Flyers Have Depth at Goalie Thanks to Draft
VOORHEES — Flyers general manager Ron Hextall didn’t know he had a shot at either of the two goalies that might be most promising in his team’s future.
It sure wasn’t in his plans to take the first goalie of the 2016 draft, as he did with Carter Hart in the second round. And as for Alex Lyon, the Yale goalie who signed as a free agent in April, the Flyers were one of at least eight teams that lined up in Chicago this spring to see if they could win the sweepstakes.
Lyon, 23, and Hart, 17, could very easily been elsewhere, and Hextall probably would have felt confident having 2012 second-round pick Anthony Stolarz, a first-time AHL All-Star, and the three goalies he selected in the 2015 draft all in the system.
Instead, the Flyers could have a couple of new gems on their hands on top of the crop.
What helped the Flyers win the Lyon Lottery was, according to the goalie, the people. Other teams could have offered him a quicker route to the NHL and with Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth both signed for next season, the Flyers couldn’t.
It didn’t seem to matter much.
“Our approach is a very honest approach,” Hextall said during this week’s development camp, which Lyon and Hart attended. “We’re not going to promise things that we can’t deliver. What we will promise is to put you in an environment that’s conducive to being a pro hockey player. We’ll teach you as much as we can.”
“I want to develop,” said Lyon, who will likely be part of a tandem with Stolarz for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms this season. “I don’t want to go up (to the NHL) and just be there for a short stint. I want to go up and stay there for the long haul and I felt Philadelphia had all the tools for me to be able to achieve that whether it’s goalie coaching, or structure, or people, it was just all there for me.”