Ron Hextall recently said the Flyers “haven’t given up’’ on Anthony Stolarz and Wednesday he proved that by giving the oft-injured goalie a one-year, two-way contract.
Stolarz, who missed almost the entire 2017-18 season due to surgery for a torn meniscus in his left knee, initially showed lots of promise as a second-round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
But injuries have plagued his career and while he did show some talent in a brief NHL trial two seasons ago, this past year was a disaster.
Hextall, however, believes Stolarz can bounce back from this adversity.
The 6-6, 210-pound native of Edison, N.J. became the first New Jersey-born goaltender to play in the NHL. He hopes to maintain a place in the organization, even though it appears a veteran like Alex Lyon and a rookie like Carter Hart have moved past him on the organization’s depth chart.
About to enter his fifth season, health is the key issue right now for the 24-year-Stolarz.
He appeared in one game with the Phantoms this past season and three games with the Flyers’ ECHL affiliate, the Reading Royals, on rehab assignment in March where he went 1-1-1 with a 3.02 GAA and .902 save percentage.
Prior to the 2017-18 season, Stolarz made his NHL debut with the Flyers on Nov. 27, 2016 where he stopped 29 of 32 shots to earn his first career win in a 5-3 victory over the Calgary Flames.
Overall in his NHL career, he has appeared in seven games for the Flyers, posting a 2-1-1 record with a 2.07 GAA and .928 save percentage.
In his AHL career, Stolarz has a 48-41-11 record in 108 appearances with a 2.90 goals-against average and .911 save percentage. In 2015-16 he was named to the 2016 AHL All-Star Classic.