Flyers’ bottom-six center candidate has new deal, important year ahead originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
Tanner Laczynski signed a new two-year, $1.525 million contract Wednesday.
Now he’s just hoping for good health and a shot at the Flyers’ lineup.
Hip injuries have wreaked havoc on the 25-year-old center, who has played only six games for the big club over the last two seasons.
Early in training camp last year, Laczynski was knocked out of action by a left hip injury. In 2020-21, his first year at the pro level, his season ended early because of a torn labrum in his right hip. He also had core muscle surgery prior to that shortened season and missed the club’s mini training camp.
Laczynski’s new deal is a two-way contract in Year 1 and a one-way contract in Year 2, while the average annual value of it is $762,500. The 2016 sixth-round draft pick was a restricted free agent this offseason. When his new deal expires, he’ll be unrestricted.
The 2022-23 season is a turning-point kind of year for Laczynski, similar to forwards Morgan Frost and Wade Allison. Allison, a 2016 draft pick and four-year college product like Laczynski, has also battled injuries. They’re players no longer on entry-level deals and trying to find their footing at the NHL level with the organization that drafted them.
“I think we were pretty aware, even going back to last summer, that this coming year we’re going to need some of these young players to play,” Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said May 3 at his end-of-the- season press conference. “You look at guys like Allison and Laczynski who need waivers, these are guys who are 24, 25 years old. It’s sort of now or never for some of these players.
“I think what [the end of last season] showed me is that we’re going to have some options and have some depth, which is good because if somebody does get hurt or somebody has a tough camp, then hopefully we have other players that are able to take advantage of that opportunity.”
Per PuckPedia.com, Laczynski will be exempt from waivers for another 48 games. If he doesn’t meet that this year, he’s not exempt the following year.
When healthy, Laczynski has been very good at the AHL level. In 42 career games with AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley, he has recorded 27 points (13 goals, 14 assists), 110 shots and a plus-4 rating.
Come training camp, he’ll be pushing for playing time in the Flyers’ bottom six. He plays a 200-foot style and was well-groomed at Ohio State.
The Flyers re-signed restricted free agents Frost and Isaac Ratcliffe this month. Allison, Owen Tippett and Zack MacEwen are among the other RFAs in line for new deals before the start of the season. MacEwen has an arbitration hearing scheduled for Aug. 8.
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