Drysdale’s quick arrival signals he wants to be here

Jamie Drysdale

      VOORHEES, N.J. – If Jamie Drysdale was only lukewarm about his trade from the Anaheim Ducks to the Flyers on Monday night, he probably wouldn’t have jumped on a 5:45 a.m. flight from Tennessee on Tuesday to make it in time for practice with his new team here at the Flyers Training Center.

      That, however, is exactly what he did and you can be sure a lot of Flyers noticed the quick timeline.

      Fact is, Drysdale has been moved to a team with a better chance of seeing postseason action, even if the Flyers haven’t made the playoffs for the past three seasons.

      “It was pretty wild for me, I’m not going to lie,” the 21-year-old Drysdale told a media gathering after practice. “I just flew to Nashville (with the Ducks) and we were about to go on a two-week road trip.”

      Anaheim officials informed Drysdale not to unpack his bags in Music City.

      “Then I got a call from (Flyers’ GM) Danny Briere,” Drysdale said. “He just said welcome. That was kind of the process. I got on a flight at 5:45 this morning and here we are. It’s good to be here.”

      Knowing some of the Flyers such as Cam York and, to a lesser extent, Nick Deslauriers and Morgan Frost, will help the transition.

      “It’s never easy to change up that fast,” Drysdale said. “I know a handful of guys on the team, so it’s nice coming in and seeing them. All the guys seem great. After the game last night, my phone blew up with texts welcoming me here. Real nice to hear when you’re coming to a new team.”

      The Flyers have made no bones about instituting a youth rebuild and no doubt Drysdale has become part of that movement.

      “I think it’s definitely exciting,” Drysdale said. “It’s a good team here. In terms of the back end, you’ve got a lot of guys who can move, make plays.”

      Coach John Tortorella has had nothing but positive things to say about Drysdale. In addition to pairing him with Sanheim on the top tandem, the coach also plans to use Drysdale on the power play.

      “He (Tortorella) called me right after the game,” Drysdale disclosed. “He just said essentially, ‘we’re excited to have you. Don’t worry about logistics or anything like that. Just get your butt out here and look forward to meeting you face-to-face.’

      “That’s always nice to hear. I got to meet him this morning. He was great. All the coaches were great as well.”

      As to the differences between the Flyers’ zone coverage and Anaheim’s man-to-man, Drysdale is confident he can make a quick adjustment.

      “I’ve definitely played zone before,” said Drysdale, who will wear uniform No. 9. “I don’t know at the NHL level though. It might be a little different. I’ll just figure it out as best I can. You could see in practice today, a couple guys were giving me tips. I should pick it up pretty fast.”

      Drysdale endured a shoulder injury last year and has been nicked up this year but he says he’s OK now and ready to go.

      “I’m good to play, that’s where my head is at,” Drysdale said. “Making sure I’m ready for the games. Everything is feeling good.”

      For a player who cares about the game and plays with a competitive mindset, the move to Philly is a welcome one.

      “Out of the gate (Monday night) it was a lot to process,” he said. “Didn’t see it coming at all. Coming to a team like Philly, my phone blew up. . .(they were saying) it’s an unbelievable place, the organization, a lot of great guys on the team, great team. Not one bad thing was said across the board.”

      Drysdale said the reception he got was unbelievable. A grinning York gave him a big hug and that broke the ice.

      A number of Flyers keep saying they appreciate adding talent to the roster without giving up anything at the NHL roster.

      “I think I’m just a puck-moving D-man,” Drysdale said. “I can move really well up the ice. I’ve already talked to the coaches here and picking up some stuff. I’m exciting to learn more.”

      Tortorella gave Drysdale high marks even before the two met. Sounds like a good relationship already.

      “Loved to see him,” Tortorella said. “There will be no difficulty (finding time for the eight defensemen on the roster) while in the process of building the team.

      “You make a deal and no one really comes off our team in the deal. This happens. We have to figure it out.”

      The coach sounded pleased that Drysdale was accepted by his new teammates so readily.

      “The locker room is thrilled that he’s here,” Tortorella confirmed. “I think some players have voiced their thoughts on the deal. I got texts all night long about the character of this kid, so he’s going to fit in just right with this group.”

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About Wayne Fish 2473 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.