Carsen Twarynski, saying he will forever be grateful to the Flyers, is excited for his opportunity with Seattle’s new NHL team.
“I’m hoping to get to Seattle as soon as possible and soak it all in,” he said the other day.
Twarynski, a 23-year-old winger who plays with an edge, was selected by the Kraken in the July 21 expansion draft, and he will battle for a roster spot in training camp next month. Until late last week, he was still working out at the Flyers’ practice facility in Voorhees.
He admitted to having some mixed emotions when told he was chosen by Seattle.
“I think a big part of that was that I’ve spent a great deal of time over the last four years training here in the summer and trying to establish myself as a player and person and make the team,” he said. “I told Chuck [Fletcher, the general manager] that Philadelphia is a place I would have loved to have spent my career, but obviously business things happen. The thing that’s most difficult to leave behind is the relationships I’ve built here and the people I’ve met.
“That being said, going forward, I think we drafted a great team in Seattle, and I know the staff is excited, the city is excited,” he said, adding when he played in juniors against the Seattle Thunderbirds, he learned “the fans there are nuts. I’m glad to be on their side. I’m ecstatic for the start of this new journey. It’s going to be a fun road ahead.”
Seattle will be coached by Dave Hakstol. He was the Flyers’ coach when Twarynski went to a few of their training camps. Twarynski said his familiarity with Hakstol “will definitely” make him feel more comfortable. Ditto the fact that Seattle selected the Canucks’ Cole Lind, who was one of his linemates with Kelowna in the Western Hockey League.
Early in the day of the expansion draft, Twarynski learned he was Seattle-bound. He had just finished working out in Voorhees when Fletcher said he wanted to talk. Fletcher told him the news about 15 minutes before it was leaked that he was headed to Seattle.
“And I talked to Jason [Botterill], the assistant general manager in Seattle, shortly after that,” Twarynski said. “I was thankful Chuck was able to tell me and I was able to tell my parents before it was on the internet. It was obviously a cool moment, and I think it was unfortunate that someone decided to leak it because it takes away a lot of that experience for everyone involved.”
On Friday, Twarynski returned home to Calgary to spend time with his family and friends, but he will soon travel to Seattle and begin working out there and getting ready for the team’s inaugural season.
“I obviously want to get there as soon as possible to start meeting the guys, meeting the staff, and get more familiar with the city,” he said.
Twarynski was selected by the Flyers in the third round of the 2016 draft. After a productive career in the Western Hockey League, he spent the last three seasons with either the AHL’s Phantoms (17 goals in 102 games) or the Flyers (one goal in 22 games).
This past year, he was on the Flyers’ taxi squad for most of the season.
“I can’t say enough about the guys on the team,” he said, mentioning Kevin Hayes, Claude Giroux, Shayne Gostisbehere, and Travis Konecny. “Everyone on the team made me feel like a real part of the team for the last four years, even though I didn’t play many games.”
This coming season, he hopes to win a spot in Seattle’s lineup.
“Everyone knows, when it’s an expansion team, there’s a fresh slate for everyone,” he said. “My goal obviously is to be on the team and play in the National Hockey League and establish myself. Having a chance to do that on an expansion team is extremely humbling and exciting. I’m excited because everyone on that team has something to prove, and it just looks like a whole team of physical, hardworking guys that have good character.
“Everyone is going to be hungry and want to prove something.”
Jason Smith, a former Flyers defenseman, and Riley Armstrong, who guided the ECHL’s Maine Mariners for two years, were named Phantoms assistants. Jacob Rogers was chosen as an assistant equipment manager with the AHL team. ... The Flyers named Mike O’Connell as senior adviser to the general manager/player development. Others appointed by the Flyers: Nick Beverly, pro scout; Joakim Grundberg, director of European scouting; Matt Bardsley, amateur scout; Jacob Hurlbut, assistant director of hockey analytics; Dan Warnke, head strength and conditioning coach; and DeRick O’Connell, assistant strength and conditioning coach.