Michael Raffl sent to Phantoms; Flyers roster battle down to Laughton, Vandevelde

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Raffl is a Phantom, and we could be on the verge of The Chris Vandevelde Experience.

Michael Raffl was this year's Mike Testwuide -- the talk of training camp, the guy who would come out of nowhere to make the opening night roster. But just like Testwuide three years ago, the Flyers have sent Raffl to the Adirondack Phantoms, where he'll begin his North American professional career in the AHL.

That probably shouldn't be much of a surprise, considering the insane jump Raffl -- a 24 year old who never even reached Sweden's top pro league in his time there -- would have had to make to become an NHL player. As usual, Eric T. probably summed it up best...

If the Flyers general feelings on him and the apparent battle to sign him this summer are any indication, Raffl has promise, but it always seemed to us like a stretch to make such a large jump.

From the Swedish Elite League to the NHL would be a big jump in and of itself for somebody who's never played in North America, and from Allsvenskan to the NHL? He's probably a top call-up option, but starting his North American career with the Phantoms just seems like the right move.

That leaves two guys left on the Flyers roster battling for one roster spot: Scott Laughton and Chris Vandevelde. Laughton is the no-brainer option at this point, but is it really that obvious that he'll beat out Vandevelde for the job?

The spot remaining is on the wing, and we've been led to believe that Laughton will make this team as a center if he does indeed make it. The Flyers could find some way to ship off Adam Hall, but he's an important faceoff man and a seemingly perfect fourth-line center. (Do you want Laughton on the fourth line anyway?) Chances Laughton leaps over Sean Couturier, Vincent Lecavalier or Claude Giroux on the depth chart are ... well.

It's just hard to see where Laughton would fit at this point if he's not moving to wing.

That leaves us with Vandevelde. At age 26, he's a real head scratcher, and not much more than a grinder even at the AHL level. He's only played 28 NHL games. He'd have to be a fourth-line winger if he winds up making the team, and that would push Max Talbot up to a third-line role.

Maybe that's what happens here. I don't know. One preseason game left.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Broad Street Hockey

You must be a member of Broad Street Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Broad Street Hockey. You should read them.

Join Broad Street Hockey

You must be a member of Broad Street Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Broad Street Hockey. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker