It’s been a whirlwind few days for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and their goalie, Felix Sandstrom. On Monday, Sandstrom –– then a pending restricted free agent –– reportedly signed a one-year contract with TPS in Finland. However, those reports were inaccurate.
The Philadelphia Flyers announced on Tuesday that they re-signed goaltender Felix Sandstrom to a one-year, two-way contract with a cap hit of $750,000.
Here is the full press release, via the Flyers:
Sandstrom, 24 (1/12/1997), recently completed his second season in North America. He appeared in 11 games for the Flyers’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, during the abbreviated 2020-21 season, posting a record of 5-3-3 with a 3.19 GAA and a .903 save percentage. Prior to the start of the AHL season, he made five appearances for Vasterviks IK in Sweden’s Allsvenskan, the second-highest professional league in Sweden.
Sandstrom spent most of the shortened 2019-20 season with the Flyers’ ECHL affiliate, the Reading Royals, where he had a 13-11-1 record with a 3.27 GAA, a .885 save percentage and two shutouts. He also made one relief appearance for the Phantoms that season, stopping seven shots in 19 minutes of action. He had made his AHL debut with Lehigh Valley the previous season, stopping 40 of 43 shots in a 4-3 win at Providence on April 12.
Before coming to North America, Sandstrom spent the bulk of the previous three seasons playing in the Swedish Hockey League, the top professional league in Sweden, splitting his time between Brynas IF and HV71. In 79 career SHL games, Sandstrom has a record of 40-35-0 with a 2.40 GAA and a .907 save percentage. He has represented Sweden at two World Junior Championships, most recently turning in a record of 4-2 with a 2.17 GAA and .915 save percentage at the 2017 event where Sweden finished fourth.
A 6-2, 191-lb native of Gavle, Sweden, Sandstrom was drafted by the Flyers in the third round (70th overall) of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
There was some speculation that the Flyers re-signed Sandstrom simply so they have a goalie to expose in the expansion draft.
However, Sandstrom will be staying in North America and playing with the Phantoms.
Sandstrom should have a strong chance to be the Phantoms starting goalie and the Flyers’ third goalie next season. In his final six starts with the Phantoms this season, Sandstrom went 3-1-2 with a .943 save percentage (198 saves on 210 shots). He did not allow more than three goals in any of those six games.
Sandstrom is one of a few goalies that new Phantoms head coach Ian Laperriere will have at his disposal. The Flyers also signed Samuel Ersson, another SHL product, to an entry-level contract last week.
DONE DEAL: We've signed goaltender Samuel Ersson to a three-year entry-level contract. 📃✍️https://t.co/8ApzYg7nPE
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) June 3, 2021
Photo: Heather Barry Images