The Philadelphia Flyers announced today that they have signed young goalie Carter Hart to an entry-level contract. A 2016 2nd-round pick, Hart was signed to the maximum three-year deal worth $925K per year. However, he is unlikely to make his pro debut anytime soon, as he has already been returned to the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League to start the upcoming season.
The first goalie take in the draft this past June, Hart is coming off a stellar junior season in which he was named CHL Goalie of the Year. Behind Hart’s 2.14 Goals Against Average and .918 save percentage, Everett was a playoff team in 2015-16, and Hart shown again in the postseason. He returns to juniors, looking to polish his skills before taking the next step in a year or two.
Hart’s progress could be vital for the Flyers, as their future in net is very much in doubt. Both of their NHL keepers, Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth, are unrestricted free agents at the end of the year. AHL starter Anthony Stolarz is a restricted free agent as well, and has had his ups and downs since going pro two years ago, and 2015 3rd-rounder Felix Sandstrom has yet to commit to coming overseas. Yale standout Alex Lyon was brought in to provide some more depth and potential at goalie, but Hart appears to have a clear path to being Philly’s future in goal.