The window closed on Morgan Frost's opportunity with the Flyers this season as quickly as it opened.
With an injury to Sean Couturier in the second game of the 2020-21 campaign, the talented 21-year-old Frost jumped into the lineup. His opportunity lasted only two games as Frost suffered a dislocated left shoulder in the Flyers' 3-0 win over the Sabres on Jan. 19.
It appears likely that Frost's second game will be his last of this season. Frost is set to undergo shoulder surgery this week at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado, and will miss multiple months.
"I don't know if he's a candidate to come back at any point this season," Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said Tuesday. "I guess in my mind I'm just hopeful for a full recovery and a great offseason and get him ready for next year. Maybe he can beat that timeline; we'll have more information after the surgery is completed."
The injury is an unfortunate halt to the development of Frost, who was just starting his second year of pro hockey. He was going to be a key depth option down the middle of the ice for the Flyers and would have been one of AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley's best players had he'd joined the Phantoms at some point.
Frost, who is arguably the Flyers' top prospect in their system, opened the season as the club's 13th forward. The playmaking center made a bang when he was called up to the Flyers in November 2019 for his NHL debut, scoring two goals and three points over his opening two games. He finished with seven points in 20 games.
Couturier, who is on injured reserve, is progressing in his recovery from a costochondral separation. The 2019-20 Frank J. Selke Trophy winner has been skating and practicing skill work since last Monday. The team should have a clearer picture in the next few days about Couturier's timeline, but the Flyers are hopeful he'll be back in seven to 10 days.
"Hopefully he'll be able to come back in the next week, I'm not 100 percent sure," Fletcher said Tuesday. "He skated today, he was shooting the puck today, he's made really good progress. I don't think he's quite day to day yet, but hopefully in the next seven to 10 days, he can be a player for us."
The Flyers host the Bruins on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET/NBCSN) and Friday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP) before they visit the Capitals for a two-game set over Sunday (noon ET/NBC) and Tuesday (6 p.m. ET/NBCSP).
Tuesday seems most likely for Couturier's return. Depending on how the 28-year-old center feels and if he can get cleared, maybe he'll try to give it a go Sunday.
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