After weeks of speculation, the Flyers have made it official with former San Jose forward Lukas Kaspar. The former first-round selection in2004 was let go by the Sharks after underachieving and spending the majority of his pro career in the AHL. Kaspar played just 16 games with the Sharks, scoring four points in the process.
The 23-year old has the size to be a force at 6’2, 225 lbs., but doesn’t play like a power forward. Despite having a sniper’s shot and decent hands, Kaspar is inconsistent and plays a shy game. He has signed a two-way contract and could see some time with the Flyers, if his performance in training camp and his time with the Phantoms are productive.
With the signing of Kaspar, the Flyers continue to load up the AHL-NHL tweeners. With Krys Kolanos, Mika Pyorala, Jason Ward and now Lukas Kaspar in the mix, the Flyers have incredible forward depth in the system. Not to mention if one of these players finally hits their potential, they could quickly become an everyday NHLer.
The Flyers kept the depth forward signings rolling on Saturday, by inking right winger Jason Ward to a one-year, $500,000 deal. The contract is two way.
Ward, the 11th overall pick in the 1997 NHL entry draft, has played 336 NHL games with four teams in his career and has 36 goals and 45 assists in that time. Ward is a capable depth forward, with a suitable a two-way game and an ability to use his 6’2, 210 lbs. frame to his advantage. The 30-year old journeyman has also been touted as an excellent teammate and hard worker.
Ward will likely be the 13th forward on the team, traveling with the big club and playing as an injury call up. Outside of some younger players, the Flyers don’t have much as far as NHL capable forward depth goes. Last week, Philly signed defensive forward Mika Pyorala and AHL standout Krys Kolanos to similar deals.
According to Bill Meltzer of hockeybuzz.com, the Flyers have signed Krys Kolanos and Mika Pyorala each to one-year contracts for $500,000. Although the Flyers have not officially announced the signings, they are complete. Both players were inked days ago as possible depth forwards, with Pyorala having a better chance of cracking the everyday lineup for the Flyers.
Pyorala comes as one of the top-billed Finnish players not in the NHL. At 28-years old, he comes as an established two-way forward in the mold of former Flyer Sami Kapanen. Kolanos is an established AHL scorer, but lacks the consistency to get serious time in an NHL lineup. However, Kolanos could prove to be a decent short-term call up.
Photo courtesy of Fred Trask and the Houston Press
The Flyers continued to add forward depth on Wednesday, adding former Wild forward Krystofer Kolanos to the mix. Kolanos spent most of the 2008-09 season with the Houston Aeros of the AHL, scoring 51 points in 45 games. His production in the minors earned him a cup of coffee with the Wild, where he scored three goals and three assists in 21 games.
The details of the signing have not yet been released, but it is likely a two-way deal.
The addition of the former19th overall selection in 2000, is likely just for depth reasons, as his lack of consistency and defensive play may hold him back. However, just like most of General Manager Paul Holmgren’s offseason moves, he continues to try to strike it rich with a low risk, high reward pick up.