The Flyers made a pair of roster cuts Tuesday by placing Cal Petersen and Tanner Laczynski on waivers.
If the two players go unclaimed, they're expected to report to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley at some point to open the season.
With the Flyers' decision on Petersen, it sure looks like Samuel Ersson is the favorite to break camp as the Flyers' No. 2 goalie. The club has been high on Ersson, especially since last preseason, when he returned from an injury-plagued 2021-22 season and opened eyes.
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Over separate stints with the Flyers last season, Ersson got off to a 6-0-0 start while recording a 2.56 goals-against average and .913 save percentage. He finished the year 6-3-0 with a 3.07 goals-against average, an .899 save percentage and one shutout. The Flyers signed him to a two-year, $2.9 million contract extension in August.
"You have to look at what happened with Ers last year, how he handled himself," Flyers head coach John Tortorella said last Thursday. "That's what kind of endeared me to him, how he handled the mental part of the game."
Ersson turns only 24 years old later this month. This preseason, he has played the most of any Flyers goalie, stopping 33 of 37 shots. Two of the four goals he has allowed were to Bruins superstar David Pastrnak.
"It's really out of my control. I know all I can do is focus on the games and try to perform," Ersson said Monday. "That's what I did. I've been pretty happy with my performance so far.
"I know I have to keep proving myself, that's where I'm at and keep working."
Felix Sandstrom is battling Ersson for the backup job but he has played only two periods in the preseason. The Flyers have one exhibition game left and may treat it close to a dress rehearsal.
Petersen, who turns 29 this month, came to the Flyers this offseason from the Kings in the three-team Ivan Provorov trade. His $5 million annual cap hit over the next two seasons could steer clubs away from trying to claim him.
Laczynski, a 26-year-old center who played 32 games for the Flyers last season, had a solid camp but played in only two preseason games. The competition stiffened for Laczynski when the Flyers signed bottom-six forwards Garnet Hathaway and Ryan Poehling in the offseason.
The Flyers' roster is down to 29 players. The team practices Wednesday (11 a.m. ET) and hosts the Islanders to wrap up the preseason Thursday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).
J.R. Avon (injured)