24-year-old Mike Vecchione of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms is off to a red-hot start in the AHL and he’s now getting league-wide recognition because of it.
The 2017 Hobey Baker finalist was named the AHL Rookie of the Month for October after he recorded two goals and 10 points with a plus-8 rating through the first 10 games. The excellent play of his line that includes Nic Aube-Kubel and Danick Martel is a prime reason the Phantoms got off to a terrific 7-2-0-1 start.
Here’s a look at his first professional goal that came in mid-October:
— LehighValleyPhantoms (@LVPhantoms) October 15, 2017
The two-way transition winger possesses very strong puck and passing skills due to a high hockey IQ. Here’s one example this season where he springs Martel with a perfect breakaway pass.
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Vecchione is tied for the AHL lead in rookie scoring and ranks second among rookies with eight assists thus far. The first-year pro signed as a free agent with the Flyers on July 1 following four seasons at Union College, where he won the 2014 national championship as a freshman and tied for the NCAA scoring lead in 2016-17 with 63 points.
The 5-foot-10, 195-pound center is very likely to play for the Flyers at some point this season, but the question remains when. For now, it’s certainly not a bad idea to let him develop his game at the AHL level. He’s playing on a dynamic line with talented linemates and seeing plenty of ice time, so expect him to put in some more time in the AHL before getting that coveted NHL call-up.