Philadelphia Flyers forward Andreas Nodl may be 23 years old, but he has played a lot wiser this year when given the opportunity.
Nodl was the second round pick for the Flyers in 2006 and has spent the time since up and down from the Flyers to the Adirondack Phantoms, the Flyers AHL affiliate. He didn’t blossom fully until this year when he made the team out of training camp.
Andres Nodl has played in 15 games this year for the Flyers and has managed to accumulate 10 points. As he continues to acclimate himself to the NHL and his teammates, he will continue to get more ice time. He has already been playing on a very high level and head coach Peter Laviolette will reward him with more opportunities.
The Flyers play him for over 11 minutes a game now after starting him at under 10 minutes a game for the first part of the season.
Coach Laviolette loves Nodl for many reasons, but the main reason has to be his defensive capabilities. The adage in hockey is that it takes a long time for offensive forwards to learn the defensive aspects of the NHL. This is usually true, but not in Andreas Nodl’s case.
Over Nodl’s first 16 games, he has maintained a plus-7 and has added 30 hits to the mix. He has amazingly versatility in both zones and has a fairly amazing grasp of the forecheck for a young player.
Who is the Better Player?
Nodl has also showed an amazing level of discipline for someone just starting to make his name in the league. Through the beginning portion of the season, Nodl has committed just one minor penalty. For comparison, James van Riemsdyk has four minors.
Although I feel James van Riemsdyk has more potential, it seems that Andreas Nodl is a more complete player at this point.
I feel like Andreas Nodl is consistent enough offensively and defensively to be a big part of the Flyers future. He has the ability to add depth to the team and in the playoffs he could come in hand.
Nodl’s smart defensive abilities may keep him in the Flyers lineup for the near future and beyond.