DeAngelo, allowing the Canes to sign him at a cheaper price? Rizzo was expected to be the piece coming back in the rumored deal the Flyers had with the Hurricanes for DeAngelo.
Rizzo, just 22 years old, is entering his third season at the University of Denver. It’s possible that the Flyers could sign him to an entry-level contract considering their obvious interest in him. But with not many spots to fight for, it seems to be in their best interest to continue to let him develop at Denver for at least another season. Rizzo improved upon his first season, posting 17 goals and 46 points in 38 games a season after he recorded 12 goals and 36 points in 39 games.
Rizzo led the Pioneers and the entire NCHC in overall scoring during the season with his career-high 46 points. He led the NCHC with 31 points in league play. Rizzo also posted a career-high 11 game point streak during the season. He was named to the NCHC First-All Star Team and the NCAA West Second All American Team this past season as Denver was the NCHL regular season champion for the second straight year. They would, however, lose in the semi-finals of the conference tournament to Colorado College. Denver also lost in the regional semi-finals of the NCAA tournament to Cornell.
Rizzo was a part of the Denver team that took home a National Championship in 2022. He will be reunited with former Denver teammate Bobby Brink, who was a part of that championship winning team as well. Drafted in the seventh round in 2017, Rizzo has had decent production at both the BCHL and collegiate levels thus far. Seventh round picks don’t come with a hefty level of expectations around them so the Flyers are simply taking a chance to see if Rizzo’s development can continue in a different system. It’s a chance the team can take being a long way away from contention. If things don’t work out, they simply lost a prospect who wasn’t going to be a part of the future either way. And if Rizzo develops into an NHLer, it was an extremely small price to play.