The Flyers have signed Cornell University senior forward Cole Bardreau to an entry-level contract that begins next season, the team announced today.
Bardreau fractured his C-7 vertebrae in the front and back of his neck in January 2013. One more fracture and he could've been paralyzed. After surgery he was in a neck brace for three months and didn't start skating again until last July .
Despite the time away from hockey, and two knee injuries during the 2013-14 season, Bardreau was able to put up career highs in goals (seven), assists (nine) and points (16) in 26 games.
After that strong junior season in 2013-14, he attended a few development camps with the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings but never signed. He has five goals and 17 assists in 30 games with Cornell this season. His collegiate career ended last weekend in the ECAC tournament as Cornell lost to defending national champion Union College.
Before Cornell, Bardreau played for the USA Hockey National Team Development Program. He won the 2013 World Junior Championship with Team USA and fellow Flyers prospect Shayne Gostisbehere.
Bardreau is a former NTDP player who came to Cornell with great promise, but a serious neck injury prevented the Fairport, NY native from realizing his full potential in a Big Red uniform.
Bardreau has always been a player who projects as a third or fourth liner. He has good closing speed and is more of a grinder than a scorer. A right shot who can play both center or the wing, he has strong hockey IQ. A former alternate captain for the U.S. Team at the World Juniors, He had 17 assists this season in his final go around in Ithaca.