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Flyers’ Zayde Wisdom Earns Praise; Others ‘Need to Raise their Level’



Zayde Wisdom
Zayde Wisdom

Philadelphia Flyers forward Zayde Wisdom stood out and stood tall in the two Rookie Series games against the Rangers. Not all of his teammates did the same.

Wisdom scored the Philadelphia Flyers’ only goal in a 3-1 loss to the Rangers in the Rookie Series on Saturday in Allentown. Wisdom charged up the middle from the blue line and snapped a shot in, looking like a guy used to scoring goals.

Phantoms coach Ian Laperrière, who coached the Flyers rookies this weekend, pointed out Wisdom’s play to the media.

“His focus is to make our team,” Laperrière said. “So far, he’s our best player right now. There’s other guys who need to be better and ‘Wis’ isn’t one of them. ‘Wis’ has been great since Day One. Good for him.”

Wisdom was a 2020 fourth-round pick, 94th overall. He played 45 games for the Phantoms (3 goals, 7 assists) and six games for the Reading Royals (1 goal, 4 assists).

Wisdom is a 21-year-old right wing, from Toronto. He’s looking to play in AHL with the Phantoms again and, one day, with the Flyers. He played well both nights and on Friday got into it with a Rangers player who looked twice his size.

Moving Forward

“Super humbling to hear it from a guy like that,” Wisdom said about Laperrière’s words. “Head coach, obviously he has my career in his hands.

“It feels good to hear it from somebody like that. I just want to continue to put the work in and hopefully continue to have a season like that.

“Long summer. Most of my summer was spent in Voorhees with the trainers. I put my head down, put the work in and now it’s time to cash out.”

Wisdom’s last season, from all accounts, wasn’t as good as his previous season (18 points in 28 games with the Phantoms). Wisdom knows what he needs to improve.

“Hearing something like that from ‘Lappy’ feels good obviously and now I know that’s what he expects every night and that’s what I’m going to provide every night,” Wisdom said.

“Just getting in on the offensive zone [has improved]. I feel like I lost that last year, kinda shying away from the puck, shying away from the battle where that was the strongest part of my game, I feel like.

“Getting back that confidence and head back to the corner, stand in front [of the net] and not care how big they are.”

Need to Get Better

Laperrière expected more from several players who played for him with the Phantoms last season. He was asked about Bobby Brink’s play. He lumped in Brink, Tyson Foerster and Elliot Desnoyers and said they could have had better games.

“For me, just OK [he said about Brink],” Laperrière said. “It’s human nature maybe — it’s Rookie Camp and they’re getting ready for main camp. Just like ‘Desi,’ just like Tyson. It’s the reality. I don’t want to be too harsh but everybody needs them to raise their level a little bit.

“The scoresheet is one thing but you want them to create something. I didn’t see that in the first two preseason games. It’s a big camp for all of them. All the guys who played for us last year, it’s a huge camp for them.

“Hopefully they can reflect tomorrow and be better when main camp starts [on Thursday). We still have a couple more days of rookie camp and hopefully they will get going.

“It’s a wakeup call for some of them. At the end of the day, if they want to make the big team, but they have to do a little bit more. Hopefully they will learn from those two games and be better.”

Foerster, expected to make the Flyers roster out of training camp said: “I don’t think it was for lack of trying. I think I had some pretty good chances. I have to hit the net for sure … I just didn’t get enough shots.”

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