Although the NHL has come to a standstill in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chuck Fletcher and the Flyers front office have not stopped looking for ways to add youthful depth to the organization.
Yesterday, the team announced the signing of Swedish right winger Linus Sandin to a one-year entry level contract. Linus is the brother of Rasmus Sandin, who saw some playing time with the Maple Leafs during this year’s regular season.
Sandin was tied for third in the Swedish Elite League (SHL) in goals with 19 this season and had 36 points in 51 games. I have never seen any tape on Sandin, but according to NBC Sports Philadelphia, the general manager had this to say on the new signing:
“We are happy to have Linus under contract for next season,” Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said in a statement released by the team. “Our scouting staff has done an excellent job identifying him as a player who can come into camp and compete for a spot on our team right away. He works extremely hard and we expect him to add size, skill and tenacity to our forward group.”
Sandin, currently 23 years old, has already accumulated a good amount of experience. Beginning in the 2017-2018 season, he has played 143 games in the top division of Swedish hockey. Sandin has 16 and 19 goals in his last two seasons, respectively.
This is not the first time the Flyers have looked overseas for talent, let alone the SHL which they always have their eye on. Fans may remember names such as Robb Zepp, Evgeny Medvedev and hey, Chris Stewart was playing professional hockey in the U.K. when he got a call from the Flyers.
However, more often than not the SHL has provided the team with quality players. Back in 2013, the Flyers signed Michael Raffl after he played for Leksands IF in Sweden. I shook my head at the time, but Raffl is still here today so what can I say. Fans may also remember bottom-six forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, the Flyers signed him after he played in the SHL as well. He was then scooped up by Las Vegas in the expansion draft. Since then, SHL players such as Oksar Lindblom and Robert Hagg have been drafted by the orange and black and have proved they belong in the NHL.
We already knew the Flyers depth was one of their strongest attributes as a club, and there is nothing wrong with adding another forward here. Players such as Mikhail Vorobyev and Connor Bunnaman have went back and forth between Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia, maybe Sandin can solidify an NHL spot over those two players. The Flyers also recently signed Wade Allison and Tanner Laczynski, who will most likely be with he Phantoms and eager to make a name for themselves.
The front office also has some decisions to make on pending unrestricted free agents such as Derek Grant and Tyler Pitlick, who have definitely given Fletcher and his team a lot to think about. Grant flashed his ability before the season was cut short, scoring five points in seven games including his sick skate pass to Kevin Hayes against the Rangers. Pitlick also fit in well with the team this year and his hustle was very visible for me all season.
The Flyers sign another solid young piece, and both Oskar Lindblom and Nolan Patrick’s outlooks are improving by the day. Can’t complain, here is a tweet from the new Flyer Linus Sandin to end things here: