Welcome to the Official Site of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Facebook of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Twitter of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Instagram of the Philadelphia Flyers Official LinkedIn of the Philadelphia Flyers Official DeskSite of the Philadelphia Flyers Flyer Wire
  • RSS


Despite being a 6th rounder, Flyers excited about Merrick Madsen's potential

Thursday, 07.11.2013 / 6:38 PM ET / News
By Anthony SanFilippo  - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter
Share with your Friends


Sometimes, teams find out about players in the strangest ways.

Consider Merrick Madsen, the goaltender from Proctor Academy in New Hampshire whom the Flyers drafted in the sixth round last month.

He wasn’t even on their radar until Flyers coach Peter Laviolette decided to look into Proctor Academy as a possible school for his son to attend.

“Laviolette started talking to my coach Mike Walsh and was telling him that his family was interested in coming to Proctor. They got to talking, and somehow my name came up. Next thing I knew, [Flyers scout] John Reilly was at one of my games.”

And Reilly liked what he saw. Madsen is a big goaltender at 6-foot-4. He has quick feet for his size and does a nice job of covering the bottom half of the net.

Reilly was the only Flyers scout to see Madsen play, and pushed for him during scouting meetings. The Flyers knew that he was more of a long-term project, but decided to take a chance on him with the 162nd pick overall.

Madsen, 17, took part in Development Camp with the team this week and got to spend a considerable amount of time working with both Flyers goalie coach Jeff Reese and goaltending scout Neil Little.

“He reminds me a lot of [Anthony Stolarz – the Flyers’ 2nd round pick in 2012],” Reese said. “He’s big, he’s very athletic and he competes. Those are the three things you should like in a goalie. He moves very well for his size. I’m very impressed.”

It may have only been a first impression for Reese, but ultimately that’s the one that matters most for Madsen right now.

He started playing hockey at Age 4 when he lived in Las Vegas. He started as a forward, but when his team eventually lost its goalie because he moved up in age. Madsen’s father suggested his son give goalie a shot.

“I did all right at first, but it was only mites, so you never really know how good you actually are,” Madsen said. “I just kept working hard and trying to get better, and although I never played AAA hockey - I went straight to prep school from AA – here I am now.”

And Madsen can only be in the here and now – because he has a good amount of potential that could take him far, but he needs to take that process one step at a time.

It started with getting drafted. Then came the Flyers Development Camp, which concluded Thursday. Next, Madsen is headed to Des Moines, Iowa to play in the USHL for a year before heading off for Harvard University, where it’s a safe bet he isn’t going just to play hockey.

“Education was a big part of my college decision,” Madsen said. “When schools started taking interest in me, Coach Walsh started advertising to some programs that I had really good grades.

“A few Ivy League schools contacted me – Princeton and Cornell were also interested – and although I liked both of those schools, a Harvard education is hard to beat.”

It’s difficult to argue with that, but it’s not like Harvard’s hockey program is chopped liver.

“It’s a great program,” Madsen said. “And when you look at the next two classes coming in, it’s going to be phenomenal.”

It will also leave Madsen with some time to develop, which is just fine by the Flyers.

“I look at this position all the time and sometimes you just never know,” Reese said. “Look at [Detroit Red Wings goalie] Jimmy Howard. He played in college for two years and then the AHL for four years before coming to the NHL and now he’s one of the best goalie’s in our sport.”

And Madsen hopes to be that one day, but for now, he’ll take simply impressing an NHL goalie coach the first time they worked together.

“I’m actually a little bit surprised,” Madsen said. “I thought, ‘I’m coming in as the youngest kid in this camp, I’m going to struggle.’ But I came into it a little bit hot and I’ve been doing pretty well. I’m really happy with my performance and it’s been great to work with [Reese and Little] on the little nuances of my game.”

And while he does still have a lot to work on and although he may be a good five years from the Flyers conversation, this is about excited as the Flyers have been about a sixth round pick in quite some time.

“I’m very impressed,” Reese reiterated. “I think… no, I don’t think, I know he will have a chance [to make it]. He needs to get stronger and fine tune his game, no differently then all the other young guys here, but he’ll get a chance to play and we’re really excited about his future.”

To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or follow him on Twitter @AnthonySan37




1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69


C. Giroux 78 22 45 -8 67
W. Simmonds 81 32 28 -7 60
B. Schenn 80 26 33 3 59
J. Voracek 73 11 44 -5 55
S. Gostisbehere 64 17 29 8 46
S. Couturier 63 11 28 8 39
M. Raffl 82 13 18 9 31
M. Read 79 11 15 -5 26
M. Streit 62 6 17 -1 23
S. Laughton 71 7 14 -2 21
S. Mason 23 19 10 .918 2.51
M. Neuvirth 18 8 4 .924 2.27
Privacy Policy | AdChoices | California Privacy Rights | Contact Us | Advertise Employment | NHL.com Terms of Use

Philadelphiaflyers.com is the official Web site of the Philadelphia Flyers. Philadelphia Flyers and philadelphiaflyers.com are trademarks of Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.