As reported by the Flyers Official Twitter account, the team has signed undrafted free agents Jason Akeson and Tyler Brown to entry-level contracts. Continuing their strategy from last year, the team has to rely on undrafted players to fill out their organizational depth chart.
Just like last year, the team seems to have snagged a pretty impressive player. As we stand, 20 year-old Jason Akeson leads the OHL in scoring with 103 points in 59 games. The other player, 21 year-old Tyler Brown, has just as many goals as Akeson (24), but barely half as many assists.
Honestly, it's minor news for Flyers fans, but there are a few things that make this noteworthy. One, since the Flyers don't keep their draft picks, this is how they acquire prospects. Maybe it's not a bad way to go about things (and certainly, the Flyers could do worse than sign Akeson), but it's always good to see "Flyers Sign OHL Leading Scorer", regardless of odds of success.
Secondly, let's jump ahead and see what these two players can be expected to contribute to the Phantoms next year:
That's quite impressive, especially if you see that the Phantoms leading scorer has only scored 35 points so far. At Denis Hamel's 0.76 points per game, that equates to a team-leader with 62.32 points over 82 games. So Akeson projects to step in and be the Phantoms leading scorer. The problem is, it's not that simple.
Brown is projected to score slightly less than Andrew Rowe was this year, and Akeson is projected to score 12.5 more points than Luke Pither was this year. Except those two players have actually combined for only 26 points this year. So, this isn't an exact science, largely because of the level of talent on the Phantoms and the difficulty in predicting how players adjust to the AHL. Essentially, the Flyers purchased two more lottery tickets.
I guess the bottom line is: Jason Akeson has potential, but he needs teammates in order to reach that potential. Otherwise, the Phantoms just signed a pair of 15-goal/30-point forwards. Which is nothing to sneeze at, but nothing to get excited about either.