The defensive group of the Philadelphia Flyers now has a spot open on the roster with the loss of Andrew MacDonald.
This will cause MacDonald to miss roughly the first eight regular season games, and whether you’re a fan of his play or not, he logged a good amount of minutes for the orange and black last year, meaning his loss will be felt.
MacDonald’s injury will now open the door for a defensive player to earn his spot in the lineup every night. With training camp beginning on Friday, there will be plenty of competition for Macdonald”s role. General manager Ron Hextall and Head Coach Dave Hakstol could always go with offseason addition Christian Folin, who has NHL experience and is also a right-handed shooter.
However, Folin doesn’t do much in terms of scoring, and is a solid stay-at-home defenseman, but the Flyers should look for a player who can move the puck more and provide more of a offensive skill-set to the team. That player should be Philippe Myers.
Myers, 21, was signed as a un drafted free agent by the Flyers in Sept. 2015. He had a pretty solid career in the QMJLHL. His last season in the league, Myers scored at over a point-per-game pace, netting 35 points (10 goals, 25 assists) in 34 games for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.
Myers went on to post three assists in four games for Team Canada in the World Junior Classic, before suffering a concussion in a game against Team America.
Philippe showed flashes of brilliance for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms last season. Scoring 21 points (five goals,16 assists) in 50 games with the club, Myers showcased his offensive skill-set that one wouldn’t expect to see from a 6’5, 209-pound defenseman. He also shined when it mattered most.
Myers posted seven points (three goals, four assists) in 13 Calder Cup playoff games for the Phantoms, which was tied third on the team.
The only major flaw in Myers game is his durability. In addition to the concussion suffered at the World Juniors, he also dealt with a groin injury for the first half of his season with the Phantoms last year.
Myers has only played a 60+ game season twice in his entire junior and professional hockey career. Injuries obviously aren’t the players fault, so you just have to hope that luck is on his side come training camp and preseason.
Myers has the ability to play both the penalty kill given his size, and power play with his offense. Three of his five goals came on the power play last season, and while he wouldn’t play on the top power play unit, would still be a nice addition to the always struggling second group.
If Myers can stay healthy, he will show every NHL team what they missed out on by not drafting him in 2015. While his time in the NHL might be brief this year with MacDonald eventually returning, he could end up sticking while a different player is sent down, released, or even traded, meaning it’s Myers time to shine.