Flyers

Flyers

You can never have enough goalies.

The Flyers learned that the hard way in 2018-19, when they played an NHL-record eight netminders during the season.

In good news, the Flyers will be adding another young goalie to the picture in 2019-20 as they signed Kirill Ustimenko to his entry-level contract Wednesday.

The 20-year-old was selected by the Flyers in the third round of the 2017 draft. Last season, for MHK Dynamo St. Petersburg in the MHL (Russian junior hockey), Ustimenko went 30-12-3 with a 1.78 goals-against average, .927 save percentage and a league-record 12 shutouts. In his MHL career, he finished 83-28-12 with a 1.79 goals-against average and .930 save percentage over three seasons.

The 6-foot-3, 187-pounder will start the season with either AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley or ECHL affiliate Reading. Fellow goalie prospects Alex Lyon and Felix Sandstrom are expected to be with the Phantoms. Lyon, 26, has played three seasons in Lehigh Valley and 11 games with the Flyers, while Sandstrom, 22, will be over from Sweden. He was a third-round pick in 2015.

Carter Hart, who turns 21 in August, proved during the 2018-19 season that he's the Flyers' No. 1 goalie of the future, while the team makes offseason decisions on his backup.

"We'll talk about Lehigh Valley and players we want to bring back," Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said about the goalie situation on April 8. "We'll have our final pro meetings in early June, so from the time the organizational meetings are over to June, have the guys really go through everybody, try to look for solutions and really narrow it down in June."

 

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