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After 3 Surgeries, Flyers’ Tanner Laczynski Earns Roster Spot



Wade Allison Tanner Laczynski
Wade Allison (left) and Tanner Laczynski (right) are hard-nosed players who earned spots on the Philadelphia Flyers' opening roster.

Tanner Laczynski didn’t take the standard climb to earn a spot on the Philadelphia Flyers’ opening-night roster.

The sturdy 25-year-old center did it through perseverance and hard work. And by overcoming lots of surgeries in a short span.

He endured three surgeries — including one to each hip, along with a core-muscle operation, in about an 18-month period. Laczynski is penciled in as the fourth-line center Thursday, when the Flyers begin their season against visiting New Jersey.

“I’ve seen him work so hard and go through so much. I’m just proud of him,” said feisty right winger Wade Allison, who, like Laczynski, has overcome a slew of injuries to get a spot on the Flyers’ roster.

In the last practice Monday, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Laczynski was centering a lunch-pail fourth line that included wingers Nick Deslauriers and Hayden Hodgins.

“We bang bodies and we’re hard on the forecheck,” Laczynski said. “Kind of possess the puck in the offensive zone … and cause some disruptions.”

Lineup uncertain

Allison was on the third line with Morgan Frost and James van Riemsdyk, but he may drop down to the fourth unit and replace Hodgson if right winger Cam Atkinson is able to play.

Laczynski, a former Ohio State star who was a sixth-round draft pick in 2016, has been strong on pucks and played with an edge during camp.

“I’ve felt good about my game, especially recently,” Laczynski said on Monday. “I felt like I got a little more confidence as the preseason went on and I got more touches.”

Lacyznski, who has 13 goals in 42 career games with the Phantoms,  acknowledged he has “been through a lot these past two seasons. I feel like it’s been a hard start to my pro career. I feel like all my hard work and dedication and doing all the little things — staying in the summers (to work out) — is finally paying off. It’s good to see, and I just hope to continue.”

The Illinois native is among 12 Philadelphia Flyers on the roster who are 25 or under. New coach John Tortorella says he expects a lot of players to go back and forth between Philadelphia and Allentown this season.

That means Laczynski and all the young players will be trying to impress the demanding coach throughout the year.

PHN: Flyers’ 23-Man Roster Includes 12 Players 25 or Under

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