Flyers Prospect Profile: Tyler Hostetter
One of the most important parts of any NHL organization is having a strong set of minor league prospects.
They must be ready to help take the team into the future or provide a capable body in case of injury.
The veteran defense of the Philadelphia Flyers is spoken about quite often nationally. Even casual fans of other teams know about the talents and accomplishments of Chris Pronger and Kimmo Timonen. Matt Carle won the Hobey Baker Award in college; Braydon Coburn has shown his mettle as a defensive force at times.
Andrej Meszaros, Matt Walker and Andreas Lilja round out the defensive corps. All Flyers fans are familiar with the blueliners. Those who follow the Flyers system also remember that Oskars Bartulis, Eric Gustafsson and others are waiting in the AHL with the Adirondack Phantoms.
There’s a prospect with the Flyers’ ECHL affiliate the Trenton Titans who some Flyers fans might not recognize.
Standing at 5’11” and weighing 182 lbs, Tyler Hostetter isn’t large or intimidating like many NHL defensemen. Nonetheless, he’s a solid skater who makes the most of the chances he gets.
In 213 games in the OHL with the Erie Otters, Hostetter had 15 goals, 68 assists and 134 PIMs. An undrafted free agent from Lancaster, PA, Hostetter signed an entry-level contract with the Flyers prior to the 2011-12 season after playing three games with the AHL Phantoms. After training camp Hostetter was assigned to the Titans, and in five games he has a goal, an assist, and 2 PIMs.
Trenton has had a rough start in the standings due to youth on the team making rookie mistakes at times.
“I think the chemistry is there, it’s just the fact that we gotta work harder in our own zone,” Hostetter said. “The goalies are coming up big, but we gotta help them out.”
With an upcoming road trip, Hostetter says that the team will improve by focusing on simple parts of the game.
“We gotta work as a five man unit,” he said “We need to start taking things one period at a time, one shift at a time”
“I’m just taking it a game at a time, I have to learn as much as I can from Vince (Titans head coach Vince Williams),” he added.
Hostetter has been adamant about the help he’s gotten from Williams.
“He helps me out every practice, and when I need to make a tweek in my game, I talk with him about it,” he said.
When discussing specific goals he has for his development, Hostetter recognized what his role is.
“I need to work on my D-zone coverage a lot more than offense, if I do that, eventually the offense will come…my hard work will pay off.”
Seeing the veteran poise in a young rookie, it’s quite clear that Hostetter has the desire and the personality needed to succeed. The way he speaks of his coach shows that the defenseman is ready and willing to do everything possible to improve as a hockey player.
A strong work ethic and desire to learn are two talents that make any player teachable. With those traits, Tyler Hostetter will do everything he can to show that he’s ready to earn his place.
Looking forward, the Flyers have some questions on defense to answer right now.
Chris Pronger is out with an eye injury for a couple weeks; while Matt Walker has struggled mightily at the NHL level. On top of that, Kimmo Timonen and Andreas Lilja are both well over 35 years old and could end up breaking down physically.
At the AHL level, Marc-Andre Bourdon (2008 3rd round pick by Philadelphia) has gone from promising prospect to disappointment with injuries and poor play marring his development.
With these problems, it’s clear that there’s always a chance that Hostetter could get a call to come up to AHL Adirondack.
If he gets that call, it is a near guarantee he will do everything in his power to play his best at the AHL level in hopes of one day earning a call up to the NHL.
His entry-level contract carries a salary cap hit of $544,167 per Cap Geek and expires in 2014 with Hostetter having restricted free agent status. With the Flyers aging defense and Coburn and Carle hitting unrestricted free agency after the year, Hostetter will have a chance to move up the ranks.