What an endorsement.
Fans in Philadelphia were understandably devastated when they learned that star forward Sean Couturier, the league's reigning Selke Trophy winner, would be sidelined for a minimum of two weeks following a rather serious rib injury. Couturier is not only the Flyers top centerman but is among the very best at his position across the National Hockey League so realistically there's no way to replace him in the lineup until he makes his eventual return. Often even bad situations like this however come with a silver lining, and this time around that will be true for the Philadelphia Flyers as well.
As a result of the injury to Couturier the Flyers, and more specifically head coach Alain Vigneault, have made the decision to promote rookie center Morgan Frost to Couturier's position alongside Oskar Lindblom and Travis Koenecny for tonight's matchup against the Buffalo Sabres. It was the endorsement from Vigneault however, a coach notorious for relying too much on veteran players at times, that truly stood out to me on Monday.
"I think Morgan has earned the opportunity," said Vigneault of his talented rookie center. "He is considered a very skilled player. Young but very skilled… He’s very excited. He’s going to step in and do very well for us tonight.”
Although not officially confirmed by the Flyers at this time, it does appear as though Frost will also slot into the team's top powerplay unit alongside forward Kevin Hayes and the aforementioned Travis Konecny. I suspect that this could change both prior to and during the game however, but keep your eyes peeled for Frost on the top power play unit nonetheless as it does appear they intend to use him there.
Frost of course does have some NHL experience in spite of being a rookie, having appeared in 20 games for the Flyers last season. Over those games he pick up 2 goals and 5 assists for the Flyers for a total of 7 points and he added 4 penalty minutes while finishing his stretch with a plus minus rating of -3.
Again not a single Flyers fan would ever hope to see Sean Couturier suffer any kind of ailment, but getting the chance to see a former 1st round pick take a big leap in his development is a great silver lining.