• Andrew McGuinness

Flyers Promote Morgan Frost to NHL; Twarynski Returned to Phantoms

Frosty the goal man,

Was a very happy soul!

Scored so many points,

Time to blow this joint,

From Lehigh to Philly!

In case you couldn't tell, the Philadelphia Flyers are keeping with the bias for action narrative well into the 2019-20 season. On the heels of a three-game losing streak, with offense becoming more and more of a problem as the season progresses, the Flyers have made another change, and boy is it an exciting one.

When Ron Hextall traded Brayden Schenn at the 2017 NHL draft, it was going to be impossible to judge the deal until we knew the fate of the two first round picks the Flyers acquired. No, contrary to the belief of most of Flyers Twitter, the Flyers did NOT trade Schenn straight up for Jori Lehtera. It just looked like that if you only knew and cared about the then mediocre present.

Meanwhile, the future was budding in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Moments after trading Schenn, the Flyers found themselves on the clock. Many thought they would take Eli Tolvanen, a highly touted sniper from Finland. But they went off the board a little, taking a skilled center coming off a just-under point-per game OHL rookie season.

He would nearly double that point total, going from 62 to 112 the very next year, becoming the second leading scorer in the OHL. His skill, speed, and smarts turned him into a superstar ten times over. Though it didn't translate to a great training camp that fall, he returned to the Greyhounds and dominated again. He was sharper in his second camp, progressing towards a roster spot before a hamstring injury pulled him down.

His pro career started with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. It took four games for him to score. He went on to score in his next seven. Some points were gritty. Others were downright gorgeous. He came to learn how to handle the pro level, the faster pace, the aggressive defense, the sharper goalies. Most of the nasty moves he pulled off in junior, even the entries and time once taken for granted, come much harder in the pros.

But he has learned to adapt. The rapid swings between uncontrolled and uncontainable appear to be beginning to settle down in a very positive way. He has gotten stronger and more physical while still finding a way to shine with his skill. After scoring 12 points in 16 games with the Phantoms, after dominating in junior for two seasons, after shutting up all the critics who called him a reach at pick twenty-seven 30 months ago, Morgan Frost is officially a Philadelphia Flyer.

How long Frost will remain one, at least for this stint, remains to be seen. Scott Laughton is on LTIR right now, but his target date to return is November 23rd. Not only is he more competition for Frost on the roster, but his $2.3 million cap hit returns when he is activated.

The Flyers exact cap situation is still a little hazy with Laughton on LTIR, but by my math they have about $83 million against the cap with everybody accounted for. That's about $1.5 over the cap ceiling; however, Sam Morin and Nolan Patrick can both be placed on LTIR, netting the Flyers a combined $1.6 million in cap relief, which would be just enough to fit everyone.

Well, everyone except for Carsen Twarynski, who was sent down today to make room for Frost. Twarynski looked decent in his second NHL call-up, but hasn't stood out, and with the 4th line beginning to click without him and Frost offering more upside, the decision to send him down is understandable.

We also have to talk about Nolan Patrick for a brief moment. In a perfect world, Patrick would be in the role that Frost will likely take over - middle-six (probably 3rd line) center. However, we still haven't gotten any concrete news on a potential return date for Patrick. That's the unfortunate nature of migraines. This is pure speculation, but Frost's promotion makes it seem somewhat likely that Patrick is a long way from returning, if he does at all this season.

But let's not end on a sour note. Frost earned his call-up with the aforementioned hot start with the Phantoms. He proved he can outskill anyone way back in junior, and he's starting to get better at the out-grit and out-wit parts. Frost will always be known for his skill, but every player needs to have their own balance between the three. Frost is starting to develop his balance.

Additionally, Frost's promotion helps some of the other Flyers as well, allowing Claude Giroux to move back to the wing and also provide life in the Flyers struggling PP. Frost and Jake Voracek, who has been struggling lately, flipped reps on the top unit in practice Monday. Alain Vigneault said Frost will start on a line centering Giroux and Konecny.

Frost adapted pretty quickly at the AHL level; the transition to the NHL will likely be harder and lengthier. But if anyone can make the transition, it's Frost. He's done it with Sault Ste. Marie. He's done it with the Phantoms. Soon, maybe even now, he'll do it for the Flyers as well.