Philadelphia Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher has inked Swedish defenseman Adam Ginning and Russian goalie Ivan Fedotov to entry-level contracts.
At his season-ending media conference, Philadelphia Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said that he wants to “integrate more youth into our team.”
He has wasted no time putting those words into action, with two new signings so far in May.
Adam Ginning Signs
On Tuesday, the organization announced that it had inked 22-year-old defenseman Adam Ginning to his entry-level contract.
OFFICIAL: We have signed defenseman Adam Ginning, our second-round pick (50th overall) of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, to a two-year entry-level contract. https://t.co/NWwTOmrSI1
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) May 17, 2022
Ginning is a big-bodied blueliner, listed at 6’4″ and 205 pounds. It’s a very different era now, but he could bring back memories of Kjell Samuelsson when he plays his first game in the orange and black.
Playing the left side for Farjestads BK for the last two seasons, Ginning logged five points and 42 penalty minutes in 51 regular-season games this year. He added another five points in 19 playoff games as Farjestads captured the Swedish Hockey League championship with a seven-game win over Lulea in the final round.
The Flyers drafted Ginning in the second round of the 2018 draft, 50th overall. He had been listed fifth among European skaters in the final 2018 draft rankings from NHL Central Scouting, just ahead of Jesperi Kotkaniemi of the Carolina Hurricanes.
In his national team program, Ginning has been an important leader. As he made his way through the junior ranks, he played at two World U18 championships and two World Junior Championships. In both situations, he was named Sweden’s captain in his second year, and helped his team bring home a bronze medal.
Where He Stands
As things stand, the Flyers’ left side of the defense looks reasonably strong. Ivan Provorov, Travis Sanheim and Cam York are all under contract for next season. Ginning could find himself competing for a roster spot against Egor Zamula and Linus Hogberg, who both saw NHL minutes toward the end of the year.
Of course, the offseason is just beginning. Provorov’s name has been mentioned in trade rumours, and there seems to be some outside interest in Sanheim. With less team depth on the right side, it’s also possible that York will move over to that side next season. Depth blueliner Nick Seeler, headed for unrestricted free agency, could also re-sign. Or, Fletcher could pick up another UFA on the open market after July 13.
Since Ginning will be waiver exempt and just starting to make his adjustment to North American hockey, it’s likely that he’ll start his development with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in the AHL.
Ginning’s entry-level contract is a two-year deal. After it concludes at the end of the 2023-24 season, he’ll become a restricted free agent.
Ivan Fedotov Signs
On May 7, the Flyers also inked Russian goaltender Ivan Fedotov to a one-year entry-level deal.
ICYMI: Flyers goaltending prospect Ivan Fedotov inked a one-year entry-level contract over the weekend.
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) May 9, 2022
The 25-year-old made the most of a global stage last February, when he backstopped the Russian Olympic Committee team to a silver medal. He posted a 4-2 record with a 1.61 goals-against average and .943 save percentage. From there, Fedotov returned to CSKA Moscow for the KHL playoffs. He posted at 16-6 postseason record, with a .937 save percentage and 1.85 goals-against average on the way to his first Gagarin Cup championship.
Drafted 188th overall in 2015, Fedotov stands a towering 6’8″ and weighs 203 pounds. Now with three full seasons of KHL experience under his belt, he’ll turn 26 in November. And there’s a good chance that he’ll serve as Carter Hart’s backup next season.
“He can compete for the number two job,” said Fletcher two weeks ago. “He’s coming off a remarkable playoff run and good Olympics. “He’s right at that age where he’s put his time in, he’s developed, and he’s ready to go.
“Like every goalie coming over from the bigger ice surface, sometimes there’s a little bit of adjustment with angles. In the NHL, there’s a lot more traffic at the net. A lot more throwing pucks at the net and jamming the net. There’s certainly things that goalies have to adapt to, and some do it quicker than others. In terms of ability, we think he’s ready to challenge for an important role.”
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Where He Stands
Because of his age, Fedotov’s entry-level deal only covers the 2022-23 season. After that, he’ll also be a restricted free agent without arbitration rights.
For the cap-crunched Flyers, there’s significant benefit to carrying a backup goalie on an entry-level contract with a cap hit of just $925,000. Martin Jones had a $2 million cap hit last season. Brian Elliott’s cap hit went from $2.75 million in his first two years with the Flyers down to $2 million in 2019-20 and $1.5 million in 2020-21.
Jones is not expected back next season, and last year’s No. 3, Felix Sandstrom, is heading toward unrestricted free agency if he’s not re-signed before July 13.
Samuel Ersson, 22, signed his entry-level deal last season and remains under contract. But injuries limited him to just five games with the AHL Lehigh Valley Phantoms in the 2021-22 season. Kirill Ustimenko, 23, split his time last season between the Phantoms, where he played eight games, and the ECHL’s Reading Royals. He enters the offseason as a Group 10.2(c) free agent — under team control, and ineligible to be signed to an offer sheet.
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