No. 9: Egor Zamula
2020-21 League/Team(s): Flyers/Phantoms
2020-21 Statistics: 0 G, 6 A, 6 P in 25 G
Acquired In: 2018 (signed as an undrafted free agent)
Ranking in Spring 2020 25 Under 25: 13
How did Zamula’s 2020-21 hockey season go? Is his stock trending up or down from where it was entering the year?
Zamula logged 25 games in his professional debut with the Phantoms in Lehigh Valley and then two games with the Flyers later in the season as they were eliminated from Stanley Cup playoff contention. In those games, Zamula went scoreless in the NHL, but he registered six assists in 25 AHL contests to put a bow on a very strange season — but one in which he was able to bounce back from an injury in the previous year to cement his standing behind Cam York.
Though he needs more time in the minors and in the weight room to fill out his 6-foot-3, 180-pound frame, Zamula is a promising prospect on the blue line and did nothing in 2020-21 to suggest that his stock is going anywhere but up. The Flyers are very high on York — and he gets the most attention — but Zamula isn’t far behind and could one day be a pillar on defense right next him sooner rather than later.
What are we expecting from Zamula this season? What should we be looking for from him?
After having the AHL season cut short, we’d like to see Zamula continue to progress with the Phantoms by getting the full grind of a professional season under his belt. Given that the Flyers didn’t exactly create openings for young defenders with the addition of Keith Yandle and brining back Justin Braun, it’s an uphill battle for Zamula — or York for that matter — to win an NHL job out of camp.
With York ahead of Zamula on the organizational depth chart, it’s likely that he’d be the first call up if there’s injuries or ineffective play on the Flyers’ blue line to start the season.
If Zamula is down in Lehigh Valley, we’d like to see him add to his portfolio with time on both special teams units and log big, important minutes for the Phantoms this season. We also wouldn’t hate to see him add 20 pounds magically, either. If Zamula doesn’t add on weight to his frame, he’ll need to continue to learn how to use his long reach to aid in puck battles if he’s going to be outmuscled in some cases. The good news is that he’s got an active stick most of the time and has enough staking ability to avoid getting in really bad spots for the most part.
By the end of the 2021-22 season, we’d love to be able to bump Zamula up again in these rankings after he emerges as a top-pair defenseman for the Phantoms and pushes hard for playing time in Philadelphia by the time all is said and done.
How does Zamula fit into the Flyers’ long-term plans? Where does he stand in the Flyers’ organizational depth?
Zamula is an important piece for the Flyers in terms of where he stands on the organizational chart — and the team moving Philippe Myers shows that they have confidence in him enough to make the move for an established veteran while maintaining strong depth at the position.
While he doesn’t immediately fit into the Flyers lineup to start this season, he’s right behind York and possibly Sam Morin in terms of his path to playing time. The Flyers would like to get him more seasoning in the AHL before being thrust into a potential regular NHL role, but if he’s playing well it’s not like the club would hold him back given their expectations of improving dramatically sooner rather than later.
What do we think Zamula’s ultimate NHL upside is, and how likely is it that he gets to something approaching that?
Zamula has all the tools to be a quality NHL defender, and has succeeded at every level to include some really standout play on the international stage as well with Team Russia at World Juniors.
It’s not hard to see Zamula becoming an NHL regular as soon as next season breaking into the top-six and having upside of maybe even a top-four defender if he can add strength to his slight frame and be able to take full advantage of his size.
Using size and reach to defend then swarm the body:
Egor Zamula with a few strong defensive plays to take away time and space in transition. pic.twitter.com/p6w6ea9q0n— Ryan Gilbert (@RGilbertSOP) April 30, 2021
Leading the rush and driving the center lane:
GOAL. Tyson Foerster with his seventh of the season. 1-0 #LVPhantoms— Tony Androckitis (@TonyAndrock) April 23, 2021
Strong carry up ice by Egor Zamula, who gets it to the right wing for Chris Mueller.
Mueller with a BEAUTY of a cross-ice feed to Foerster for a quick shot past Gilles Senn. pic.twitter.com/TJ7giJIAVk
Calm working back to puck carrier and using reach to defend:
Smooth under pressure at Development Camp:
Egor Zamula, pretty poised under pressure. pic.twitter.com/dyuHlwuFm5— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) September 17, 2021
Stays with quick change of direction:
Egor Zamula is really thriving in this 2v1 drill. Strong positioning, anticipation in terms of defending and breaking up plays. pic.twitter.com/O20jm97DXW— Charlie O'Connor (@charlieo_conn) August 30, 2021
Little mean streak:
Egor Zamula gets physical early on. pic.twitter.com/x8tm1tpgyn— Ryan Gilbert (@RGilbertSOP) April 27, 2021
How We Voted: Egor Zamula
How We Voted: No. 9
|Egor Zamula||Wade Allison||Tyson Foerster||Egor Zamula||Tyson Foerster||Samu Tuomaala||Egor Zamula||Tyson Foerster||Cam York||Egor Zamula|
Previously in Flyers Summer 2021 Top 25 Under 25:
- No. T-24: Ivan Fedotov
- No. T-24: German Rubtsov
- No. 23: Jay O’Brien
- No. 22: David Kase
- No. 21: Linus “The Hog” Hogberg
- No. 20: Isaac Ratcliffe
- No. 19: Ronnie Attard
- No. 18: Connor Bunnaman
- No. 17: Noah Cates
- No. 16: Elliot Desnoyers
- No. 15: Emil Andrae
- No. 14: Samu Tuomaala
- No. 13: Zayde Wisdom
- No. T-11: Tanner Laczynski
- No. T-11: Samuel Ersson
- No. 10: Bobby Brink