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Getting to know the Phantoms

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The Adirondack Phantoms season is finally here and with the roster they have this year, they should be in the run for the Calder Cup. The Phantoms opened up their season with a win Saturday night over the Portland Pirates, and the following day they lost to the Springfield Falcons. With the Flyers not playing this season, it makes it very hard for hockey fans in our area, but don’t give up on the sport at all, the Phantoms have a great roster with tons of talent. To get you more knowledgeable on this team, below are some of the great prospects the Phantoms have.

The three names that you should be most familiar with are Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier and Zac Rinaldo. All three of these players spent last season with the Philadelphia Flyers and had huge roles in the success that the team had. Being young and having a two-way contract really worked out well for these athletes. They still get to develop in the Flyers system and get a chance to compete at a very high level of hockey in the AHL. Brayden Schenn should continue to grow as an offensive power-house while with the Phantoms. He is going to be a big part of the Flyers offense in the future and I would like to see him among the league leaders in points while playing in the AHL this season.

Sean Couturier, the Flyers first round pick in 2011 had such a great rookie campaign for the Flyers in 2011-2012. He is a shut down center and played a huge role in the win over the Penguins in the playoffs. We all know what he can do defensively, now it is time for him to really hone in on his scoring ability. In his last two years of juniors, playing for the Drummondville Voltigeurs, he put up 96 points each season. Couturier, like Schenn, is going to be a huge part of the Flyers success for years to come.

Zac Rinaldo,  the Flyers tough guy and enforcer should continue to grow as a player in the AHL. He already knows his role in the NHL, but while playing in the AHL, he has a chance to grow offensively. This is a good chance for him to score 10-15 goals while playing for the Phantoms.

Phantoms center and team captain, Ben Holmstrom, plays the game like a true leader. He is a defensive-offensman and was the youngest captain in Phantoms history when he was given the “C” before last season. Holmstrom has played a few games for the Flyers in the past and plays the PK very well. I would like to see the Flyers bring him up more often when the NHL resumes.

Defensemen Danny Syvret and Brandon Manning got the “A” on their sweaters this season. Both are very solid defenseman. Syvert is a veteran who should bring stability to the blue line. Manning is younger, but has already played a few games with the Flyers and could be up there again in the future. Marc-Andre Bourdon and Erik Gustafsson are two house hold names for Philly hockey fans. With all the injuries to the Flyers last season, they saw a good amount of time up in the NHL. Both are back playing with the Phantoms this year, and with those 4 names right there, the Phantoms blue line should make it tough on any opponent who tries to cross it.

Harry Zolnierczyk and Eric Wellwood both had solid seasons when asked to come up for the Flyers last year. Both have great speed and can put the puck in the net when given the opportunity. Look for Tye McGinn, the Flyers fourth round draft pick in 2010 to have a good season. He put up good numbers in the QMJHL and I expect him to do the same in the AHL.

Scott Munroe and Cal Heeter are the men between the pipes. Munroe the older of the two is an AHL veteran and should bring stability to the goaltending position. Heeter is a rookie, coming fromOhioStateUniversityand the NAHL.

As far as the coaches go, both have been in the Flyers system for years. Head coach Terry Murray played for the Flyers and was also the head coach of the Flyers. He took them to the Stanley Cup finals in 1997 and was most recently the coach of the Los Angeles Kings. With all of his hockey knowledge, it is a safe bet that all of these young players are going to gain a ton of knowledge from him being there. Assistant coach Riley Cote is a former winger for the Philadelphia Flyers. Riley was known for his rough style of play and was the Flyers top enforcer for a number of years. He is a veteran of both the AHL and NHL and because he is very young in age for a coach, one would only imagine that the players would be more comfortable to go to him for advice on the game and in life.

So that about rounds it up for now. That is about as much as I know now on this young Phantoms team. It should be a very fun and exciting season, and I am looking forward to learning even more. You can listen to their games live at www.Phantomshockey.com

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