For Philadelphia Flyers Jordan Weal, The Time Is Now To Impress

Jordan Weal

Touted as the favorite for the third line center job, it has been an up and down beginning of the season for Jordan Weal. He would start the season as a healthy scratch after losing his spot to rookie Mikhail Vorobyev. It is early in the season, but this could be a make or break year for Weal. He is in the last year of a two-year contract and, without consistent improvement, could see himself without a new contract in Philadelphia.

If Weal wants to see himself in a Philadelphia Flyers uniform for the near future, the time is now to prove he can be a consistent NHL player.

Consistency Needs To Happen For Jordan Weal

Jordan Weal has seen consistent time in the NHL before. He appeared in 69 games last season where he posted eight goals and 13 assists. However, Weal also put up eight goals the previous season, in which he only played in 23 games.

It has not been a long NHL career for Weal so far. Drafted in 2010 by the Los Angeles Kings, Weal would only appear in 10 games for the team in 2015-16. He would register no points before he was traded to the Flyers for Luke Schenn and Vincent Lecavalier. Weal would only play four games with the Flyers that season, though.

After injuries to James van Riemsdyk and Nolan Patrick, Weal has seen his stock grow once again. Now the number two center, it is the perfect time for Weal to show what he can do at the NHL level. And he proved that in Tuesday’s victory against the Florida Panthers.

A goal, an assist, and the shootout winner was the stat line that Weal left the game with. It was his first goal of the season. He was one of three players that finished the game with two points. Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds were the others, both with two goals apiece.

Tuesday night’s game was Weal’s best of the season and could help him once Patrick returns to the lineup. Patrick is likely to reclaim his second line center duties, but where does that leave Weal? Three games is a small sample size to look at. However, Vorobyev has begun to show struggles adjusting to the NHL level.

Sliding Weal down to the third line role and letting Vorobyev sit and readjust is not out of the question. Aside from his first two games, Vorobyev has been a non-factor in his most recent four. And his ice time has reflected that, most notably in the game against the Panthers. Vorobyev only saw 8:04 of ice time, the lowest total of his young career.

There were some other moves made in the win against the Panthers that could change things for Weal if there are to continue, though. Scott Laughton was moved to center and Michael Raffl was moved up to play with Simmonds in the second period. The three would score on their first shift together, the Flyers first goal of the game.

Patrick is likely to miss at least one more game so Weal has more time to prove that Tuesday’s game was not a fluke. The team will face the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday. Weal has no points in six career games against Columbus. Another small sample size, but a big opportunity for Jordan Weal nonetheless.

Main Photo by Kate Frese (@KateFresePhoto), licensed to Last Word on Hockey. The Photographer retains all rights to the photograph.