First-year wingers James van Riemsdyk and Mika Pyorala  were on the 22-man roster that the Flyers submitted to the NHL yesterday.

Center Blair Betts was not.

Betts, 29, is trying to make the team on a tryout contract. After yesterday's practice in Voorhees, general manager Paul Holmgren said he was still negotiating with Betts' agent, Steve Kotlowitz. The two sides appear to be at a stalemate.

Betts, whose agent did not return phone calls, made $615,000 with the New York Rangers last season. He has excelled on face-offs and on the penalty kill in the preseason.

"We'll see how it goes over the next day," Holmgren said of talks with Betts' agent. He said if a deal isn't completed by today, "then it's probably not going to happen." The Flyers have a roster spot available.

Betts helped the Flyers kill 94.6 percent (35 of 37) of their preseason penalties before he sat out Tuesday's exhibition against Minnesota. In that game, the Wild scored on two of five power-play chances in a 5-4 shoot-out win.

The Flyers' youthful roster - the average age is 26.7 - also includes defensemen Danny Syvret and Ole-Kristian Tollefsen. Syvret, 24, will start the season with Ryan Parent on the third defensive pairing, while Tollefsen, 25, will be the seventh defenseman.

After learning he had earned a spot on the roster, van Riemsdyk texted Pat Keenan, a Villanova junior who has been his best friend since they grew up near each other in Middletown, N.J.

Keenan plans to drive to Raleigh, N.C., to watch van Riemsdyk's NHL debut tomorrow against Carolina. Then he will drive to Newark for the Flyers' second game, Saturday against the New Jersey Devils.

"It's pretty cool to think about it," said van Riemsdyk of reaching the NHL. "Obviously, it's something you dream about your whole life. But I still have a job to do out there and can take nothing for granted."

The 20-year-old estimated that 50 family members and friends would be at the game in New Jersey and at the Flyers' home opener Tuesday against Washington.

Van Riemsdyk, the No. 2 overall draft pick in 2007, and Pyorala each scored three goals as the Flyers went 2-3-2 in the preseason. Van Riemsdyk impressed coach John Stevens with his two-way play and his physicality in front of the net. The coach is strongly considering using him on a power-play unit with Mike Richards and Simon Gagne.

"I think I surprised a lot of people but not myself," van Riemsdyk said. "I mean, my goal coming into camp was to be here and be on this team come opening night. Obviously, I'm here now, and I still have to keep playing well and keep earning my spot."

The Flyers had wanted van Riemsdyk to turn pro last year, but he opted for a second season at the University of New Hampshire.

"I think it just allowed me to mature a little more," he said. "Going back to New Hampshire, I was going to be one of the go-to guys on the team. I just got to play a lot more minutes in a lot of key situations, and that was huge for my development . . . so I could be counted on in a lot of different ways" with the Flyers.

Pyorala, 28, is a Finn who spent eight-plus seasons in Europe before signing as a free agent in July.

An unknown when camp started, Pyorala improved with each game and earned a roster spot with his scoring and versatility. After a slow start, he became comfortable playing in rinks that are smaller than in Europe.

"It's kind of a different style than he's used to playing, so he's been a pleasant surprise," Holmgren said.

Likely lines. Here is how the lines will probably look for the opener: Scott Hartnell-Jeff Carter-Danny Briere; Gagne-Richards-Pyorala; van Riemsdyk-Claude Giroux-Arron Asham; and Dan Carcillo-Darroll Powe-Ian Laperriere.

The defensive pairings: Chris Pronger-Matt Carle; Kimmo Timonen-Braydon Coburn; and Parent-Syvret.

Breakaways. Ray Emery, owner of a 1.78 goals-against average in the preseason, will play tomorrow in Carolina and Saturday in New Jersey.

Contact staff writer Sam Carchidi at 215-854-5181 or