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Flyers Prospects

Massimo Rizzo makes Team Canada; Flyers future still uncertain



Massimo Rizzo
Massimo Rizzo's future with the Philadelphia Flyers is still undecided. (Photo: AP)

The Philadelphia Flyers traded for Massimo Rizzo on Aug. 9, 2023, and since then, all he’s done is lead the NCAA in scoring through the end of December. Doesn’t it seem a bit strange that a player like that came with a 2025 fifth-round pick, and only at the cost of the rights to forward David Kase?

Thanks to the Flyers prospect’s hot start, Team Canada added him to their roster for the upcoming Spengler Cup, which will take place between Dec. 26 and Dec. 31 in Davos, Switzerland. Joining Rizzo on Team Canada will be former Flyers forwards Derek Grant and Corban Knight, as well as former first-round picks John Quenneville and Ty Smith. The roster was at least partially put together by NHL legend Joe Thornton, who serves as general manager. Former Vancouver Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau will be Team Canada’s head coach for the tournament, also.

Rizzo, 22, currently leads the NCAA in scoring with seven goals, 24 assists, and 31 points in only 18 games played. Notably, he played alongside current Flyers forward Bobby Brink at the University of Denver in the 2021-22 season, when Brink led the team in scoring with 57 points in 41 games that year.

Brink bullish on Rizzo’s future with Flyers

“I haven’t talked to him since he’s been traded,” Brink revealed to me after a practice in November. “I think he’s excited about being in the organization, obviously he’s having an unbelievable year. Even when I was there when he was a freshman you could tell he was a special player. Lot of skill, hard worker, loves the game, so yeah, I think he’s a great player.”

“I have no idea what he’s gonna do and what his decision’s gonna be, or what the club’s gonna do,” Brink added. “You see the year he’s having, it’s hard not to want to bring in a guy like that.”

Effectively, Rizzo’s status still feels very much up-in-the-air, despite the familiarity with Brink. For fans that might have romanticized these two as a future dynamic duo in Orange and Black, it’s clear that they aren’t super close with each other.

As of August, the Flyers had not discussed an ELC with Rizzo, but they’ll want to do that soon. If the former Carolina Hurricane does not sign with the Flyers this year, he will have to do so sometime before Aug. 15, 2025. After that, his exclusive signing rights will expire, and Rizzo can then sign with any NHL team of his choosing.

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