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Flyers Announce Signing of Latvian Forward, Former Canucks Draft Pick

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Rodrigo Abols

The Philadelphia Flyers announced Saturday afternoon that the club had signed forward Rodrigo Abols to a one-year, two-way contract worth $775,000, just under two weeks before the 2024 NHL Draft.

Abols, a versatile 28-year-old Latvian forward, has spent each of the last four seasons playing in the SHL, featuring for Orebro HK–for whom he was a captain for two seasons–and Rogle BK. The newest Flyers player was once a draft pick of the Vancouver Canucks, as he was selected with the 184th overall pick in the seventh round of the 2016 NHL Draft.

And despite being drafted by the Canucks eight years ago, Abols has never appeared in an NHL game. Rather, the 6-foot-4 centerman played just one season in the AHL, appearing in 36 games and scoring seven goals, 16 assists, and 23 points.

Recently completing his first and only season with Rogle, Abols produced 14 goals, 12 assists, and 26 points in 50 regular season games, though the Flyers forward was much more productive in the postseason. In 15 playoff games, Abols racked up five goals, seven assists, and 12 points in only 15 games played.

Abols finishes his career, thus far, in Sweden’s SHL with a total of 85 goals, 78 assists, and 163 points in 266 regular season games.

And while Abols may at first look like AHL or bottom-six center depth for the Flyers, he actually adds even more intrigue to the organization. Recall that, on April 8, the Flyers signed another versatile forward hailing from the SHL: the 6-foot-4 Oscar Eklind. Both players can be plugged and played at different positions, get to the dirty eras efficiently, and bring a wealth of size to the Flyers.

The signings of the two players go to show how much due diligence the Flyers have done in Sweden this year, and may be a sign of things to come in the 2024 NHL Draft. The Orange and Black have reportedly spoken to top Swedish prospects like Lucas Pettersson and Leo Sahlin Wallenius, among others, at the NHL Scouting Combine.

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