After being promoted from fourth-line center to second-line winger after the Philadelphia Flyers lost their fourth straight against the Colorado Avalanche, Steve Downie looked to be getting a bigger role with the team.
However, after a short time in the inflated role, Downie haphazardly slashed a San Jose Sharks player late in the second period of Saturday’s game, putting the Flyers on the penalty kill which lead to a Shark comeback and eventual win. On the heels of the mistake, the flyers announced Monday that Downie has been assigned to the Phantoms of the AHL and that college standout and longtime Flyers’ prospect Andreas Nodl, has been recalled.
Downie was benched after the penalty and totaled only six minutes of ice time. Coach John Stevens has had a love/hate relationship with the manic forward, allowing Downie to claim major roles, only to snap the leash back after ever misplay and mistake. Downie is an emotional player and thrives in setting the tone and getting his team into the game. But with the microscope on him, Downie’s attempts get criticized heavily by the coach staff, forcing action.
Nodl gives the Flyers less physicality than Downie, but more of an offensive upside. A preseason standout, Nodl will likely be on a scoring line and may see some power play time. Nodl, with only eight AHL games under his belt, is an Austrian forward that broke scoring records and had a very successful two-year college career at St. Cloud State. He skates well with power, has decent size and shows good hands. Known as a ‘poor man’s Tomas Vanek’ in the making, Nodl is a highly touted prospect despite his incognito playing career. He has a goal and two assists in five games with the Phantoms this season.