With Flyers backup goalie Martin Jones headed off to free agency, the team might be in the market for another experienced netminder as a No. 2 to Carter Hart next season.
Or it could be an open competition among prospects like Russia’s Ivan Fedotov or Felix Sandstrom, who was re-signed to a new contract on Thursday.
Sandstrom, 25, inked a two-year, two-way/one-way deal worth an average annual value (AAV) of $775,000, according to general manager Chuck Fletcher, and will be a prominent figure when training camp opens in the fall.
The Gavle, Sweden native appeared in five games for the Flyers this season, posting a 3.23 goals-against average and .910 save percentage with an 0-4-1 record. He made his NHL debut this season and first career start on Dec. 30 at San Jose where he made 43 saves in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Sharks. He made 30 or more saves in four of his five starts.
Sandstrom played a majority of the 2021-22 season with the club’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. He appeared in 44 games and posted a 16-18-5 record to go along with a 2.89 GAA and .902 save percentage with two shutouts.
In parts of four seasons with the Phantoms, Sandström has a 22-21-8 record with a 2.93 GAA and .904 save percentage in 57 career games, 55 of which have come in the last two seasons. He also appeared in 25 games for the Flyers’ ECHL affiliate, the Reading Royals in 2019-20 and recorded a 13-11-1 mark with a 3.27 GAA and .885 save percentage.
Sandström spent parts of six seasons playing the SHL and Allsvenskan League for Brynäs (2014-2018) and HV71 (2017-19) and Västerviks (2020-21). In the SHL, he compiled a 40-35-0 record with a 2.40 GAA and .907 save percentage and during the 2016-17 campaign he helped Brynäs reach the SHL Finals, appearing in 13 playoff games and posting a 6-4 record, but did not start in the Game 7 loss.
Internationally, he appeared in the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championships and saw a majority of time in net for Sweden. He was named the Best Goaltender of the Tournament by the IIHF and finished with a 4-2-0 record and a 2.17 and .915 save percentage after facing 152 shots throughout the 10 days.
Sandström was selected in the third round (70th overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.