Sunday, November 29, 2015

Flyers cut Raffl, Lauridsen

The Flyers cut the Austrian winger Michael Raffl, who was trying to make a big jump to the NHL.

Flyers cut Raffl, Lauridsen

Forward Michael Raffl ( MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer  )
Forward Michael Raffl ( MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer )

WASHINGTON -- With one game left in the preseason, the Flyers’ roster picture has suddenly become a little clearer at forward.

The Flyers assigned winger Michael Raffl to AHL Adirondack on Friday, along with defenseman Oliver Lauridsen. Many expected Raffl to be one of the finalists for the Flyers’ final roster spot at forward. 

The Flyers gave him every opportunity to make an impression, but apparently, Raffl didn’t do enough in the preseason to remain in camp over rookie Scott Laughton and newcomer Chris Vande Velde. He did not register a point.

While he did show flashes of impressive play, including solid speed and crafty hands in tight spaces, Raffl seemed to be bumped off the puck quite easily - especially when trying to gain the blue line.

Raffl, 24, was signed by the Flyers as a free agent this summer after an impressive World Championships with Austria. He scored two goals playing on a line with Sabres star Thomas Vanek.

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Raffl was attempting to make a big jump from Sweden’s second league (Allsvenskan) directly to the NHL, something few players have done successfully. Most recently, Phoenix defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Capitals forward Filip Forsberg have gone from that league to the NHL, but most trips usually incur a stop in the AHL first. The Flyers had high hopes Raffl would be among that elite category.

Lauridsen, 24, played 15 games with the Flyers last season but needed to overcome a logjam of defensemen to make the team. Erik Gustafsson, Bruno Gervais and tryout Hal Gill are still in training camp slugging it out to make the opening night roster.

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