The Philadelphia Flyers are set to debut another young defenseman, as the team recalled Mark Friedman today from the minor leagues. In his place Philippe Myers was returned to the AHL to help the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Friedman will wear #59 for the Flyers as they get ready for the final game of the season tomorrow night.
It’s been something of a pipeline of young talent on the blue line for Philadelphia in recent years, who already have players like Shayne Gostisbehere (25), Robert Hagg (24), Travis Sanheim (23), Samuel Morin (23) and Ivan Provorov (22) on the NHL roster. While Friedman obviously doesn’t come with as much hype as some of those other names, he has had a solid development path since being selected in the third round in 2014.
Attending Bowling Green State for three seasons, Friedman was named to the NCHC All-Rookie, Third and First All-Star Teams during his time there. He finished his college career in 2017 with 68 points in 121 games and jumped to the professional ranks with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. In two seasons there he has continued to develop his two-way game, recording 24 points in 71 games this year. For that hard work it appears as though he’ll be rewarded with a game at the NHL level, which will also give him a little extra salary for the last few days of the season.
With one year left on his entry-level contract it still seems unlikely that Friedman will spend much time in the NHL before he hits restricted free agency, but giving him a taste of what it’s like can only help his development going forward.