Wаy Too Eаrly Flyers Oрenіng Nіgһt Goаlіe Predісtіons

The Philadelphia Flyers had a stressful (to say the least) season when it came to their goaltending tandem in 2023-24.

Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ivan Fedotov (82) and goaltender Samuel Ersson (33) against the New York Islanders at Wells Fargo Center.

After now-former starting goalie Carter Hart was charged with sexual assault—along with four other players—following his alleged involvement in the 2018 Hockey Canada scandal, Sam Ersson was thrust into the No. 1 role.

Head coach John Tortorella admitted that Ersson was overplayed during the season, and that he was almost certainly suffering from some extreme burnout due to the lack of adequate goalies the Flyers had to take some of the pressure off of his shoulders. 

Now, however, the 2024-25 season is looking a brighter for the Flyers' netminders. The surprise arrival of Ivan Fedotov helped (at least somewhat) to ease fans' anxieties about who would back up Ersson now that he's cemented his spot as the starting goalie. 

Fedotov, who stands at a towering 6'7", didn't get a whole lot of playing time when he first came over—which, in all fairness, was partially due to the fact that he came over near the end of the season. 

The team made it clear, though, that Ersson and Fedotov will be the primary pair protecting the Flyers' net this upcoming season. While there are some goalies still developing with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms—including Belarusian native Alexei Kolosov—it will be paramount for the Flyers to continue giving Ersson and Fedotov as many games as possible at the NHL level to further their growth and abilities. 

It's important to keep in mind that Ersson was a rookie when he unexpectedly had to shoulder the weight of the starting goalie position. He'll turn only 25 years old the day after the Flyers' home opener. He has shown that he can handle pressure when it's thrown at him, and now that he's been assured the No. 1 position and has the summer to properly train and get into the starter mindset, he's only going to get better.

Ersson will most likely be the starter for Opening Night, and for a good portion of the overall season, but we will be able to see a more prepared and experienced version of him. With Fedotov to take some of the weight off of his shoulders, they'll be able to help each other learn, grow, and improve every day. 

Time will tell if the Flyers have finally solved their persistent bad luck in the goalie department, but as we're making a wildly premature prediction, things are certainly looking up.