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Flyers Defenseman Jamie Drysdale Reveals He Was Hurt All Season

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Philadelphia Flyers Jamie Drysdale
(Photo: AP)

OCEAN CITY, N.J. — Jamie Drysdale didn’t have his best season in 2023-24.

Wednesday, as a sweet breeze blew off the ocean near the Philadelphia Flyers’ caravan in Ocean City, the 22-year-old defenseman revealed the reason.

It turns out he was bothered by a core-muscle injury, also known as a sports hernia, since Game 1 with Anaheim.

After being acquired from Anaheim in the Cutter Gauthier deal on Jan. 8, Drysdale competed in just 24 games and had five points (two goals, three assists) with the Flyers last season. In addition, Drysdale missed a little over a month with an injured left shoulder, so it was difficult for him to get into a rhythm.

A couple of months ago, the puck-moving defender underwent hernia surgery and began skating without any pain last week. He said he will be at 100 percent when camp starts in September. With more mobility, he is a candidate to run the Philadelphia Flyers’ top power play unit.

Playing with the core-muscle injury “was not a lot of fun,” Drysdale said, adding he was able to get through it and “manage as best we could.”

But when he had surgery, Drysdale said, doctors learned the injury was more severe than they originally thought.

Could be with Seeler

There’s a good chance he begins the season on the second pairing, next to Nick Seeler. Cam York and Travis Sanheim figure to compose the top pairing.

In 2024-25, Drysdale “should be in a much better position, should be a lot freer to play,” general manager Danny Briere said recently. “Jamie was pretty banged up, and it was impressive, the character that he showed. Coming back from the offseason surgery that he had, being traded, trying to adapt to a new team. Couldn’t skate at 100%, and that’s kind of the key to his game.”

Drysdale was selected No. 6 overall in 2020.

Briere said he was “excited to see a Jamie Drysdale fully healthy next season. I think we’re going to see a different player. What it has shown us this year with him is the type of person he is; the work ethic, the character. Those are all the things we kept hearing about him that was really high, and that’s what he showed us. Most players would not have been willing to fight through and play through the injuries that he was dealing with. They would have preferred just getting it done and get out of the way. He fought through and put in time for his rehab. Not just for the shoulder; the other issue with the core area. . . I was really impressed with how Jamie handled himself.”

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