Ristolainen Out for Opener, Willman to Make NHL Debut

It’s no secret the Flyers have already been coping with accidents. Kevin Hayes was injured simply earlier than coaching camp started, requiring surgical procedure that can preserve him out for at the least the primary 10 video games of the common season. Wade Allison was additionally injured within the closing rookie sport previous to camp, an harm that can preserve him out for some time.

Now it seems that one of many group’s newcomers may also miss at the least Friday’s season opener. Rasmus Ristolainen had missed 4 practices in a row as of Thursday, and Alain Vigneault confirmed that he’s out for Friday’s sport. He’s listed as day-to-day with an upper-body harm. The group known as up Nick Seeler to take his place.

As well as, two different newcomers are unavailable to the group in the interim. Patrick Brown, claimed off waivers on Monday, is in COVID protocol and unavailable to the group. Zack MacEwen has been granted non-roster standing by the NHL pending approval of his US Visa software.

With these two gamers additionally unavailable, the Flyers known as up Max Willman and Jackson Cates. Willman shall be within the lineup on Friday and make his NHL debut.

Willman’s story and path to the NHL is slightly exceptional. He was drafted within the fifth spherical of the 2014 NHL Draft at 121st total by the Buffalo Sabres, however not signed. He attended Brown College for 4 years, however suffered a torn ACL in his senior season. He returned for a fifth-year season, transferring from Brown to Boston College, the place he had simply six factors in 36 video games. This was two seasons faraway from a junior season at Brown the place he scored 11 objectives and had 26 factors in 31 video games.

He signed with the Studying Royals within the ECHL on Sept. 4, 2019, strictly on an ECHL contract. As accidents piled up for each the Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms that season, Willman was given a Skilled Tryout with the Phantoms and ran with the chance, ultimately turning that into an AHL contract. After scoring 9 objectives and 25 factors in 20 video games with Studying, he completed out the season in Lehigh Valley, taking part in in 24 video games and scoring three objectives and 9 factors.

He re-signed with the Phantoms final season, taking part in in 30 video games and scoring 9 objectives and 16 factors. That earned him a two-year, two-way contract with the Flyers, signed on March 24 of this yr.

Now, Willman’s journey to the NHL comes full, as he’ll make his NHL debut simply over two years after signing on to affix Studying on an ECHL contract.

Vigneault additionally confirmed that Willman will skate on the fourth line with Nate Thompson and Nicolas Aube-Kubel. Seeler shall be paired with Keith Yandle. Justin Braun will fill Ristolainen’s place alongside Travis Sanheim.

Ryan Ellis, who additionally missed three straight practices following the ultimate preseason sport, was again on the ice on Thursday and is sweet to go for Friday’s opener.

As anticipated, Carter Hart shall be in purpose for the season opener as nicely.

The Flyers hit the ice for the primary time on Friday night time, taking over the Vancouver Canucks at 7 p.m.

Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN and Flyers editor for Comply with him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.

Philadelphia Flyers Uniforms By The Years | Ristolainen Out for Opener, Willman to Make NHL Debut


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