Speedy and Strong Winger Inked to Two-Year Deal with Flyers
March 24, 2021
Lehigh Valley, PA – The Philadelphia Flyers have announced that they have signed forward Max Willman to an NHL contract. The 26-year-old from Barnstable, Mass. has agreed to terms on a two-year, two-way contract which will begin in the 2021-22 season.
It has been an impressive year-and-a-half for Willman who has gone from an ECHL contract with the Reading Royals as a rookie in October 2019 to a tryout contract with the Phantoms by December and then an AHL contract with the Phantoms on February 4, 2020.
Willman is tied with Zayde Wisdom for the team lead with six goals. He had consecutive two-goal games as part of a four-game goal streak in February during which time he also earned CCM/AHL Player of the Week honors on March 1, 2021 becoming the first Phantom in over five years to receive the honor. On February 24, his second goal of the game was also an overtime winner at the Binghamton Devils.
“A lot of good things from him,” head coach Scott Gordon said in February. “We saw it right from the get-go last year (on his tryout contract) that he could be AT LEAST an AHL player.”
The fast-moving lefty-shooter primarily has played left wing but his versatility has had head coach Scott Gordon move him to center and right wing on different occasions. Willman has also thrived on the penalty kill with Lehigh Valley.
This past January, Willman was the only AHL contract player to participate in Flyers training camp in Voorhees, NJ.
“And he didn’t look out of place,” Gordon said. “There was one point they were practicing 5-on-3 and because of his line, he was practicing it (also). Was kind of eye-opening his ability to make plays (against NHL players).”
His collegiate career saw him play four seasons at Brown University and then a fifth year at Boston University in 2018-19 where he was teammates with Flyers first-rounder Joel Farabee. Willman was initially a round 5 selection of the Buffalo Sabres in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
The Cape Cod product has 39 career games in two partial seasons with the Phantoms scoring nine goals and eight assists for 17 points. He also played in 20 games with Reading in 2019-20 scoring 9-16-25. Willman is still technically considered a rookie in the American Hockey League because he played just 24 games for the Phantoms last year. The threshold to retain rookie status is 25 games.