ST. LOUIS _ The Flyers signed 5-foot-10, 194-pound Cornell forward Cole Bardreau Thursday to a two-year entry-level deal that starts in 2015-16.
Bardreau, 21,a native of Fairport, N.Y., recently completed a four-year career at Cornell. He fractured the C-7 vertebrae in his neck in 2013 and was nearly paralyzed, but has made an amazing recovery.
This season, he led Cornell in scoring with 22 points (five goals, 17 assists) in 30 games. In 103 career games, he had 18 goals and 35 assists.
GM Ron Hextall called him a pest in the Ryan White mold, and a "heart and soul type of guy. He plays hard. He's an agitator, he skates well, and you notice him every game because he's physically involved."
Bardreau will join the AHL Phantoms next week on a tryout contract. He has an exam Tuesday at Cornell and, unless he can move it up, will join Lehigh Valley later in the week, Hextall said.
In 2013, he helped the U.S. win the gold medal in the World Junior championships and was a teammate of Flyers prospect Shayne Gostisbehere.