Flyers sign Noah Cates and Ronnie Attard to ELC deals.
Before the Flyers play their 5th and final game of this road trip, there are two exciting young college players that have officially signed with the team after their respective college teams have been eliminated from the NCAA Tournament. Noah Cates (137th in 2017) and Ronnie Attard (72nd in 2019) have both left college to join the Philadelphia Flyers as pro hockey players.
Brother of another Flyers prospect, Jackson Cates, Noah was a late-round pick (5th) in the 2017 NHL Draft that has exceeded all expectations that a 5th-round pick usually comes with. After signing his ELC contract on Monday, Cates is set to make his NHL debut in his hometown of Minnesota tonight.
A pretty cool story if you ask me.
Cates was the captain of the University of Minnesota-Duluth for the last two seasons and helped the Bulldogs to a 2019 National Championship a couple of years ago. In 2020-2021 Minnesota-Duluth made the Frozen Four and Cates had 5G-14A-19P in 28 games that season.
I don’t project Cates to be a star or anything but I do expect him to come in here and look like he belongs in these last stretch of games. He’s an extremely solid two-way player that can play in a lot of different spots in the lineup. Do you want him on the PP? He can do that. Do you want him killing penalties? He can do that. He projects as a solid bottom-six player that can give you a ton of different options of where to slot him in at.
During the recent 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, Cates was named an alternate captain for Team USA and had 1G in 4 games. He also won a silver medal with the United States in the 2019 World Junior Championships with Joel Farabee, scoring 1G-2A-3P in 7 games.
According to Oliva Reiner on Twitter, Cates will play on the left-wing with Morgan Frost and newcomer, Owen Tippett next to him. A very young, skilled, and exciting line to look forward to tonight.
Attard is a 23-year-old kid that was a 3rd-round pick (72nd overall) in the 2019 NHL Draft. He has signed a 2-year ELC that will kick in this season. Coming into the 2019 Draft, Attard was described as a smooth-skating, right-handed shot defenseman that needed to work on playing in a structure and build on his offensive game.
Well, he did just that.
2019-2020: 6G-8A-14P in 30 games
2020-2021: 8G-14A-22P in 25 games
2021-2022: 13G-23A-36P in 39 games
Attard had a fantastic season in his Junior year, leading all defensemen on Western Michigan in points (36). He also led all NCHC conference defensemen in points and ranked 3rd among all NCAA defensemen as well. Attard’s ability to grow his game in the three years with Western Michigan really cemented the possibility of the Flyers snagging him after his season ended on Sunday.
One of the most intriguing things about Attard outside of his offensive production is his size (6’4 210 pounds) and the fact that he’s a right-handed shot, something the Flyers have very little on the team and in the prospect pool.
With Justin Braun getting shipped to the New York Rangers on March 21st, these are the only right-handed defenseman the Flyers have in the organization:
- Rasmus Ristolainen
- Ronnie Attard
- Wyatte Wylie
- Adam Clendening
- Ethan Samson
You hope Attard can carve out a role on the big club soon, but the lack of RHD on the team is concerning, to say the least.
Attard and Western Michigan were eliminated from the NCAA Tournament on Sunday by Minnesota, losing 3-0. Attard actually scored a goal to make the game 1-1, but it was called back due to Western Michigan being offsides on the play.
It’ll be fun to see Attard get some playing time in the NHL in these last games with the Flyers. He’ll probably be paired with Keith Yandle since this organization refuses to bench the guy due to a streak that nobody in Philadelphia gives a single shit about.
Projected Flyers Defensive Lines:
Ivan Provorov – Cam York
Travis Sanhiem – Rasmus Ristolainen
Keith Yandle – Ronnie Attard
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Mandatory Credit: Luke Arcaini (my goat)