Lehigh Valley Phantoms add four players to roster on AHL deals

Philadelphia Flyers v New York Islanders
Philadelphia Flyers v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

While the Flyers are most likely done with signings, their AHL affiliate has a few more moves to make to sure up their roster. These players are only signed with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and would need their deals converted to be a part of the NHL roster.

The players heading to the Phantoms are Cooper Marody, Jacob Gaucher, Parker Gahagen, and Xavier Bernard. None of these signings have been confirmed by the team. However, Tony Androckitis of Inside AHL Hockey has reported each of these deals. He is a great source when it comes to any news that pertains to the AHL.

Phantoms sign four players on AHL deal

Marody, Gaucher, and Gahagen all return to the Phantoms after appearing on the team last season. Marody is coming off a two-year deal with the Flyers and will now be on an AHL deal. Gaucher finished up a two-year deal with Lehigh Valley that was signed in 2022. Gahagen was on a one-year deal, having signed last August. Bernard comes from the Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL, though he did appear in two games for the Bakersfield Condors. It was a one-year AHL deal.

Starting with Marody, he is the biggest signing of the four. A veteran for the Phantoms, Marody was the team's leading scorer. He had 19 goals and 56 points in 68 games. He added five assists in six playoff games. Signing on an AHL deal, Marody will have to work hard if he wants to get NHL eyes back on him. He has had minor stints with the Oilers, appearing in seven games and grabbing one assist.

Marody was drafted by the Flyers but had his rights traded to the Oilers before signing. He spent three years with the Edmonton organization before returning to Philadelphia.

Gaucher went undrafted, signing with the Phantoms after completing four seasons at the junior level between the Val-d'Or Foreurs and Baie-Comeau Drakkar. Gaucher began his professional career in the ECHL with the Reading Royals. He had a tremendous rookie season, finishing fourth on the team in goals (22) and third in points (61). Gaucher "graduated" to the AHL this season, posting a modest eight goals and 16 points in 59 games.

Gaucher will need to find his scoring touch at this level if he wants to stay with the Phantoms. However, last year was his first action in the AHL and he's only 23 years old.

Gahagen has had various stints between the AHL and ECHL levels. In the AHL, he has played for the Toronto Marlies, Colorado Eagles, Milwaukee Admirals, and Phantoms. As for the ECHL, Gahagen has appeared in games for the Newfoundland Growlers, Utah Grizzlies, Florida Everblades, Jacksonville Icemen, and Royals. Gahagen split time between the Royals and Phantoms this season, playing 18 games in the AHL and 14 in the ECHL. He fared well with both teams, recording a 2.59 GAA and .914 SV% with the Phantoms and a 2.28 GAA and .936 SV% with Reading.

Gahagen had a very unique experience before coming to the professional leagues. Instead of juniors or the regular college route, he spent his NCAA career at the U.S. Military Academy.

Lastly, Bernard was drafted in the fourth round in 2018 by the Devils. However, he would not sign an NHL contract. Instead, Bernard has played for the Belleville Senators and Condors of the AHL and Atlanta Gladiators, Allen Americans and Komets of the ECHL. Plus/minus is not a stat most people will look at, but Bernard's +23 is a remarkable number that was the highest on the Komets roster this past season.

What we can use from that is Bernard is sound in the defensive end and isn't seeing pucks go in the back of the net behind him. He's not an offensive defenseman by any means, posting a career-high 16 points in 64 games. That also came with a career-high 92 penalty minutes as well.