Flyers sign one-year contract with Felix Sandström
On Tuesday afternoon, the Philadelphia Flyers signed a two-pronged one-year contract with goaltender prospect Felix Sandström with an average annual value of $ 750,000, according to Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher.
Sandström, a 24-year-old left-hander from Gävle, Sweden, was a third-round pick for the Flyers in the 2015 NHL Draft under Ron Hextall.
The startling news comes just a day after Sandström signed a one-year contract with Finnish club TPS Turku from SM-Liiga, but according to Flyers vice-president and deputy general manager Brent Flahr, Sandström will start the 2021 season. -22 in American Hockey. League with the Flyers’ branch in Allentown, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Sandström played 11 games for the Phantoms last season, posting a 5-3-3 record with a .903 save percentage and a 3.19 goals-against average. Sandström has also spent time with the Flyers taxi team throughout the season.
The signing also gives the Flyers their only goaltender to exhibit in the Seattle Kraken expansion draft in July. Carter Hart is the obvious choice for protection, and Brian Elliott and Alex Lyon are pending free agents that don’t fit the criteria, now leaving Sandström as the only keeper exposed to fulfill Philadelphia’s duty there.
Fletcher expressed at a press conference yesterday that he intended to qualify Sandström, as he was a pending restricted free agent, but the one-year contract immediately after he was due to play abroad is a bit of a shock.
Sandström’s signing now creates an interesting goal situation for Lehigh Valley. Fellow Swede Samuel Ersson made his entry-level contact with the Flyers last Thursday, and Kirill Ustimenko will be back after missing the entire 2020-21 season in the AHL with a tear in the labrum that required a surgical intervention.
New Phantoms head coach Ian Laperriere will have a slew of young goalies to use, and Chuck Fletcher and management of the Flyers will have decisions to make regarding the future of the net behind Carter Hart going forward with three goaltenders from talented European goal now in the North. America is fighting for play time.