Flyers goalie prospect Kirill Ustimenko will miss the 2020-21 season after recently undergoing surgery on his left hip to repair a torn labrum.
"His expected recovery time is four to five months," Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said Thursday in a video interview. "Rehab is going well so far and we're hopeful that he'll make a full recovery."
Ustimenko, who turns 22 years old in January, was on the Flyers' 31-man playoff roster in the NHL's return-to-play 24-team tournament. He was the club's fourth netminder, behind Carter Hart, Brian Elliott and Alex Lyon.
The Flyers open training camp Sunday with physical examinations and will take the ice Monday. The club will announce its camp roster Saturday.
Ustimenko, a 2017 third-round draft pick, was set to play this season in Lehigh Valley for the Flyers' AHL affiliate. He was most recently on loan to HC Gomel of the Belarusian Extraliga during the atypical hockey offseason in North America. The 2020-21 AHL season is slated to start Feb. 5 but there's still a lot to be decided.
Ustimenko played five games for the Phantoms last season and 31 games for ECHL affiliate Reading. The 6-foot-3, 180-pounder went 19-4-5 with a 2.40 goals-against average, .919 save percentage and two shutouts for the Royals.
Lehigh Valley's No. 1 goalie Lyon is expected to be the Flyers' third netminder in 2020-21, either on the team's 23-player roster or its taxi squad. Felix Sandstrom, the Flyers' other goalie prospect, was recently on loan to Vasterviks IK of the Allsvenskan League in Sweden.
"There’s a little bit of a quarantine issue if you try to change players on your taxi squad or bring new players in," Fletcher said Dec. 23. "We’ll have to be mindful of that, but certainly if the American League is playing, it may be an opportunity to make sure some players are getting games. So we may have to juggle that as things warrant going forward.
"Initially, we’ll just start out with the players that earn the right to be on the taxi squad and the players that are closest to helping us win games in the NHL, then we can make adjustments as we go forward."
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