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Flyers, lean at left wing, re-sign Jordan Weal

Jordan Weal could have signed for his hometown Vancouver Canucks. Instead, he's staying in Philadelphia.

Jordan Weal.
Jordan Weal.Read more(Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

Jordan Weal had a chance to return to his roots and play for his hometown team, the Vancouver Canucks.

Instead, he is remaining with the Flyers.

Weal signed a two-year with the Flyers on Thursday night, the Flyers announced. The annual cap hit is $1.75 million. Weal could have become an unrestricted free agent Saturday.

"It's awesome," Weal said. "They gave me a great chance last year to play with some great players, and I think this is a group that's heading in the right direction. We have a lot of talent and skill, especially with some of the additions we've made. I'm just really excited to get back and start up the year the way we finished it. The way we were playing hockey was a good brand, a good style."

Added Weal: "I'm just excited to get back and see the guys and to continue to get better as a group. … We're trying to make the playoffs and I think we have the group to do that."

The Canucks and Flyers were among a dozen teams that showed interest in the 25-year-old winger, who was impressive in a late-season stint with Philadelphia last season. Weal visited Vancouver on Wednesday and traveled Thursday to Boston, where he lives and trains in the offseason.

With the trade that sent 25-goal scorer Brayden Schenn to St. Louis, Weal's value to the Flyers became even greater  —  and it probably increased his asking price  —  because they have many unproven players at left wing. Weal is also unproven, but he has displayed a knack for being able to finish plays around the net.

The Flyers' other left-wing candidates will include Travis Konecny (11 goals last season), rookie Oskar Lindblom,  Matt Read (10), Michael Raffl (eight), and newcomer Jori Lehtera (seven). There is also a chance center Valtteri Filppula (12) will move to one of the wings.

Weal needed to play 66 games with the Flyers last season to become a restricted free agent, with the Flyers controlling his rights. He spent most of the season with the Phantoms and played in 23 games with the Flyers.

Weal had eight goals in those 23 games, a 29-goal pace for 82 games. Yes, it's a small sample, but the Flyers like Weal's potential and creativity.

Drafted in the third round (70th overall) by Los Angeles in 2010, Weal has starred in the AHL. He came to the Flyers in the 2016 trade that sent Luke Schenn and Vinny Lecavalier to the Kings. The Flyers also received a third-round draft pick.

Last season, Weal led all NHL rookies with six goals in March. He scored eight goals in his last 19 games.

At the time of his recall from the Phantoms, Weal led Lehigh Valley in assists (32) and points (47) in 43 games.