Thoughts on Flyers Signing Stolarz, AldersonBREAKING NEWS, Flyers, News, NHL Friday, March 1st, 2013
Stolarz was drafted #45 overall this past June using one of the draft picks from the Columbus Blue Jackets that was acquired in the trade of Sergei Bobrovsky (the final remaining pick was just used recently to acquire Simon Gagne).
Stolarz began the year as a freshman at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, but left after the fall semester to join the London Knights of the OHL. I had mixed feelings about the move at the time, concerned that a player often described as having “raw talent” was rushing his development too fast. The Flyers would have had four years to let him develop if he stayed at UNO, but would be forced to make a quicker decision with him in the OHL.
Since making the league change, Stolarz has earned a 9-2-1 record with a 2.17 goals-against-average and a 0.926 save percentage. They are impressive numbers at first glance, but it is worth noting that the Knights have been built as a perennial contender in recent years with depth at all positions. Two of his 14 wins finished with a combined score of 19-2.
Stolarz is only 19, so he’s too young to play in the AHL next year. His contract will slide for another year and not count against the Flyers’ 50 contract limit. Considering the Flyers only have one prospect goaltender signed with the Adirondack Phantoms (Cal Heeter), the move to sign Stolarz immediately brings depth to an otherwise vacant position.
The signing of Alderson leaves a lot to be desired in my eyes. The Flyers have made a habit in recent years of signing forwards to entry level contracts that barely make it out of the ECHL.
For every rare gem the organization finds in a player like Matt Read, there are “also-rans” in Luke Pither, Mike Testwuide, and Andrew Rowe. While the organization often has to go this route to fill their farm system after annually trading away draft picks, it has regularly led to the team running up against the 50 contract limit.
Alderson, 21, is a 6′-4″ winger on the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL. The Flyers must have gotten a good look at the overager while watching prospect Nick Cousins play. Alderson has generated the best offensive production of his career this season with 25 goals and 57 points in 59 games, but as mentioned, he’s older then the majority of his competitors.
Based on his production, it’s unlikely he’s going to be a regular scoring contributor at the NHL level. If he can brings other tangible skills to the organization, then it’s possible he could break in as a specialist fourth liner.
At the end of the day, the question remains- is this player worth a contract? I’m not a scout, so I have to trust the organization that they know what their doing. With three of their most recent signings- Tyler Brown, Jason Akeson and Andrew Johnston- either bouncing around the ECHL or skating on the lower lines in the AHL, though, their track record leaves a lot to be desired.
Photo Credit: The London Knights’ photo gallery
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