Flyers

2019 NHL draft: Flyers take Roddy Ross with 169th overall pick

2019 NHL draft: Flyers take Roddy Ross with 169th overall pick

What's the saying again? You can never have enough goalies?

Sounds about right.

The Flyers learned that the hard way in 2018-19 when they used an NHL-record eight goalies.

On Saturday in the sixth round of the NHL draft, the Flyers added a netminder to the system by taking Roddy Ross with the 169th overall pick.

The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder was the 17th-ranked goalie by NHL Central Scouting. The Canadian played 25 games for the WHL's Seattle Thunderbirds, going 16-5-3 with a 2.76 goals-against average and .919 save percentage. In January, Ross earned WHL Rookie of the Month. He also played six games in the playoffs, posting a 4.05 goals-against average and an .886 save percentage.

"He's a guy that came on the scene late," Flyers assistant general manager Brent Flahr said Saturday via a conference call. "He's a big kid, he's got to grow into his body. He played very well down the stretch on an average team where he faced a lot of shots."

Ross, who turns 19 years old on July 4, was the 17th goalie taken in the draft. He joins goalies prospects Felix Sandstrom, Samuel Ersson, Kirill Ustimenko and Ivan Fedotov, to name some, in the Flyers' system.

Before taking Ross, the Flyers had drafted three defensemen and two forwards (see Flyers' draft recap).

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Breaking down 2019-20 third-line competition after Flyers' signing of Chris Stewart to pro tryout

Breaking down 2019-20 third-line competition after Flyers' signing of Chris Stewart to pro tryout

You can never have enough competition.

There will be plenty of it when training camp rolls around in September as the Flyers have a third-line job opening on the wing.

General manager Chuck Fletcher added a candidate Wednesday by signing forward Chris Stewart to an NHL pro tryout for camp.

Stewart, 31, was a 2006 first-round draft pick of the Avalanche and has played 652 career NHL games between six teams. His best season came as a 22-year-old with the Avalanche in 2009-10, when he scored 64 points (28 goals, 36 assists) over 77 games. Last season, he played in the EIHL for the Nottingham Panthers, scoring 13 points (six goals, seven assists) through 23 games.

The 6-foot-2, 242-pound winger has ties to the Flyers' GM. He played parts of three seasons for Fletcher's Wild from 2014 to 2018, putting up 25 goals, 20 assists and a plus-6 rating in 146 games.

The Flyers like their options for the third-line winger vacancy. The names include Joel Farabee, Morgan Frost, Isaac Ratcliffe, German Rubtsov, Carsen Twarynski, Mikhail Vorobyev, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Andy Andreoff and Kurtis Gabriel.

Farabee and Frost have drawn a lot of attention as young first-round draft picks coming off big seasons with Boston University (see story) and the OHL's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (see story), respectively. Rubtsov is an underrated option given his size, advanced game and positional versatility. Ratcliffe is a 6-foot-6 winger who scored 50 goals last season with the OHL's Guelph Storm, while Vorobyev saw time with the Flyers in 2018-19.

"It's more than Farabee and Frost," Fletcher said July 1. "I think Rubtsov had a tremendous prospect camp here. Ratcliffe is a quality young player. Vorobyev is a young man that we feel is going to come back next year a little bit stronger.

"There are several players down there that can play games, never mind Andreoff, who's a player that I think will make a very strong push to make our team this season. Kurtis Gabriel is a player that's played games in the NHL the past few seasons. We have a lot of options. That's what training camp is for — it's an opportunity for players to come in and show that they belong. It should be an exciting camp."

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Flyers mascot Gritty works on his dad bod at Planet Fitness

Flyers mascot Gritty works on his dad bod at Planet Fitness

Did you think Gritty was going to be satisfied with winning the NHL Fan Choice Awards honor for best mascot?

Think again.

The guy is not resting on his laurels this summer. He's training hard for 2019-20. He was seen working up a sweat Tuesday at the Planet Fitness on Christopher Columbus Boulevard.


(Picture courtesy of NBC Sports Philadelphia's Todd Berman)

Rumor has it Gritty is working on his summer abs.

Or maybe not.

Regardless, the orange fella knows how to stay in shape. He's a preparation junkie, a true gym (and rink) rat. Complacency is not in Gritty's vocabulary.

He's also not breaking glass and scaring kids, so that's a positive.

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