Derek Mathers Shows Promise in Philadelphia Flyers Rookie Game

Jason SapunkaCorrespondent IISeptember 17, 2011

Mathers could be Jody Shelley's replacement.
Mathers could be Jody Shelley's replacement.Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Among the highlighted players of Thursday night's rookie game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals was the team's seventh-round pick in this summer's draft, Derek Mathers.

More than 10,000 fans showed up at the Wells Fargo Center to view the first Flyers game since the conclusion of last year's playoffs.

High-profile future stars such as Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier were on display, but of course, the Philadelphia team was not short of a huge man looking to drop his gloves.

Derek Mathers, the 18-year-old enforcer of the OHL's Peterborough Petes, showed Broad Street a slice of his future.

At 6'3" 230 pounds, Mathers is sure to develop into an even more fearsome NHL fighter and will be one of the NHL's best if he ever makes it to that level.

Halfway through the second period, Mathers squared off with Reid Edmonson of the Washington Capitals' squad. Including two preseason OHL fights, this was Mathers' third of the season.

Mathers began the fight with 10 unanswered punches, one uppercut landing solidly. Edmonson was ducking away, attempting to avoid the punches. Mathers landed another five punches to Edmonson's head.

While landing the punches, Mathers was pulling Edmonson's back collar down, which prevented Edmonson from landing any of his own.

Eventually, Edmonson gave up on attempting to get his right arm free and threw two lefts. The first landed, but the second missed and he gave up after that.

Mathers made a statement: He knows his job and is very willing to get it done.

Flyers fans should be happy with what they've seen from the franchise's next great enforcer.


For more on Derek Mathers, be sure to check out Bleacher Report's feature story: Flyers' Enforcer of the Future.