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Flyers sign Yale goaltender Alex Lyon to entry-level contract

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Even with the NHL playoffs on the horizon, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall continues to do work, signing one of the best collegiate goalies to an entry-level contract.

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This morning, in Elliotte Friedman's always-informative "30 Thoughts" column, the Sportsnet reporter noted that the Philadelphia Flyers were one of the teams in the running to sign Yale goaltender Alex Lyon.

6. One reporter’s guess on the list for Yale free-agent goalie Alex Lyon? Carolina, Chicago, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Philadelphia.

Just hours later, Philadelphia apparently succeeded in making a strong enough pitch to Lyon, and added the intriguing young prospect to their pipeline.

Lyon is a 23-year old American goaltender who has spent the last three years playing for the Yale Bulldogs of the ECAC. Over the past two seasons, he has been one of the top netminders in collegiate hockey, posting a 15-7-4 record with a 0.938 save percentage in his sophomore season and an 19-8-4 record with a 0.936 save percentage in his just-concluded junior year.

The Yale goalie was named a finalist for the Mike Richter Award (given to the best netminder in college) in both his sophomore and junior seasons, and was a top-10 finalist for the Hobey Baker Award given to the best overall player in college hockey this year.

There's little risk in signing a player who showed collegiate promise to an entry-level deal, and Lyon joins a goalie pipeline in Philadelphia that currently includes Anthony Stolarz, Felix Sandstrom, Matej Tomek and Ivan Fedotov. Lyon will likely be given every chance to make the Lehigh Valley Phantoms next season.

Goalies are notoriously difficult to scout, so the best way to find a franchise netminder is to stock the pipeline with lots of options with upside. If his college statistics are any indication, Lyon certainly qualifies.