October 19, 2011

Matt Read is One to Watch for the Philadelphia Flyers

When teams sign an undrafted player, it usually is just an experiment for the young player and put him into the farm team.  Yet there have been many instances in the history of the NHL where undrafted players reach elite status, examples being: Peter Statsny, Dino Ciccarelli, Ed Belfour; there are even recent undrafted All Stars like Martin St. Louis or Dan Boyle. All that to say, on March 24, 2011 the Philadelphia Flyers signed a young 24 year old undrafted college hockey player by the name of Matt Read.

Read’s great play and defense first mentality got him a 3 year one way contract in Philadelphia. This signing was a steal for the Flyers, as Matt had put up good numbers in college and is a great 2 way forward. He put up almost a point per game numbers in during his college hockey days.  He is a versatile center/winger and even though he is considered a “rookie” this season, at age 25 he is a big complete player. Many people thought this rookie would not even make it out of training camp, yet his play silenced his critics and earned him a spot on the 3rd line. Coach Peter Laviolette trusts Read and is wiling to throw him out there in a lot of tough situations this season. He, like his rookie line mate Sean Courtier, can play in all conditions: killing penalties, power play, 3rd line duties at even strength. Besides the 3rd line duties, it looks as though Read had filled holes that were left when ex Captain Mike Richards left.

The potential for this young Flyer is only going up! It has only been 5 games into the season and he is killing it out there with 6 points (2G, 4A), he is also playing with a +4. His game against Ottawa really show cased some talent, as he put up 4 of his 6 points, 1 goal and 3 assists. He probably will not be able to keep this pace going, but Philadelphia must love that they have a capable rookie putting up a little more than a point per game numbers in the beginning of the season.

-Justin Stefani
Follow on Twitter: @Jutt89

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