Then there were 36.
Alain Vigneault said on Friday afternoon that the Philadelphia Flyers would be making roster cuts to trim the roster down, the team announced the moves just hours later.
The Flyers reduced their training camp roster to 36 players on Friday evening.
By reducing the roster by 18 players, we're down to 36 at Training Camp. https://t.co/ZklVIKCTBa
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) September 20, 2019
The Flyers aren’t quite down to the 18 forwards, 10 defensemen and three goalies that Vigneault said, but that may come on Saturday.
By tomorrow, Flyers plan to be down to be down to 18 F, 10 D and 3 G.
— Bill Meltzer (@billmeltzer) September 20, 2019
The Flyers assigned 13 players to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms:
32 – Felix Sandstrom (G)
46 – Cal O’Reilly (C)
52 – Greg Carey (LW)
64 – Maksim Sushko (RW)
67 – Kirill Ustimenko (G)
70 – Gerry Fitzgerald (C)
71 – David Drake (D)
72 – David Kase (C)
75 – Pascal Laberge (RW)
76 – Isaac Ratcliffe (LW)
78 – Matthew Strome (LW)
80 – Rob Michel (D)
85 – Josh Couturier (D)
And they will place five more on waivers Saturday to send them to the Phantoms.
26 – Tyler Wotherspoon (D)
39 – Nate Prosser (D)
43 – TJ Brennan (D)
51 – Kyle Criscuolo (RW)
60 – Reece Willcox (D)
The most notable among the 18 names are Isaac Ratcliffe, Felix Sandstrom, and to a lesser extent, David Kase, Pascal Laberge and Matthew Strome.
Morgan Frost, Joel Farabee, German Rubtsov, Mikhail Vorobyev, Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Connor Bunnaman remain in camp.
Ratcliffe played well on a line with Frost and Farabee in the rookie game and camp, but he is still a step behind the other two. Sandstrom impressed as well, with Kase, Laberge, and Strome also expected to contribute for the Phantoms.
Ratcliffe is a big-bodied winger that has the potential to perform well at the professional and NHL level once he gets up to speed. Everyone remembers Frost as the prized jewel of the 2017 draft, selected 27th overall, but Ratcliffe wasn’t far behind him at 35th overall.
Ratcliffe had 50 goals in his final junior season, tying him for fifth-most in the OHL, in 65 games. In his final two OHL seasons, he had 91 goals in 132 games.
There were no real surprises on the list of players cut, but that could change soon. None of the top prospects competing for a roster spot have yet to “wow” Vigneault and the Flyers could send one or two of them down to heat up the competition.
The Flyers are now down to 36 players in camp, and it might not be long before they cut a few more. Stay tuned.