You can say that the Flyers need certain players until you’re blue in the face or crying that we didn’t get said player, but Ron Hextall knows what he’s doing, and that’s building the future. Hextall isn’t going to let overcrowding or a mass of terrible contracts stop him from moving the roster along and his most recent additions give us an idea of what his plan is.
Mevedve… who? Last week, the Flyers signed KHL defenseman Yevgeni Medvedev. Medvedev, who is 32, signed a one year contract with 3 million.
Although he has never played in North America, he has a pretty impressive resume. For the past eight years, he has played for Ak Bars Kazan in Tartarstan. Two of those years were as an alternate captain. He was part of a Russian team that won silver in the 2014 winter Olympics. He has also helped lead Ak Bars Kazan to two KHL championships. Along with being a three-time KHL all-star.
Medvedev is considered a mobile defenseman who is a great passer with a hard shot. He has good size, which he could use more. In 373 career games, he has 37 goals and 128 assists. He has 165 points and a plus 100 rating.
Medvedev is the eighth defenseman on the Flyers current roster. This does not include Michael Del Zotto, who Hextall has said he believes the Flyers can come up with a reasonable deal. Although it’s said you can never have too many defenseman in hockey, you’d have to think someone will be traded.
One huge positive about Medvedev is he fits into Hakstol’s plan for the defense. He wants the defense involved in the play up ice. He could become a big part of the defense next season. That leaves Grossmann as the odd man out. The veteran defenseman is more of a stay-at-home type. He has one year left on his contract; making him more appealing.
During the draft in June last year, the Flyers drafted Radel Fazleev in the sixth round. He’s a 19 year old left winger who just finished his second season with the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL.
He was signed to a three year entry level contract per Flyers general manager Ron Hextall.
Before joining the Hitmen, Fazleev was playing in Russia for the Ak Bars Kazan youth program. In two seasons with the Hitmen, he recorded 23 goals and 53 assists for 76 points in 109 games. He’s been a huge contributer in playoff games as well. He has a total of 21 points (7g-14a) in 23 playoff games.
His four goals and 10 assists for in 17 games during the 2015 WHL playoffs, helping the Hitmen reach the Eastern Conference Final. He also had 14 points in those 17 games.
Fazleev offers speed and quick hands. This can make him dangerous for any one on one play. The negatives of him are with him not always being able to win space, or push his way into scoring areas.His style of play could change if he spends time with the Phantoms next season. Especially since Hextall is preaching patience with their pipeline.
Looking into the KHL and Euro leagues is definitely something we’re not used to, but it’s a welcomed change. There is a ton of talent over there that comes at a discount price. Hextall appears to being on the right track with bringing a parade down Broad Street.