Another Year for Taylor Leier

Always the call-up, never the bottom-six regular. Taylor Leier signed a new contract with the Flyers, but likely won’t start the season in the NHL again. At this point what can we expect from him?

Photo by Heather Barry

Taylor Leier has been making small advances toward becoming an NHL regular since he was drafted by the Flyers in 2012. He’s in his third season with the Phantoms and may have to spend another in the AHL. In his 3 seasons with the Phantoms, Leier has 108 points in 178 games, so what does Leier need to do to get onto the Flyers outside of waiting for an injury?

Broad Street Hockey may have described Leier the best in their 25 Under 25 saying that “Leier is basically everything Dave Hakstol thinks Chris VandeVelde is, which is kind of frustrating when you think about how bad VandeVelde has been as a staple of the 4th line and his usage on the penalty kill.” If the Flyers hadn’t kept Jordan Weal, and young players like Oskar Lindblom and Nolan Patrick weren’t expected to join the roster this season, it might be reasonable to think that Leier could take over Chris VandeVelde’s spot on the 4th line.

Last season, Leier spent ten games with the Flyer and scored 2 points, including his first NHL goal.

On Thursday, the Flyers signed Leier to a one-year, two-way contract but he’ll likely start the season with the Phantoms again. Leier will have to clear waivers to be assigned to the Phantoms which means the Flyers are at risk of losing him. At 23 years old, Leier isn’t past his prime and could still be a useful addition in a bottom six role for teams like the Florida Panthers or even alongside Pierre-Edouard Bellemare in Las Vegas.

Leier doesn’t have many options to get to the NHL. If he is going to stick with the Flyers he’ll have to rely on a great performance during a call-up. If he is part of the Flyers plans for the future, he may have to wait for some contracts to expire.

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