Lehigh Valley Phantoms
Flyers’ Top Farm Team Signs Young Center and Goalie
Coach Ian Laperriere’s AHL team, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, gained some depth Monday.
The Phantoms, who are the Philadelphia Flyers’ top minor-league affiliate, signed 6-foot-4, 210-pound center Jacob Gaucher and 6-foot, 172-pound goaltender Nolan Maier on Monday.
Both recently appeared at the PPL Center, where the Phantoms play home games, while competing for the Flyers in the rookie series against the New York Rangers.
Gaucher, 21, signed a two-way, two-year deal, and Maier agreed to a one-year, two-way contract.
Serving as captain for the Baie-Comeau Drakkar in the QMJHL last season, Gaucher shattered his previous career bests by collecting 35 goals and 68 points in 66 games.
Gaucher won the 2021 Marcel-Robert Trophy as the QMJHL Scholastic Player of the Year. He completed 15 courses of his business degree at the University of New Brunswick at that time and maintained a 4.1 GPA.
His brother, Nathan, was a first-round selection of Anaheim Ducks in the 2022 NHL draft. Gaucher centered the Flyers’ third line in both rookie games against the Rangers last month. He participated in the Flyers’ development camp in July, and then returned for the rookie camp and training camp in September.
Maier, 21, established a Western Hockey League record with 122 career wins, all with the Saskatoon Blades. He played in a league-high 60 of the team’s 68 games last season, compiling a 31-23-4 record with a 2.82 goals-against average and .910 save percentage.
In 216 career games with Saskatoon, Maier had a 122-72-18 record with a 2.89 GAA, and .905 save percentage.
He attended the Columbus Blue Jackets’ development camp this summer prior to joining the Philadelphia Flyers’ rookie camp in September.
Maier was the starting goalie for the Flyers against Rangers in the rookie series opener Sept. 16. In 30 minutes of action, he stopped 11 of 12 shots. The Flyers ultimately posted a 2-1 overtime win on Tyson Foerster’s winning goal.
The Phantoms open their preseason schedule Friday with an away game at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Lehigh Valley has a pair of upcoming home preseason games at the PPL Center. They host Hershey on Saturday, and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Oct. 12..