Updated: 2:52 p.m.
VOORHEES, N.J. — The Flyers on Friday loaned forward Connor Bunnaman to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.
The move could mean center Nolan Patrick, who has been week to week with a migraine disorder, is nearing a return.
When Patrick does come back, there will be an odd man out of the lineup. Bunnaman, a 21-year-old rookie, was the likely candidate. Instead of having him sit and watch, the team signed veteran Chris Stewart, who can be the 13th forward, as Bunnaman continues his development with the Phantoms.
"We want the kid to play," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said after practice Friday. "I really think we’ve got a good, young player there.
"He’s a 21-year-old player that got 19 goals last year in the American League, that’s pretty good. He needs to play, he needs to get some minutes, and then when he comes back here at some point, he’ll be a better player for us."
Stewart will play Saturday against the Stars at the Wells Fargo Center (7 p.m./NBCSP).
#Flyers forwards today:— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) October 18, 2019
Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom-Kevin Hayes-Jakub Voracek
James van Riemsdyk-Scott Laughton-Tyler Pitlick
Carsen Twarynski-Michael Raffl-Chris Stewart
With Patrick not quite back yet, the Flyers could call up a forward from Lehigh Valley for some added offense. The candidates are Joel Farabee, German Rubtsov, Mikhail Vorobyev, Nicolas Aube-Kubel or possibly a veteran like Andy Andreoff. The Flyers currently have only 12 forwards and the roster is at 21 players. It can be at a maximum 23.
Patrick did more solo work Friday and took part in practice wearing a non-contact jersey.
Nolan Patrick still getting in solo work. pic.twitter.com/C70kxnpZpk— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) October 18, 2019
Nolan Patrick in practice. pic.twitter.com/b9KwhYpO8g— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) October 18, 2019
"I see Nolan around, I really would tell you that when there’s feedback as far as where he is, I get it from our medical staff," Vigneault said. "I have been told that he’s been making some progress. Today I think was his longest practice, it was almost 30 minutes with us. So I think he’s on the right track."
The 21-year-old missed all of training camp and the preseason.
"We consulted a lot of different people and I think we feel we're in a good place medically," Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said Sept. 26. "We'll hope for the best."
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