Travis Sanheim was very, very impressive in his short time with the Philadelphia Flyers this fall. It was expected that he'd probably get locked into his entry-level contract sooner than later, but the team confirmed Thursday afternoon that they have indeed signed the first-round draft choice defenseman to his deal.
Sanheim probably inked the deal just before leaving the team on Wednesday, heading back to his junior team in Calgary. He'll play this season with the Hitmen of the WHL, where bulking up and getting ready for a pro career is on the agenda.
Sanheim definitely has a ton of skill, and it was evident in the short preseason stint he played why the Flyers selected him, and why his draft stock shot up so high during the back end of the 2013-14 season. Here's what we wrote after his first preseason game on Monday night:
The best adjective to describe Sanheim is "calm" -- calm behind the net in puck battles, calm in his breakout passes, calm in his smooth strides up ice to jumpstart a rush. The composure was pretty remarkable for an 18-year old playing in his first professional game. When asked his opinion of the performance of the young defensemen in tonight's game, Berube singled out Sanheim by name, and Sanheim alone. You can easily see why the Flyers "reached" to take him 17th overall.
In the meantime, that three-year entry-level contract with the Flyers will slide to next season, and maybe even another year afterward. We'll keep a close eye on Sanheim as his junior career carries on this year in Western Canada.