The Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday signed high-scoring defenseman Ronnie Attard to a two-year, entry-level contract that will begin this season.
A junior standout at Western Michigan, the 6-foot-4, 210-pound Attard is expected to play with the Flyers this season.
“He is a big, mobile defenseman who has steadily improved his game each season,” general manager Chuck Fletcher said. “We are excited to have him join our group, and look forward to his continued development at the pro level.”
In 94 career games at Western Michigan, the righthanded- shooting Attard had 72 points (27 goals, 45 assists).
This season, he ranked No. 3 in the nation among NCAA defensemen with 36 points (13-23) in 39 games. He led Western Michigan with a plus-22 rating.
According to Flyers interim coach Mike Yeo, Attard is expected to join the team for Thursday’s practice in Voorhees. He could be in the lineup Saturday against visiting Toronto.
Attard, 23, was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the third round (72nd overall) in 2019. He is tied for second among NCAA D-men with six power-play goals, and third in PP goals (13).
The Flyers’ league-worst power play can use him; the sooner the better.
Western Michigan had a hell of a season under first-year head coach Pat Ferschweiler. Broncos played in the NCHC championship game, earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament and achieved program's first NCAA tournament win. Another milestone year for the program.
— Chris Peters (@chrismpeters) March 27, 2022
After being bypassed in two drafts before setting a USHL record for defensemen with 30 goals, Attard starred at Western Michigan, where he was a teammate of right winger Wade Allison, another Flyers prospect. Attard has a hard, accurate shot, average speed, and a knack for knowing when to join the rush.
His annual cap hit is$883,750, per CapFriendly.
A Michigan native, Attard helped Western Michigan reach the NCAA’s Elite Eight this year. He became the third member of the Flyers’ strong 2019 draft class to sign with the club. The others: Cam York (first round) and Mason Millman (fourth round). That class also includes Bobby Brink (second round) and Bryce Brodzinski (seventh round), two wingers currently in the NCAA’s Frozen Four.
Brink, 20, who plays for the University of Denver, is the nation’s leading scorer with 56 points (14-42) in 39 games. He is a nominee for the Hobey Baker Aard, given to the nation’s best collegiate player, and he leads the country in assists.
Brodzinski plays for the University of Minnesota, whose best player, center/winger Ben Meyers, is a highly regarded free agent who is on the Flyers’ radar.
Refreshingly, the Flyers are getting younger. Two days earlier, they signed winger Noah Cates after his stellar season ended at Minnesota-Duluth,