Head coach Craig Berube shuffled the lines on Tuesday and it saw the top line get a major makeover with Vinny Lecavalier and Michael Raffl paired with Claude Giroux. Lecavalier is an established player so what he brings to the table is no secret. But Raffl, he is a wild card.
Raffl, 24, is an Austrian-born forward who signed with the Flyers last spring.
When Raffl signed, many believed he would play a year or two with the Phantoms before making the jump to the NHL. He played in Allsvenskan, the second-tier Swedish league, scoring 24 goals and adding 22 assists in 49 games played. Raffl figured to make the jump to the Swedish Elite League but opted to come to the Flyers.
The 6'1", 192 lbs. winger has made a much smoother transition to the small ice in the NHL than most expected. Lecavalier said that he and Raffl "connected right away" in the preseason and it made "for a lot easier game."
Raffl reminds me a lot of Matt Read but even more offensive-minded. He has good hands and a knack for creating scoring opportunities. He could be a scoring threat on Giroux's wing and what better way to become an established player than playing with one of the best distributors in the world?
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