Phantoms Pre-Season Primer

 Oskar Lindblom netted two goals and added five assists in only eight American Hockey League games at the tail end of last season but the Lehigh Valley Phantoms will have to wait until at least this coming spring before the talented Swedish winger can augment those scoring totals ... (photo courtesy Paul Leger / Twitter)


Oskar Lindblom netted two goals and added five assists in only eight American Hockey League games at the tail end of last season but the Lehigh Valley Phantoms will have to wait until at least this coming spring before the talented Swedish winger can augment those scoring totals … (photo courtesy Paul Leger / Twitter)

 

 

der EishockeyZuschauer, ALLENTOWN Pa

 

So, exactly which players might one expect to be appearing on behalf of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at the spectacular PPL Center in downtown Allentown at the start of this 2016/17 season?
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Hard to say for sure at this point in time because, as is always the case at this time of year, much of what the Lehigh Valley Phantoms squad will look like this term is going to depend upon what transpires during the training camp of their parent National Hockey League organization, the Philadelphia Flyers. The biggest storyline which will be coming out of of this Flyers pre-season camp is going to revolve around 19-year-old Ivan Provorov and whether or not the highly touted Russian defenseman is ready to command an NHL roster spot this season. Make no mistake, the answer to this most intriguing question is guaranteed to have a huge impact on Phantoms head coach Scott Gordon’s club one way or the other.
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Also viewing matters from the local perspective, the total number of defensemen that the Philadelphia Flyers ultimately decide carry on their NHL roster also figures to be a major piece of news that will directly affect the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The Flyers will definitely keep two goaltenders and most likely fourteen forwards but it remains to be seen if Philadelphia retain the services of seven or eight defensemen. Again, this particular development will go a long way in determining which players will be patrolling the blue line when the Hamilton Street Heroes this season take on the renamed Springfield Falcons in their AHL regular season home opener at the PPL Center on October 15th.
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To review, no NHL organization is permitted to have more than fifty players under some kind of contract, either one or two-way, at any given point in time. At the moment, the Philadelphia Flyers have a total of 49 players under agreement. Four of those players, including the two first round NHL Draft picks, Provorov and Travis Konecny, are currently ineligible to skate in the American Hockey League and will continue to be so until they reach 20 years of age.
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PHILADELPHIA FLYERS organization :
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goaltenders – Mason, Neuvirth, Stolarz, Lyon
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defensemen – Streit, MacDonald, Del Zotto, Gudas, Schultz, Gostisbehere, Manning, Brennan, O’Neill, Alt, Hagg, Pettersson, Morin, Sanheim, Wilcox, Provorov, Myers
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forward – Giroux, Voracek, Schenn, Simmonds, Read, Couturier, Weise, Raffl, Gordon, Bellemare, van de Velde, Cousins, Laughton, Weal, Miele, McDonald, Conner, Carey, Straka, Leier, Martel, Bardreau, Goulbourne, Lyubimov, Fazleev, Kubel, Konecny, Laberge
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The Lehigh Valley Phantoms’ own training camp, which is conducted independently than that of the Philadelphia Flyers, also should be playing host to some heightened competition for a place on the opening night roster. In order to fill out their squad, the Phantoms have signed an additional eight players to AHL contracts although at least a few of these performers will have to jockey for a jersey and could very well end up turning out for the Reading Royals in the third tier East Coast Hockey League. Martin Ouellette, the 24-year-old goaltender from Maine University now in his third professional season who reputedly makes Kram nervous on occasion, would be one such example.
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LEHIGH VALLEY PHANTOMS pre-season roster :
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goaltenders – Dekanich, Ouellette
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defensemen – Lamarche
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forwards – Knight, Zengerle, Sundher, Swavely, Mathers
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In addition to the players that will be quickly reassigned by the parent Philadelphia Flyers, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms training camp personnel will also be supplemented by skaters who currently have an ECHL contract with the Reading Royals but are hopefully of something more. One such player will be Joe Rehkamp, the 25-year-old center / right wing out of St. Cloud State University in Minnesota who appeared in 41 AHL games (one goal, two assists, – 7 plus/minus) for Lehigh Valley last season. Another will be defenseman Nick Luukko, the West Chester native and sixth round NHL Draft pick of the Philadelphia Flyers who skated in six AHL games for the Phantoms at the close of the 2014/15 campaign after finishing his career at the University of Vermont but spent all of last season in the ECHL with Reading.
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Unfortunately, ice hockey fans patronizing the PPL Center this term will not be watching the skillful Oskar Lindblom perform again until further notice. The 20-year-old winger who was the fifth round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers at the 2014 NHL Draft has decided to spend another winter skating for IF Brynas Gavle in the Swedish elite league. There is the possibility, however, that Lindblom will once again make the long journey across the Atlantic Ocean after the domestic season has ended — just in time for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms’ annual “playoff push”!
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This blog will certainly be analyzing the individual training camp battles within the entire Philadelphia Flyers organization that affect the AHL roster of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms the most in greater detail in the days and weeks to come. Perhaps even sneak a peek at what the two dreaded intra-state rivals, the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins and Hershey Bears, are up to these days, as well.  Because that’s the way it works around here.
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Let’s Go Playoffs!


Categories: Phantoms Hockey

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