When the Flyers prospects gather for development camp later this summer, at least one familiar face won’t be part of the group.
The Flyers have elected not to sign 2020 sixth-round pick Connor McClennon to an entry-level deal, a source told The Inquirer. The organization had until Wednesday to sign the winger or it would lose his exclusive signing rights.
Now, McClennon can re-enter the draft set for July 7-8, otherwise he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Given his age (19), he also could return to the the Winnipeg Ice of the Western Hockey League as an overage player.
McClennon had a breakout season with the Ice, playing alongside Matthew Savoie, a projected top 10 pick in this draft. In 62 regular season games, McClennon ranked second on the team in scoring with 43 goals and 38 assists. McClennon led all Flyers prospects in goals in 2021-22.
The 5-foot-8, 161-pound right winger continued his success into the playoffs, where the Ice fell to the Edmonton Oil Kings in the Eastern Conference finals. In 15 postseason games, McClennon finished with eight goals and 13 assists. The Alberta native participated in Flyers training camp last September.
The Flyers have a logjam of young right wingers in the system including Owen Tippett, Bobby Brink, Wade Allison, Tyson Foerster, Zayde Wisdom, and Samu Tuomaala.
Additionally, general manager Chuck Fletcher has opted not to sign center Marcus Westfält, the club’s seventh-round pick (No. 205 overall) in the 2018 draft. Westfält, 22, spent this past season playing for Västerviks IK in the HockeyAllsvenskan, Sweden’s second-tier professional hockey league.
Flyers extend offers to McLaughlin and Samson
Meanwhile, the Flyers extended “bona fide offers” to center Owen McLaughlin (drafted in the seventh round, No. 206 overall in 2021) and defenseman Ethan Samson (sixth round, No. 174 in 2021).
According to the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement, a bona fide offer is a standard player contract that starts at the beginning of the next league year and offers at least the league minimum salary. The offer is open to the player for a minimum of 30 days after receipt.
For 19-year-old McLaughlin and 18-year-old Samson, the length of their contracts would be three years as outlined by the CBA.
McLaughlin, a Spring City native, spent this past season playing for the Sioux City Musketeers of the United States Hockey League. In 62 regular season games, he registered 28 goals and 44 assists. He is committed to play at North Dakota next season.
The 6-foot-3, 183-pound Samson just completed his third season with the Prince George Cougars of the WHL, registering 15 goals and 28 assists in 68 games.