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Philadelphia Flyers 25 Under 25: Can Taylor Leier make the Flyers this year?

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The long-time Phantom is waiver-eligible this year. Does he have more than an outside chance at cracking the Flyers’ roster?

NHL: Nashville Predators at Philadelphia Flyers Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

At one point, Taylor Leier was one of the higher-regarded prospects in the Flyers’ system. Since Ron Hextall took over as general manager, the prospect pool of forwards has filled up, pushing Leier down the depth chart.

Drafted in the fourth round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Leier has spent the majority of his time with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, while also seeing action in 16 NHL games with the Flyers. During those 16 games he has tallied one goal and one assist, both of which came this past season.

No. 17: Taylor Leier

Position: LW
Age: 23 (2/15/1994)
Acquired Via: 2012 NHL Draft -- Round 4, Pick 117 (Pick acquired from Columbus along with Pick No. 45 in 2012 and a fourth-round pick in 2013 in exchange for Sergei Bobrovsky on June 22, 2012)
2016-17 League/Team/Statistics: Lehigh Valley (AHL) - 13 G, 24 A in 48 GP
Nationality: Canadian
Ranking in BSH Winter 2017 25 Under 25: 13

Leier had a strong AHL season in 2016-17, totaling 37 points in 48 games played. He also made an appearance in the AHL All-Star game, where he was named the All-Star MVP.

BSH Radio did an interview with former Phantoms head coach Riley Cote last month, and Cote was asked if there “were there any kids that you coached that maybe were a bit more under-the-radar, that you really believe might make an impact at the NHL level in the near future?

Cote’s response was a vote of confidence for Leier:

Well, I would certainly say Taylor Leier. I know he’s had his little stints [in the NHL] and people know who he is, but as far as a quality human being, a quality worker, “gets it,” a pro — he’ll find his way for sure, whether it’s the Flyers or someone else. Surely he will.

Leier is an undersized winger at only 5’10 and 174 pounds. While he is a consistent scorer at the AHL level, he likely won’t be putting up huge numbers in the NHL. A good comparison for him would be Matt Read; responsible at both ends of the ice, a real solid two-way winger.

As is the case with Mike Vecchione (who we wrote about in this series on Wednesday), the Flyers’ roster crunch will be a huge factor in Leier’s fate come this fall. Unfortunately, Leier is buried under many other players and will have to have a huge impression on the coaches this training camp to make the team. He will likely find himself in the AHL this season with the Phantoms, and could be called up to the NHL in case of the injury bug hitting. Odds are, Leier will not get a long NHL look with the Flyers due to their depth.

How We Voted For Taylor Leier

Kurt Al Kelly Allison Jay Charlie Bill Steph Kate Travis Joe Community
Kurt Al Kelly Allison Jay Charlie Bill Steph Kate Travis Joe Community
22 15 16 17 20 n/a 17 18 18 15 19 18

How We Voted At No. 17

Kurt Al Kelly Allison Jay Charlie Bill Steph Kate Travis Joe Community
Kurt Al Kelly Allison Jay Charlie Bill Steph Kate Travis Joe Community
Matthew Strome Felix Sandstrom Nicolas Aube-Kubel Taylor Leier Wade Allison Anthony Stolarz Taylor Leier Alex Lyon Nicolas Aube-Kubel Robert Hagg Mike Vecchione Mike Vecchione

How The Community Voted For Taylor Leier

Ranking # of Votes
Ranking # of Votes
1 0
2 0
3 0
4 0
5 2
6 1
7 2
8 5
9 4
10 17
11 9
12 20
13 52
14 48
15 61
16 71
17 82
18 77
19 63
20 59
21 55
22 48
23 43
24 48
25 29
NR 238

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Previously on Philadelphia Flyers Summer 2017 25 Under 25: