It’s been quite a first half of the season for Anthony Stolarz.
Drafted in the second round of the 2012 NHL draft, Stolarz has been a member of the Philadelphia Flyers for several years now. It’s only been since the 2014-15 season he’s played professionally, but this season was the next in a line of big steps forward.
Stolarz’s save percentage in the AHL steadily increased, from .905 in his first year to .916 and then, finally, .927 - until he was recalled to make his first NHL start, that is.
And so he has. And his second, and he played in his third game, too, albeit in less-than-ideal circumstances. Stolarz took the next step forward this season, making his NHL debut on Nov. 27.
That’s an incredibly special moment for any goalie, without a doubt.
The Flyers have taken to mostly playing Steve Mason as they deal with Michal Neuvirth’s injury, but when they’ve turned to Stolarz, they’ve had success. He’s won both of the games he’s started to date, and currently carries a .932 save percentage at the highest level.
While it’s probably a bit more likely the second half sees Stolarz spending more time in the AHL, pending Neuvirth’s return to health, he’s already put together a season to remember. Here’s to building further on that - because, if all goes well, there’s going to be a lot more to come.