With MacDonald sidelined, Myers hopes to state his case for the Flyers’ defense

Phil Myers

VOORHEES, N.J. – Going into this year’s training camp, some thought Philippe Myers had a chance to crack the Flyers’ defense roster.

But his stock rose even higher on Sunday when it was announced veteran defenseman Andrew MacDonald will be sidelined six weeks with a lower-body injury.

The 21-year-old Myers, a native of Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, has been impressing the Flyers since the day he signed as a free agent back in 2015.

Only injuries (concussion two years ago, groin strain last year) have kept him from more serious consideration for the NHL.

Now, with his weight up to 220 pounds (from 209) on a 6-foot-5 frame, Myers looks and sounds like he could make a serious bid when training camp gets underway on Friday at the Skate Zone.

Myers was limited to only 50 regular-season games with the Phantoms last season but one game in the playoffs really caught the eyes of scouts and personnel development people.

That game came in the playoffs when the Phantoms and the Charlotte Checkers hooked up in a marathon five-overtime game.

Myers played a whopping 66 minutes in the game won by the Phantoms, 2-1.

Performances like that could boost his confidence enough to make a pitch for the Flyers.

“Obviously it’s an opportunity,’’ said Myers on Monday, the first day of an informal three-day rookie camp at the Skate Zone. “There’s a spot open but that doesn’t mean anything by all means. I still have to work my butt off and try to earn that spot.’’

Working closely with Phantoms defense development coach Kjell Samuelsson, Myers made it through his first year of professional hockey at the AHL level with flying colors.

“I covered a lot of ground with my game last year,’’ Myers said. “Gained a lot of experience for my first pro year. I’m really excited coming into camp. . .I feel more confident.

“Last year I got a lot of experience in the playoffs. The five-overtime game was huge. Good for development. I’m just going to take all that experience and bring it into camp with me.’’

The five-overtime game was one for the ages.

“The biggest thing, in times like that when it’s really hard, is to have the right attitude,’’ he said. “Stay positive, support each other as a group. It paid off. The outcome came in our favor.

“Honestly, I had so much adrenaline going on, I only noticed (fatigue) the next day. It sort of hit me like a wall when I woke up.’’

It would be a rags-to-riches story if Myers makes the Flyers’ roster. Not many undrafted players do find their way to the top.

“It’s nice to get notice for the hard work you put in all the time,’’ he said. “I think I earned everything with my hard work. I take a lot of pride in that.’’

General manager Ron Hextall is a big admirer of Myers’ determination.

“Travis Sanheim has two years under his belt, Phil’s got a year,’’ Hextall pointed out. “Our young defensemen aren’t as green as they were a year ago.’’

Whether Myers is ready remains to be seen. But a good camp might just allow him to get his foot in the door.

 

 

Wayne Fish
About Wayne Fish 331 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.

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