During the regular season, the Flyers had approximately 16 call-ups from their primary American Hockey League affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms, and had four players make their NHL debut.
Among them speedy forward Eric Wellwood
Wellwood first appeared in the Flyers’ line up on Nov. 1 at home against the Carolina Hurricanes. Filling in for an injured Andreas Nodl, Wellwood played most of the game on a line with Michael Richards and James van Riemsdyk
, getting 13:51 of time-on-ice and posting six shots on net.
// 'Down on the Farm'
“I think by the third period I felt like I got my game underneath my feet and I could use my speed to my advantage a little more,” said Wellwood immediately after his debut.
Wellwood is the younger brother of Sharks forward Kyle Wellwood, who he immediately called when hearing the news that he would make his debut.
“I thought he did a fine job,” said Flyers’ head coach Peter Laviolette on his debut. “He’s a fast skater. I thought he had two or three good scoring chances. He gets in on the puck and he’s a smart player.”
Just days later, Wellwood had a significant impact in the Flyers’ 2-1 win at Long Island by setting up the game-winning goal in the third period for Andreas Nodl. The assist was his first point in the NHL and helped the Flyers to their sixth consecutive win.
Wellwood would be sent down to Glens Falls after the game and throughout the year be recalled twice more, but never appearing in a game since then.
Some players might get discouraged by that, however the 21-year-old Wellwood didn’t see it that way at all.
“I think it helps a lot,” said Wellwood of being recalled to the Flyers during the regular season. “I learned a lot while I was up [with the Flyers]. It’s not only the games but the practices and the way they practice and work out after practice. It’s good that I got to see that.”
Wellwood got to experience plenty more practice sessions after he joined the Flyers for their playoff run after the Phantoms season ended as a member of the “Black Aces”.
Prior to that, Wellwood spent the majority of his first full season as a professional hockey player with Adirondack where he posted 28 points (16G-12A) in 73 games.
Like many of his teammates, Wellwood had most of his success during the second half of the season, when the Phantoms turned their season around under new head coach Joe Paterson, posting a 25-16-8 record following the Christmas break.
At the beginning of the new year, Wellwood recorded nine of his 12 total assists and 17 of his 28 total points for the entire year. Overall, he finished third on the team in shots on goal (169).
Prior to that, Wellwood was selected by the Flyers in the sixth round (172nd overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
He was a part of the highly successful Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League, winning back-to-back OHL championships and Memorial Cup titles in 2009 & 2010 alongside the NHL’s no. 1 overall draft pick and current Edmonton Oilers forward Taylor Hall.