Flyers Faithful is pleased to have Dave Isaac from the Courier-Post, Matt Brigidi from SB Nation, David Strehle from The Fourth Period, Anthony Mingioni from Center Ice Philly, and our very own Steve Jacot participate in the current iteration of Five Questions. This is the second of a five-part series focusing on the 2013-2014 preseason. (Please keep in mind that these questions were answered last week, so some of our questions may already have been resolved by the team.)
Dave Isaac: The Flyers won’t have many open roster spots because of all the contracts they’ve given out. It would take a lot to uproot a player that was on the roster last year. McGinn has the best shot of last year’s Phantoms to stick around, but the NHL wouldn’t be new to him, either.
Matt Brigidi: Are Chris VandeVelde or Erik Gustafsson technically members of the Phantoms?
David Strehle: Laughton is one who has experience with the Phantoms, and I feel defenseman Erik Gustafsson should have an inside track to take a regular spot on the club’s blue line.
A wild card is another rear guard in Oliver Lauridsen. The 6′ 6″, 225-pounder made gigantic strides (no pun intended) in a late-season call up last year, and is currently in a battle with Bruno Gervais and training camp invitee Hal Gill for the squad’s seventh slot.
Anthony Mingioni: At this point, Raffl might have entered camp as likely to be ticketed to Glen Falls, but his play, particularly with Vincent Lecavalier and Wayne Simmonds, has given him the likely edge on a roster spot. While Laughton briefly played the Phantoms late last season after the Oshawa Generals were eliminated from the OHL playoffs, he isn’t eligible yet to play in the AHL because of his age.
It’s interesting that VandeVelde remains with the club as forwards Jason Akeson, Nick Cousins and Tye McGinn who are all likely higher on the organizational depth chart are on their way to Adirondack. But expect he’ll be with the Phantoms before long, leaving Raffl and Laughton to battle it out for the spot.
Steve Jacot: Tye McGinn has the best chance, as he is definitely in the running to win that third line winger spot. Jason Akeson could be a dark horse candidate there. He’s got some good offensive talent, but did he develop enough of his defensive game under Terry Murray to compete in the NHL? I guess we’ll find out.
Is Erik Gustafsson still considered a Phantom? I’d say he is most likely going to end up with the big club.
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