The Philadelphia Flyers have announced that they have loaned defenseman Emil Andrae to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and have recalled defensemen Louie Belpedio and Victor Mete.
With Rasmus Ristolainen suffering a setback while still being on IR and Marc Staal out 4-6 weeks with an upper body injury, the Flyers rolled with Cam York, Travis Sanheim, Nick Seeler, Sean Walker, Emil Andrae, and Egor Zamula for the last few games.
Andrae, who made he team outright from training camp, appeared in 4 games for the big club, didn’t record a point, was a minus-1, and averaged 13:00 TOI. It’s not that he didn’t play well but it was apparent that he needed more time in the minors to develop, improve, and marinate a little longer.
After scoring 26 points in 51 games for HV71 of the SHL last year, Andrae joined the Phantoms for their playoff push and added 6 points in 10 games. He entered training camp with an outside chance of making the opening night roster but coupled with Ristolainen’s injury and his formidable camp, Andrae forced the Flyers’ hand.
In lieu of the loan, the Flyers have called up both Mete and Belpedio. Mete was drafted in the 4th round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft by the Montreal Canadiens. He has 247 games at the NHL-level under his belt with Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto, where he has 5 goals and 45 points. He has also played in 18 AHL games with Laval, Toronto, and Lehigh Valley, accumulating 1 goal and 5 points – including an assist for the Phantoms in 5 games.
He was signed with the Flyers this off-season on a one-year, two-way deal for veteran depth and NHL experience, which may come in handy with the aforementioned injuries. he stands in at 5’9” and 187 lbs, and is a left-handed shot.
Belpedio, on the other hand, was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft by the Minnesota Wild but has only managed to suit up in 4 games at the NHL-level. He spent parts of 4 seasons with the Iowa Wild in the AHL, 1 season with the Laval Rocket, and the last 2 with the Phantoms.
In 299 career games in the minors, Belpedio has 33 goals and 109 points, including a career-high of 30 in 2021-22 with Laval that also included 10 points in 15 playoff games. The 27-year-old is a right-handed shot, stands in at 5’11”, and weighs 197 lbs.
The Flyers return home tonight to play the Minnesota Wild and have announced that Belpedio will play as the 6th defenseman and Mete will be the extra defender.
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