Stolarz, a prospect, hopes to become Flyers goalie

Anthony Stolarz          MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff
Anthony Stolarz          MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff
Posted: July 12, 2014

The Flyers have drafted one goalie since 2005 who has appeared in a regular-season game for the team. Jeremy Duchesne, a Flyers third-round draft pick in 2005, played 17 minutes in a 6-4 loss to the Islanders on April 1, 2010, making three saves on four shots. Since then, nothing.

In the last 20 years, Brian Boucher, Roman Cechmanek, and Antero Niittymaki are the only Flyers draftees to receive significant time.

Anthony Stolarz, the Flyers' 2012 second-round pick, is trying to end the team's futility at developing players at the position. But for now, he has to wait. While the rest of the top Flyers prospects look to impress team brass at development camp this week in Voorhees, Stolarz is sidelined after hip surgery.

Stolarz had surgery in May after his season with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. The 20-year-old has spent much of the last year sidelined. He was out for two months in January after surgery to heal a laceration on his leg caused by a skate.

The nature of this surgery is different from the previous one. Flyers general manager Ron Hextall thinks it will help Stolarz in the long run.

"I wish I would've had it when I was about 24; I had to get it a few years ago," Hextall said Friday. "You get locked up."

Hextall wouldn't elaborate on whether his hip problems affected Stolarz this past season, saying the problem built up over time. He expects the surgery to be a one-time fix and have lasting effects.

"It'll help his game because it unlocks you and you get your full movement back," Hextall said.

The Flyers expect Stolarz to be back by training camp, his first opportunity to prove himself after a tumultuous year. He hopes to make a push in training camp and said his realistic goal is win the job of starting goalie for the Phantoms.

Stolarz, from Edison, N.J., said Friday that the Flyers' lackluster track record of developing players at his position doesn't bother him.

"Being homegrown and being so close, it's an organization I want to play for," Stolarz said. "Being so close to home, to pretty much play for the closest team to my house, that would be fantastic."

Now he just has to get back on the ice.


 


maxcohen@phillynews.com

@MaxACohen

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