With just 9-days til the season opener on October 15th, the Philadelphia Flyers opening roster is taking shape. A roster that will be without many key players.
Due to injury, the Flyers will be without Kevin Hayes, Wade Allison, & Sam Morin. All three will miss at least the first month of the season.
Kevin Hayes, who had surgery on September 20th to repair a groin injury, should be the first back. Hayes earliest return date is during the first week of November.
Sam Morin, who had surgery on September 10th to clean out his knee, should return close to Kevin Hayes. Morin is expected to play a two-week rehab assignment with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms when cleared to return.
Wade Allison, who is still awaiting a second opinion on his high ankle sprain, does not have a return date at the moment. Allison’s injury occurred in the second rookie game on September 19th.
After the three injuries, there were a couple surprises when it came to players cut. The biggest being Morgan Frost.
Frost, who was replacing Kevin Hayes as the Flyers #2 center, was sent to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. A demotion that may not be for long.
With Morgan Frost playing only two-games over the past two seasons, the obvious reason for the demotion is game action. Especially with Frost coming off shoulder surgery.
Over the next 9-days, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms play 4-games. Games that Morgan Frost can now play in.
While its only 4-games, its 4-more-games that Frost can play in & get back into game action. Something that Frost was struggling with during his games with the Flyers in the preseason.
Another mild surprise is Jackson Cates. Who looks to have beaten out Connor Bunnaman for the Flyers 13th forward spot.
Cates, who was a college free agent signing last season, is the brother of Flyers prospect Noah Cates.
Last season, Cates got an extended look due to the injury to Tanner Laczynski. Cates finished with 0-goals & 1-assist in 4-games played. Including the final two-games as the Flyers #2 center.
Entering training camp, Cates was a sleeper to make the team as a depth forward. With his performance in training camp & the preseason, Cates looks to have earned a spot on the opening night roster.
With Sam Morin injured, the Flyers 7th defenseman position was open. An opening that created an unexpected battle in training camp. A battle that looks like it has a winner.
Nick Seeler, who was signed for depth reasons, has taken the opportunity by the reins. Beating out fellow free agent signee, Adam Clendening, for the Flyers 7th defenseman spot.
Seeler, who did not play last season, hasn’t missed a beat in his time with the Flyers so far. Entering his 6th year as a pro, Seeler has played in 112-career AHL games & 105-career NHL games.
The Flyers still have at least one more cut to make before the start of the regular season on October 15th. A cut that will come from one of Garrett Wilson or Cam York.
Cam York, who has been very impressive in camp so far, doesn’t have a spot in the Flyers lineup right now. With the addition of Keith Yandle in the offseason, York is behind Yandle, Ivan Provorov, & Travis Sanheim on the depth chart.
It’s doubtful the Flyers keep Cam York to sit on a nightly basis with an already penciled in defense unit. However, an injury to any of the three above York, will result in an immediate recall of York.
After the final cuts, it’s definitely not the roster the Flyers thought they would have at the beginning of training camp. However, it’s a roster filled with a ton of promise.
Photo Credit : Drew Hallowell – Getty Images