Jul 122010

July 12 Philadelphia Daily News

 “No more than 48 hours had elapsed after Patrick Kane’s building-silencing goal clinched the Stanley Cup for Chicago, ending the Flyers’ dream season, and general manager Paul Holmgren was at a podium with the focus already on next season.

Mike Testwuide – and not any player on the Phantoms’ roster – was the first name Holmgren mentioned when asked about young players who might surprise in training camp, which begins in just more than 2 months.

And if prospect camp is any indication, Testwuide already has planted himself squarely on the bubble of the Opening Night roster.

“It’s a cool opportunity, and it’s really humbling when someone says that about you – that you can have an impact right away,” he said. “But you know, nothing is given to you at this level. You’ve got to work for everything. I know it’s not going to be easy.”

Aside from Casey Wellman, whom the Flyers also courted but ended up on the Minnesota Wild’s roster at the end of last season, Testwuide was the biggest splash in the undrafted-free-agent market.

In 4 years of college hockey, he posted 44 goals and 27 assists in 131 games with Colorado College. Last season, he collected 21 goals and 10 assists in 36 games while battling a nagging wrist injury.

“The Flyers showed a lot of interest in me throughout the whole year,” he said. “I think it came down to the team that wanted me the most, and they really showed me that they cared about me as a player and a person. I thought it was the right fit for me.”

At 6-3, Testwuide, 23, is the prototypical power forward-type right wing the Flyers have been missing. He is a solid skater and gifted scorer – with superb hands for a player his size – who isn’t afraid to dig for pucks and play the physical side of the game.

With his college experience, Testwuide brings a size and maturity that few players coming out of the junior level can carry into their first pro camp.

“I’m a big guy and I’m going to use my size,” Testwuide said. “I think I’m a little bit of a better passer than people give me credit for. I like to take pucks wide and I’m good in the corners – those are my strengths.”

After signing his 3-year deal with the Flyers, Testwuide could have jumped to the Phantoms for a pro-hockey tuneup at the end of their regular season. Instead, the Vail, Colo., native chose to hang back and have surgery to repair his wrist while he watched fellow undrafted free agents like Erik Gustafsson make their first impression.

Gustafsson, a defenseman from Northern Michigan University, garnered some attention within the Flyers organization with two goals and five assists in his first five professional games.”

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