Winger Tyrell Goulbourne was set to make his NHL debut – and give the Flyers some much-needed physicality – before weather-related travel problems in Toronto prevented him from getting to the Wells Fargo Center in time for Thursday’s 6-4 win over the Islanders.
Goulbourne, 23, who had six goals, five assists, and 38 penalty minutes in 34 AHL games with the Phantoms this season, figures to be in the lineup Saturday afternoon against visiting St. Louis and former Flyer Brayden Schenn.
The Flyers are hoping he can help give them some type of identity with his scrappy play.
“What we’re looking for from him is a little bit of energy,” general manager Ron Hextall said before Thursday’s game. “He’s got outstanding speed, he’s a heavy player, he’s got a heavy stick, and he’s a good penalty killer.”
The 6-foot, 200-pound Goulbourne is expected to be on the fourth line and may work his way onto the team’s struggling penalty-killing unit.
“With the energy, the speed, the forecheck, and physical play, he’s come a long ways in three years,” Hextall said.
Hextall said Goulbourne, a third-round selection in the 2013 draft, is not an enforcer-type of player.
“He played first line in junior as a 20-year-old,” Hextall said. “He’s actually a decent player. He’s not a guy who can’t play the game, not a guy who just goes out there and plays four minutes. He can actually play the game.”
Said coach Dave Hakstol: “He’s a hard-nosed, two-way player and has done what we’ve asked of him at Lehigh Valley. He goes to those dirty areas.”
The Flyers were outmuscled Tuesday in a 5-1 loss to visiting Pittsburgh.
“I thought we were too quiet in our own building the other night,” Hakstol said. “It’s all about guys working hard for one another, and he’s kind of been the epitome of that down in Lehigh this year.”
Left winger Taylor Leier returned to the lineup and was minus-3 in the 6:52 of action. Jori Lehtera was benched. Leier had been a healthy scratch the previous two games.
Goalie Brian Elliott made his 15th straight start….Left winger Danick Martel and defenseman T.J. Brennan (Moorestown) were named to the AHL all-star team….Hextall praised the play of Phantoms left winger Oskar Lindblom, saying he has made great strides from early in the season…..Injured defenseman Sam Morin is about a week away from returning to Lehigh Valley’s lineup, Hextall said.