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Thoughts on Flyers Signing Stolarz, Alderson

Stolarz_knightsThe Philadelphia Flyers announced earlier today that they had signed two players to entry level contracts- goaltender Anthony Stolarz and right winger Brandon Alderson.

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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Posted by on Mar 1 2013. Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Flyers, News, NHL. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

7 Comments for “Thoughts on Flyers Signing Stolarz, Alderson”

  1. I believe Stolarz is eligible to play in the AHL next year as he is an American born player. It is only Canadian players who are not eligible

  2. How can you Trust the Flyers Scouts and Player Development..
    When was the Nast Goalie and Defensemen that they truly developed into a NHL productive Player.. This Franchise is Top Heavy in the Front Office but
    Weak in their Scouting and Player Development areas and gas been for the last
    20 years or so when you think about it..

  3. eagles0superbowls

    it reads like if the Flyers would have offered Stolarz money early then they would have had a say in where he went to in the OHL, instead of him facing shots from London he is watching them pepper the other goalie, at least he is facing good snipers in practice every day

  4. eagles0superbowls

    JJ – I remember reading your Stolarz article earlier in the season when he first dropped out of College– you mentioned London already had an established goalie and insinuated Stolarz might be a backup — but with a 9-2-1 record Stolarz is getting a lot of ice time is that as the 2nd string London Goalie?

  5. London is always a top team, this will be better in the long run for him. Playing a pro schedule and the travel too. Plus being on a team always in the mix for the top spot. Facing a lot of shots does not always translate into developing into a top goalie. Learning to win and being mentally strong is the biggest thing. Practice is where you get a lot of your work. I have no clue if this guy will payout but playing junior in Canada is the better option for these guys compared to college if given the choice. If the flyers draft pick ends up out the top 10 picks this year I want them to draft Zachary fucale from the halifax mooseheads, reminds me of fleury minus the bad puck skills.

  6. eagles0superbowls

    What a win Saturday afternoon (2-1 vs Ottawa)
    Bryz looked awesome and Yoda now has a green lightsaber

    when did little Harry Zolnierczyk, who Joey Vitale beat up last year, turn into a head hunter/ vicious checker?
    Mike Lundin will never skate the puck along the blue line again with his head down.

  7. Eagles, he has received a lot more ice time than I was expecting him to get at the time. Lewdoggie’s points are excellent too, though I don’t know if I would move him to the AHL yet. If he can get ample playing time in juniors, I’d rather he stayed there for one more season rather than split time in the AHL or ECHL.

    Plus, if he plays in the AHL, the Flyers are much more likely to rush him into the NHL unprepared. He is a player that will need time and patience.

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