Future Flyers Report: Zolnierczyk and Gustafsson in the NHL

Image courtesy of Travis Golby/NHLI via Getty Images

During the 2011-2012 campaign, the tandem of Harry Zolnierczyk and Erik Gustafsson saw their fair share of action with the Philadelphia Flyers. The pair, who are both in the top six for points with the Adirondack Phantoms this season, each played a game for the Orange and Black over the last several days, as the two participated in at least 30 contests last season.

Zolnierczyk suited up for the Flyers in their 3-2 win against the Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre on Tuesday. Harry Z had two shots on net, two hits, and two blocked shots in 9:50 TOI, as he was the first Flyer to wear number 12 since Simon Gagne’s departure in the summer of 2010.

Tuesday’s game was Zolnierczyk’s first since last season’s finale against the Pittsburgh Penguins on April 7th, 2012, where he fought Joe Vitale for his hit on Danny Briere from a few days earlier and assisted Brayden Schenn on his goal in the first period.

Zolnierczyk played in 37 games last year for the Flyers, as he produced three goals and three assists along with 35 PIMs and a minus-11 rating. On top of that, he dropped the gloves four times last season, twice against the Pens.

So far this season in Adirondack, Zolnierczyk is ranked sixth on the team with 17 points. He has the second-most points for a forward with the Phantoms in 2012-2013 (who aren’t Schenn or Sean Couturier), as Jason Akeson has 25 points in 34 games. He failed to register a single point in his four most recent games with Adirondack, but the forward did accrue three helpers in the Phantoms’ 5-2 victory over the Norfolk Admirals on February 1st.

As for Gustafsson, the blue liner suited up for the Flyers in their 4-1 loss on Saturday against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Wearing number 29, Gustafsson had two PIMs for hooking Rene Bourque in the first period and his only shot created a scoring chance for Tye McGinn in the third period. He was plus-1 in 16:40 TOI, as Gustafsson played only 56 seconds less than Kimmo Timonen and 58 seconds less than Luke Schenn.

Gustafsson made his NHL debut in Philly’s 4-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators on February 26th, 2011. The defenseman played in three games during the 2010-2011 campaign, but he suited up for 30 games with the Flyers last season to record a goal and four assists. He was also plus-12 with two PIMs.

During the 2012 playoffs, Gustafsson played in seven of the Flyers’ 11 games. In his first taste of the NHL postseason, the Swede had a goal and an assist along with two PIMs and a plus-4 rating. His lone goal came in Philly’s 5-1 victory in Game 6 of the ECQF against the Pens, as he beat Marc-Andre Fleury with a wicked wrister to make it 3-0 in the second period. His assist came in the Flyers’ next game, the Orange and Black’s 4-3 overtime win against the New Jersey Devils in Game 1 of ECSF, as he had the lone helper on James van Riemsdyk’s only goal in last season’s playoffs.

Gustafsson is fourth in points with the Phantoms this season, as he has produced 18 points in 32 games. He has the second-most points for a blue liner, as Danny Syvret is ahead of him with seven more points in 17 more games played. Gus left the AHL on a two-game point streak, as he had a goal in Adirondack’s 6-1 win over the Syracuse Crunch on February 10th and two assists in the Phantoms’ 4-2 victory against the Albany Devils on February 15th.


  1. Nick Cousins (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, OHL) – 93 points (23 goals and 70 assists), plus-24, and 68 PIMs in 56 games.
  2. Scott Laughton (Philadelphia Flyers and Oshawa Generals) – 49 points (21 goals and 28 assists), plus-16, and 55 PIMs in 44 games.
  3. Taylor Leier (Portland Winterhawks, WHL) – 45 points (23 goals and 22 assists), plus-31, and 48 PIMs in 52 games.
  4. Marcel Noebels (Adirondack Phantoms and Trenton Titans) – 39 points (16 goals and 23 assists), minus-8, and 16 PIMs in 49 games.
  5. Jason Akeson (Adirondack Phantoms and Trenton Titans) – 35 points (Nine goals and 26 assists), minus-11, and 20 PIMs in 48 games.
  6. Derek Mathers (Peterborough Petes, OHL) – 22 points (Eight goals and 14 assists), minus-4, and 103 PIMs in 56 games.
  7. Tye McGinn (Philadelphia Flyers and Adirondack Phantoms) – 20 points (14 goals and six assists), minus-8, and 66 PIMs in 46 games.
  8. Harry Zolnierczyk (Philadelphia Flyers and Adirondack Phantoms) – 17 points (Nine goals and Eight assists), minus-11, and 54 PIMs in 47 games.
  9. Matt Mangene (Adirondack Phantoms and Trenton Titans) – 12 points (Two goals and 10 assists), minus-12, and 27 PIMs in 33 games.
  10. Shane Harper (Adirondack Phantoms and Trenton Titans) – 11 points (Six goals and Five assists), minus-16, and 31 PIMs in 41 games.
  11. Eric Wellwood (Philadelphia Flyers and Adirondack Phantoms) – 11 points (Five goals and Six assists) and eight PIMs in 41 games.
  12. Ben Holmstrom (Adirondack Phantoms, AHL) – Eight points (Two goals and Six assists), plus-3, and 29 PIMs in 22 games.
  13. Garrett Roe (Adirondack Phantoms, AHL) – Seven points (Four goals and Three assists) and 27 PIMs in 30 games.
  14. Michael Parks (University of North Dakota, NCAA) – Six points (Five goals and One assist), minus-2, and 25 PIMs in 13 games.
  15. Andrew Johnston (Adirondack Phantoms and Trenton Titans) – Six points (Three goals and Three assists), minus-8, and 11 PIMs in 34 games.
  16. Tyler Brown (Adirondack Phantoms, AHL) – Four points (Two goals and Two assists), minus-9, and 17 PIMs in 38 games.
  17. Mike Testwuide (Adirondack Phantoms, AHL) – Two goals, minus-1, and 27 PIMs in 19 games.
  18. Petr Placek (Harvard University, NCAA) – Two goals, minus-8, and 14 PIMs in 23 games.


  1. Colin Suellentrop (Oshawa Generals, OHL) – 23 points (Five goals and 18 assists) and 54 PIMs in 56 games.
  2. Erik Gustafsson (Philadelphia Flyers and Adirondack Phantoms) – 18 points (Four goals and 14 assists), minus-11, and 39 PIMs in 33 games.
  3. Blake Kessel (Adirondack Phantoms and Trenton Titans) – 17 points (Five goals and 12 assists), minus-12, and 18 PIMs in 37 games.
  4. Shayne Gostisbehere (Union College, NCAA) – 16 points (Five goals and 11 assists) and 20 PIMs in 26 games.
  5. Tyler Hostetter (Trenton Titans, ECHL) – 16 assists, minus-11, and 37 PIMs in 38 games.
  6. Brandon Manning (Adirondack Phantoms, AHL) – 14 points (Six goals and Eight assists), minus-17, and 101 PIMs in 47 games.
  7. Nick Luukko (University of Vermont, NCAA) – 10 points (Three goals and Seven assists) and 16 PIMs in 28 games.
  8. Fredric Larsson (Bryans J20, SuperElit) – Eight points (Four goals and Four assists), plus-3, and 51 PIMs in 24 games.
  9. Mark Alt (University of Minnesota, NCAA) – Six assists, plus-13, and 20 PIMs in 29 games.
  10. Valeri Vasilyev (Spartak Moscow, KHL and MHC Spartak, MHL) – Six points (Two goals and Four assists), plus-4, and 59 PIMs in 42 games.
  11. Oliver Lauridsen (Adirondack Phantoms, AHL) – Five assists, plus-2, and 57 PIMs in 43 games.
  12. Marc-Andre Bourdon (Adirondack Phantoms, AHL) – Four points (One goal and Three assists), minus-5, and 59 PIMs in 17 games.
  13. Matthew Konan (Adirondack Phantoms and Trenton Titans) – Three assists, minus-8, and 36 PIMs in 22 games.
  14. Reece Willcox (Cornell University, NCAA) – Three assists and four PIMs in 25 games.


  1. Jakub Kovar (HC Ceske Budejovice, Tipsport Extraliga) – 2.00 GAA and .935 save percentage in 24 games.
  2. Anthony Stolarz (London Knights and University of Nebraska-Omaha) – 5-2-1, 2.25 GAA, and .927 save percentage with the Knights. 2-5-0, 2.56 GAA, and .898 save percentage in eight games with the Mavericks.
  3. Cal Heeter (Adirondack Phantoms and Trenton Titans) – 7-11-1, 2.93 GAA, and .908 save percentage in 21 games with Phantoms. 1-1-0, 3.21 GAA, and .909 save percentage with Titans in three games.