(via Philadelphia Flyers)
By: Philadelphia Flyers / NHL.com
Nov. 14, 2016
Anthony Stolarz skated in practice for the first time this regular season after being recalled early this morning – but he been through this before.
Although recalled several times in the past, he has never gotten a taste of game action and still awaits his NHL debut.
This time around that is likely to change.
“Yeah I think you will,” said Hakstol. “I think it’s a great opportunity for Anthony to continue what he’s done over the last year and couple months down in the American Hockey League. He’s proven that he’s ready to be here. We’ll take it day-by-day and decide when that start is, but we’ll have him as a starter at some point in time through this stretch.”
As for Stolarz, the time he has put in at the American Hockey League has not only prepared him to make that next step, but eager to face the challenge and learn from it. Stolarz is coming off of four consecutive wins early this season in Lehigh Valley in which he has a save percentage of .938.
“I think my progression over the last two years has been a lot different than my first year,” said Stolarz. “I think in my first year I really struggled a little bit adjusting to the pro level, but I think over the course of the last year and a half Kim [Dillabaugh] and Brady [Robinson] have really helped me improve my game and angle maintenance and rebound control and I want to get that next test. I want to get a shot in the NHL.”
As for being recalled more than a few times (upwards of seven times) without actually seeing game time, just like any other young player coming up, there is a process to go through.
“Anthony’s done a good job with the Phantoms. He’s got a couple years in the American League. He’s continued to get better, so we’ll see where it goes,” said Flyers GM Ron Hextall. “You never know for sure, 100 percent, when a goalie is ready. We don’t want a goalie ready for one game. We want him ready for the long-haul and the best way to be ready for the long-haul is to have the proper training. So we’ll see where this goes with Mason and Stolarz.”
Stolarz is 6-2-0 in eight games for the Phantoms, posting a 2.39 goals-against average and .927 save percentage this season, his third since turning professional. He is currently on a four-game winning streak, which includes one shutout.
A second round draft pick (45th overall) in 2012, Stolarz has been recalled by the Flyers in each of the last two seasons and dressed in games as a back up but has yet to make his NHL debut.