Phantoms’ News and Notes

By Mike Castor

There is some news to report on a few prospects and young players on the Flyers. Bob Clarke traded defenseman Jason Beckett and center Peter Hubachek to Nashville for veteran forward Yves Sarault.

This move was done in part to add more veteran leadership to a team that is a serious threat to make a run at the Calder Cup. The Flyer’s were very high on Beckett last season and he split time between the Phantoms and Trenton of the ECHL. This season however he has struggled to take the next step to become a fulltime AHL defenseman. Phantom’s center Peter Hubachek never caught on to the Phantoms and was mostly a healthy scratch after a torrid start with the Flyers in the 2001 preseason.

Neither player was thought to be a challenger for a roster spot with the Flyers anytime soon. With the trading of Beckett, this opens up space for Bruno St. Jacques and Francis Lessard. Bruno St. Jacques continues to draw rave reviews for his all around steady play.

The Flyers also have a great assembly of impressive defensemen that were drafted last year. Last year’s first round pick Jeff Woywitka has scouts impressed with his all around play. Woywitka has worked on being more of a physical presence behind the blue line.

The Flyers are in a great position to evaluate their farm system. Bob Clarke has made the first steps to prepare the organization for this summer‘s entry draft. Maxime Ouellet remains one of the hottest young netminders in the AHL. His workload has lightened since the return of veteran Neil little to the Phantom’s roster.

Several young players on the Flyer’s roster have made major headlines this past month. Justin Williams will make a trip to Los Angeles to play in the Young Stars Game, which is set up for the young stars to showcase their skills. Simon Gagne came back from a shoulder set back to click with center Jeremy Roenick and winger Mark Recchi.

Players were shocked to see that Simon Gagne and Kim Johnson were not invited to the annual All Star Game. Kim Johnsson is third in defensive scoring in the NHL. Todd Fedoruk was very impressive in a huge game against the Lindros-led Rangers. He laid several bone crushing hits and had a fight against Steve McKenna. Todd “ Fridge “ Fedoruk has the coaching staff highly impressed with his physical play of late. Fedoruk ‘s reputation is well respected in the lockeroom and so is his stature. Currently Todd is weighing in at 6’2 250 lbs.

In other news goaltender Brian Boucher has hit a wall of late. After returning from an injury, Boucher has let in a couple weak goals and it seems like his confidence and his ability to excel through trying times is in question. Clearly he has lost his starter status to Roman Cechmanek.