Well, the Philadelphia Flyers finally acquired Massimo Rizzo after a rather long wait. Rizzo was reportedly supposed to be the return for Tony DeAngelo, back when a trade to the Carolina Hurricanes was taking shape. Alas, DeAngelo was bought out, and no trade ever happened.
Now, it has become apparent that Rizzo might be a favorite of Danny Briere’s. Even though the young center was not acquired in the way he was scheduled to be, the Flyers still went out and brought him in. At the cost of the rights to Czech forward David Kase, this move was certainly a no-brainer. And, the Flyers even got a 2025 fifth-round pick as a bonus.
For those unfamiliar with Rizzo, the 22 year old has spent the last two years at the University of Denver, and was teammates with top Flyers prospect Bobby Brink during the 2021-22 season. That year, Brink led Denver in scoring whilst Rizzo was seventh in scoring. However, Rizzo led the team in scoring this past season, with 17 goals and 46 points in 38 games.
The young center’s weakness as a player has always been his skating, which is generally described as below-average. Still, Rizzo boasts incredible puck skills and has a knack for playing with flair and creativity. In that regard, the 5’11” forward would provide a huge boost to the Flyers organization, but he will not be doing so this year.
Crossing Broad’s Anthony SanFilippo reported Friday morning that the Flyers are yet to discuss entry-level contract terms with Rizzo, and the team currently expects him to return to Denver for the 2023-24 season. However, this is no cause for concern. The Flyers’ front office clearly took a liking to the player over the summer, and the Flyers will have until August 15, 2025 to sign Rizzo before losing his rights. Something would have to go very wrong for a deal to not get done.
In any case, Brink will have to wait until 2024 to see his former Denver teammate in the pros. It is entirely possible that Rizzo could sign late in the season if his squad cannot advance to postseason or tournament play. This would of course mean that Rizzo could get his first taste of pro hockey this season, but that remains to be seen.