VOORHEES — Taylor Leier was on a stationary bike after his win with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms Friday night when he saw Flyers general manager Ron Hextall, president Paul Holmgren and assistant general manager Barry Hanrahan all walk into Phantoms coach Scott Gordon’s office.

Then they called defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere in and he left with a smile on his face. Leier thought little of it.

Then they called him in, next.

“My heart kind of dropped,” said Leier, the Flyers’ fourth-round pick in 2012. “I was like, ‘What’s going on here?’”

Hextall told him he’d be making his NHL debut the next day against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Leier, 21, has four goals and five assists in 14 games for the Phantoms this season and might have played well enough to earn a roster spot in training camp, but the Flyers couldn’t afford to take him and his entry-level salary-cap hit of about $780,000.

“It’s one of the moments I’ll never forget,” Leier said. “I went upstairs and called my parents. It was awesome. I saw Ghost in the hallway on my way out. We hugged so hard.”

The reason the Flyers could afford to have Leier and Gostisbehere, 22, on the books is because...