In a year that saw many rookies called up to the Flyers to replace injured players, Eric Wellwood made the most of his opportunity.
Wellwood, 22, was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 6th round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. He signed an entry level contract in March of 2010, and has spent most of his career with the Adirondack Phantoms (AHL).
When James van Riemsdyk was put on the injured reserve in early March with a left foot injury, Wellwood was recalled from the Phantoms. He definitely did not pass up this chance to prove he can play in the NHL.
Wellwood played 24 regular season games with the Flyers last season. In those games, he scored 5 goals and racked up 4 assists, for a total of 9 points. He was an impressive plus-12 when the season came to an end.
Wellwood's incredible speed gives him a huge advantage over opposing players. Not only is his speed useful in beating defenseman, but it also allows him to be effective when backchecking and agressive on the forecheck.
The video below is an example of how Eric Wellwood's speed allows him to blow by defenseman. This goal came on March 8, 2012 versus the Florida Panthers:
It is pretty safe to say that whenever Wellwood is on the ice, he is probably the fastest skater on the ice.
Now, after losing two forwards in James van Riemsdyk and Jaromir Jagr, it is pretty safe to say that Wellwood should likely earn a roster spot. You can expect to see him playing left wing on the Flyers' fourth line.
I believe that Eric would be a perfect fit for that spot. He brings a ton of speed to the Flyers line-up and good scoring ability for a depth forward.
At 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, Wellwood does need to bulk up a bit to become more effective at the NHL level. Other than that, I think he will be a great addition as a regularly rostered player.
What do you guys think about Eric Wellwood? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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