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Flyers Finally Sign Top Prospect; What it Means

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Massimo Rizzo
Massimo Rizzo has officially joined the Flyers on a two-year contract. (Photo: AP)

Completing a highly-anticipated signing, the Philadelphia Flyers announced on Wednesday morning that they had signed University of Denver star Massimo Rizzo to a two-year, entry-level contract starting with the 2024-25 season.

Rizzo, 22, just finished his third season with Denver where he scored 10 goals, 34 assists, and 44 points in just 30 games. Acquired by the Flyers in a trade with Carolina over the summer, Rizzo led Denver to their NCAA-leading 10th national title over former Flyers prospect Cutter Gauthier on Saturday night.

It’s worth noting that the Flyers did not announce any kind of tryout agreement with Rizzo yet, so, at the time of this writing, the youngster is not AHL-bound joining the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for their playoff push.

The Phantoms have three games left in their 2023-24 regular season, and all three games are played on consecutive days. Unless Rizzo signs a tryout and becomes acclimated in Lehigh Valley before Friday, Saturday, and Sunday’s games, his pro debut in the Flyers organization will have to wait until the Calder Cup playoffs or even next season.

Flyers forward Bobby Brink, who was once teammates with Rizzo in Denver, was happy to see his old friend join the organization officially.

“He’s a good player and a good person,” Brink said. “He’s skilled and can make a difference offensively.”

Ahead of signing his first pro contract with the Flyers, Rizzo finished his NCAA career with Denver with 39 goals, 87 assists, and 126 points in 107 games played. Despite his seventh-round draft status, Rizzo boasts plenty of offensive skills, though his skating has at times been called into question.

With his production, though, it was hard for the Flyers and fans to deny Rizzo’s potential, and especially at the cost they paid Carolina to acquire him in the first place. The AHL seems to be the likely first step with Rizzo, with more to follow soon after.

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