Phantoms Add Reinforcements During NHL All-Star Break
January 22, 2020
Lehigh Valley, Pa. – The Philadelphia Flyers have announced today that they have loaned goaltender Alex Lyon and forwards Connor Bunnaman and German Rubtsov to their American Hockey League affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. In addition, goaltender Felix Sandstrom has been reassigned to the Reading Royals of the ECHL.
Lyon, 27, is currently in his fourth season with the organization and currently ranks 10th in the American Hockey League with a 0.916 save percentage through 22 games with the Phantoms. He has a 9-11-2 record this year and is coming off a 37-save shutout on January 11, 2020 against the Laval Rocket. He was recalled by the Flyers and made one start on January 16, 2020 making 36 saves against the Montreal Canadiens.
A native of Baudette, Minnesota, Lyon has played 136 games for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, the most of any goaltender. He also ranks first in Lehigh Valley history with 71 wins, 3790 career saves and six shutouts. His 71 wins are tied for the third most in Phantoms overall franchise history. Lyon’s signature performance with Lehigh Valley came on May 9, 2018 when he stopped 94 of 95 shots by the Charlotte Checkers to lead the Phantoms to a 2-1 win in a five overtime game during the Calder Cup Playoffs. Lyon was named the Phantoms 2018-19 IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year for his outstanding contributions to the community.
Lyon is coming off his first NHL recall of the season after he played 11 games in 2017-18 and 2 games last season. He made his NHL debut on January 31, 2018 against the Washington Capitals in a relief appearance and later earned his first NHL win on February 18, 2018 against the New York Rangers. In 14 NHL appearances he has amassed a 4-4-1 record with a 3.14 GAA and 0.894 save percentage. Prior to signing with the Flyers as a free agent, Lyon played 3 seasons at Yale University where he was a two-time NCAA All-American, two-time ECAC Goaltender of the Year, and a 2015-16 Hobey Baker Award finalist.
Bunnaman, 21, has appeared in 21 games for Lehigh Valley this year and has scored four goals and one assist for five points, and is currently riding a four-game point streak in the AHL. Bunnaman originally made the Philadelphia Flyers out of training camp and made his NHL debut on October 4, 2019 against the Chicago Blackhawks in Prague. He has played a total of nine games for the Flyers this season during two separate recalls and scored his first NHL goal on January 13 against the Boston Bruins. During his rookie season in 2018-19, Bunnaman scored 19 goals and registered 13 assists for 32 points in 62 games. He ranked second on the team in goals and led all Phantoms rookies in scoring.
A native of Guelph, Ontario, Bunnaman was drafted in the fourth round (#109) over 2016 NHL draft by the Flyers after playing four seasons in the OHL for the Kitchener Rangers. He served as the Rangers captain in 2017-18 and totaled 155 points on 90 goals and 65 assists in 265 career games for Kitchener.
Rubtsov, 21, is in his second season with Lehigh Valley and has tallied 12 points on two goals and 10 assists in 28 games. He is currently tied for fourth on the Phantoms with 10 assists. He appeared in 14 games for the Phantoms last season, and totaled 10 points on six goals and four assists before missing the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury. Rubtsov made his NHL debut on November 1, 2019 against the New Jersey Devils and has played in four games for Philadelphia this season over two recalls.
A native of Chekhov, Russia, Rubtsov was drafted in the first round (#22 overall) by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2016 NHL draft. He spent three seasons in the QMJHL, and won the 2017-18 Memorial Cup with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan. He has also represented Russia twice at the World Juniors (2017 and 2018).
Sandstrom, 23, is in his first full season in North America and has played 15 games for the Reading Royals this year. He has posted a 6-9 record with a 3.78 GAA and 0.877 save percentage along with two shutouts in the ECHL. Sandstrom appeared in one game for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms last season when he made his North American debut on April 12, 2019 in Providence and made 40 saves in 4-3 win against Bruins.
A native of Gavle, Sweden, Sandstrom was drafted in the third round (#70) of the 2015 NHL Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers. He spent the last five seasons in the Swedish Hockey League, spending time with Brynas IF from 2014-2017 and then playing 2017-19 with HV71. This past season he appeared in 19 games for HV71 going 10-8 with a 2.16 goals-against average and 0.910 save percentage. Sandtrom was the starting netminder for Sweden in the 2016 and 2017 World Junior Championships. in 2017, he led Sweden to a fourth place finish with a 5-1-1 record and was named the WJC Best Goaltender, beating out Flyers goalie Carter Hart. Sandstrom signed his three-year, entry-level contract with the Flyers on March 27, 2018.
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