Highly regarded Niagara University goalie Carsen Chubak signed a one-year, one-way contract with the Flyers' AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms, and is expected to compete for the job next season with Cal Heeter.
Chubak, a 24-year-old junior, was one of 10 finalists this season for the Hobey Baker award, given to the top player in collegiate hockey. Boston College forward Johnny Gaudreau, who attended Gloucester Catholic High, was also a finalist. St. Cloud (Minn.) State's Drew LeBlanc, a forward who has signed with the Chicago Blackhawks, won the award.
This season, Chubak had a 23-7-5 record, a 1.91 goals-against average, and a .939 save percentage as he led Niagara to an NCAA tournament berth.
"Our scouts saw him a lot," Chris Pryor, the Flyers' director of hockey operations, said from Stockholm, where he was watching the IIHF world championships on Monday. "He's a good fit for us."
The start of his collegiate career was filled with frustration. Chubak had reconstructive knee surgery as a freshman and hip surgery before his sophomore year.
The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Chubak, a Saskatchewan native, compensates for a lack of size with quickness. He was virtually unbeatable in the Purple Eagles' first 15 games this season, putting together a 0.99 goals-against average and .970 save percentage.
"The trend steers toward the bigger goalies," Pryor said. "He's not big, but he's extremely competitive and athletic. He never gives up on a shot in tight, and those type of goalies tend to do well.
"It's a good opportunity for the kid and good for us. You never know."
Chubak, who bounced around junior hockey for a few years before attending Niagara, was named Atlantic Hockey's player of the year after the season.
Breakaways. Russia is expected to start Ilya Bryzgalov against the United States on Tuesday in the world championships in Helsinki. Bryzgalov had a shutout in his first appearance. . . . Jake Voracek, playing for the Czech Republic, has a goal and two assists after three games. . . . Two Flyers defensemen - Sweden's Erik Gustafsson (plus-4) and Canada's Luke Schenn (plus-3) - are among the tournament's plus-minus leaders.