The Flyers moved closer on Wednesday to finalizing their season-opening roster by cutting 10 players and there were a few surprises on the list.
Centers Morgan Frost and Connor Bunnaman were both thought to have a chance to make the team, as did defenseman Adam Clendening.
Clendening and Bunnaman were placed on waivers for the purpose of being assigned to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Other teams can put in a claim for their services if they so wish.
Frost, who has been centering a line with Joel Farabee and James van Riemsdyk, apparently didn’t impress the Flyers enough to keep him around. He was assigned to the Phantoms along with right wing Linus Sandin, right wing Tyson Foerster, left wing Isaac Ratcliffe and defenseman Linus Hogberg.
Bunnaman played in 39 games for the Flyers over the past two seasons and was believed to be a frontrunner for the No. 13 (spare) forward spot.
Also placed on waivers with Frost and Clendening were center Gerry Mayhew and center German Rubtsov.
In addition, general manager Chuck Fletcher announced center Cal O’Reilly has been released from his professional try-out contract.
The roster transactions leave the Flyers with 24 players on their training camp roster.
A few of the retained players are surprises, namely center Jackson Cates (who has no NHL experience) and left wing Garrett Wilson.
On defense, Clendening’s exit means the No. 7 defenseman competition appears to be down to two players: Rookie Cam York and veteran Nick Seeler.
The goaltender alignment was pretty much a given, with Carter Hart No. 1, Martin Jones No. 2 and Felix Sandstrom No. 3. Sandstrom will be the starting goalie for the Phantoms once their season gets underway on Oct. 23.
Besides long-term injuries to forwards Kevin Hayes (abdominal surgery) and Wade Allison (ankle injury), the Flyers have six other players sidelined: Sam Morin (knee), Ryan Fitzgerald, Tanner Laczynski (hip surgery), Egot Zamula (hip/groin), Zayde Wisdom and Cooper Zech.
The Flyers figure to use their full complement of veterans for Friday night’s preseason finale game at Washington against the Capitals.
On today’s roster sheet, veteran Scott Laughton is listed as a center which is why Frost may have been considered expendable. Frost, a 2017 first-round draft pick, is coming off major surgery to his shoulder and has not had a real impact during preseason games.
Cates, a free agent signee out of Stillwater, Minnesota, might be the surprise player of the training camp. Coaches have been impressed with the former University of Minnesota-Duluth player’s good two-way play.