The Philadelphia Flyers have signed another college free agent, grabbing Maine Black Bears junior Matt Mangene to an entry-level contract, according to CBC. Mangene, 23, played both forward and defense at Maine, but it seems as though he projects as more of a forward than a defenseman at the professional level.
He's a bit on the smallish side, weighing in at just 5'11, 190 pounds, but he makes up for that with his speed. (Sound like Eric Wellwood at all?) The Maine athletics website called Mangene one of the "fastest players in Hockey East," and he's played forward in recent games for the Black Bears, who were eliminated in the first round of the NCAA tournament two weeks ago.
Even though he began the season as a defenseman -- he has flip-flopped his whole career -- Mangene ranks right behind Maine's best players in scoring -- after the Black Bears' top line of Spencer Abbott, Brian Flynn and Joey Diamond.
The good news is that Mangene's point production -- 34 points in 40 games -- is really not tied to Abbott, a Hobey Baker Award finalist that just signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs organization. College players can easily put up big numbers by playing along side elite linemates, but that doesn't appear to be the case with Mangene.
As a 23-year-old, Mangene's entry-level deal is just two years in length, beginning next season. The Flyers have yet to officially announce this deal, so we're unsure if Mangene will join the Adirondack Phantoms on an ATO for the remaining seven games of their regular season. The Phantoms are four points out of the final playoff spot in the AHL's Eastern Conference.