Flyers rookie has audition cut short by surgery, but he caught eye of Vigneault


Tanner Laczynski's opening audition officially ended Monday morning. His next one will begin in training camp.

The 23-year-old forward underwent right hip surgery to repair a torn labrum, which will result in a four-month recovery. The timeline sets up Laczynski to be back on the ice for presumably a September training camp in preparation for the Flyers' 2021-22 season.

Laczynski will be vying for a roster spot. In his first year of pro hockey, Laczynski played five games for the Flyers this month before the injury cut his season short. He finished with six shots and a plus-1 rating in just under 10 minutes per game. The Ohio State product played over a minute per game on the penalty kill.

With the Flyers' trade of Michael Raffl two weeks ago, Laczynski was going to be in the big club's lineup the rest of the season. The injury will end up costing him 13 games of audition time, but Laczynski made a good impression in his first season at the pro ranks. He was one of AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley's best forwards before his call-up, with six goals, four assists and a plus-6 rating over 14 games. The six goals came in his final five games with the Phantoms.

Laczynski was unable to compete in Flyers training camp because he was still recovering from offseason core muscle surgery. Once Laczynski had started humming down at Lehigh Valley, general manager Chuck Fletcher and assistant general manager Brent Flahr got him up to the taxi squad following the Flyers' brutal March.

"I like what Tanner did in those five games," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said Monday after practice. "Obviously it's a very small sample, a very small segment, but he did do all of the things that Chuck had said and Flahrsy had said: good two-way guy, smart, plays that 200-foot game. Hopefully he gets back to 100 percent here in the next four months and he's ready for training camp next year, we have a normal camp and he can show us what he can do."

Laczynski can play both center and winger. He and Wade Allison, who is six games into his first look with the Flyers, are four-year college players. Both endured injuries this season but were well-groomed heading into pro hockey, so they were able to quickly make up ground.

"They're smart hockey players," Claude Giroux said last week. "They have good size, they're a little bit older than rookies that would be 20, 21. They came in and you can just tell that the way they skate, the way they move the puck, their hockey IQ is really high."

More: Hart injury update; Frost 'coming along real well'

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